A New Binder

When I was binding my silk chiffon blouse I thought I really needed a smaller binder so I picked one up today. As you may or may not remember, I used a 1 1/4″ binder on the blouse. It was fine but a narrower binding would have been prettier.

The new binder is 3/4″ (part #5083/4) and I ordered a 1″ (#5081) to have on hand and may get the 5/8″ (#5085/8) just for fun. My friend thought I was crazy because the 3/4″ finishes to a fat 1/8″ but that is just perfect for chiffon!


Because the finished product is so narrow it was a little trickier to get it started. I finally pulled out my awl which helped me get everything positioned properly; it was easy-peasy after that. The finished binding is absolutely beautiful, just what I envisioned. Look at the difference between the two:


If you are wondering, I used this binder on my Bernina 1530. It will also fit on my commercial machines. I do own a real Bernina binder and it works great but no better than any of the commercial binders I own. The Bernina binder is about $200, the commercial ones run $20-40. Your machine must have attachment holes on the bed. If the casting is metal a skilled mechanic can drill and tap holes for you.

Now, you will have to loosen screws on the plate and get everything positioned properly for your machine but that’s really easy to do. Basically the left edge of the binding should run along the left toe of your presser foot and the plate should be as close to the foot as possible without touching the feeders. You will need a proper binding foot. For a Bernina, it’s #94 – for the classic models anyway. You can also have the right toe cut off of an open-toe foot at most industrial sewing machine shops. Or do it yourself with the cut-off wheel of a Dremel – just make sure you polish all the rough edges.


Filed under Attachments

22 responses to “A New Binder

  1. I’m impressed with your mastery of the binder! I have enough trouble with the rolled hem feet. I also have a Bernina. Love the machine and it’s feet–but those rolled hems–yikes!

  2. Meredith P

    Where do you get your generic sewing machine binders? I’ve gotten the ones for the coverstitch, but never gave the sewing machine a thought (other than the most expensive Bernina “foot” there is). Duh!?

  3. Oh what a difference. Looks so dainty. Love seeing all your wonderful projects!

  4. Elaine

    I am glad I found your blog, you have the most amazing tricks of the trade.

  5. kxpdb

    Please tell where I might find a commercial binder like you used. On-line or brick-mortar. Your blouse is the prettiest I’ve seen. Excellent design details.

  6. Diane in Michigan

    As always your projects are a real treat to read about and see – but you never model for us anymore. What’s up with that? lol Love your chiffon top and the colors are yummie.
    Hope all is well in your world. Don’t work too hard and stay cool!
    Diane in Michigan

    • I used to model all the time but now I live alone and am really bad at timer photography. LOL, I used to drive my son crazy trying to get just the right shot. 🙂 It’s so much easier just to put the garments on Ethel Mertz!

  7. Diane in Michigan

    I meant SILK!!!!!!!

  8. Suzanne

    Would love to see photographs of the process. Just happened on to your blog today. What a delight!

  9. Lorraine

    Does that $20 binder fit an old Bernina 830? I love commercial things but am never sure if they’ll fit on my machine.

    • They are a bit more expensive than $20 (usually 30-50) but, yes, it will fit on your 830. Your 830 will take the same 94 foot as my 1530. While you can use a regular thumbscrew, I find that the Bernina brand thumbscrews (with the large black plastic head) work best – get 2.

  10. Laurie

    Love love love your blog. You inspire me to be a better and more frequent sewer. Thanks to you I bought a binder for my machine. Wow. What a fantastic job it does. Got to go, to find things to bind.

    Did I say thank you?

  11. Excellent blog! Thanks for posting pics too. Really great to have the visuals.

  12. Cecilia

    Hello, I want to buy that type of binder attachment do you know if it will fit on my 401a Singer? Could you show a picture of where and how to cut the foot and what kind of foot. My machine is a slant needle but I also have a straight needle machine. Thanks

    • Cecilia, I’m not sure that there is any other appropriate binder for your 401 other than the binding foot that came with the machine. Singer made a multi-slot binding foot that is actually pretty good.

  13. Cecilia

    Hello, I am wondering if it will fit a singer machine with a straight shaft ( regular sewing machine) thanks Cecilia

  14. Annelene Oaks

    Hi Gigi I bought the 1 1/2 Golden Eagle Binder from Great Knives havn’t quiet masterd it when you get to the End how to finish it so it looks neat. Any tip is appreciated

    • I try to plan it so that the ends are caught in a seam but if you can’t you can either leave several inches unstitched at the beginning and the end and join the ends and fold in and stitch manually or, if it’s something crafty (like a placemat) I stop about 2″ from the end, fold the end under (overlapping the beginning binding) and then complete my stitching.