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Some of the
commercial braids today can put you in a bind. Various types are
available, such as wool, silk, rayon and cotton. They can be
applied to a new garment or to give life to an old one. Braids
were most popular around the 17th century. Men's coats were
braided according to their position in life. Because so much gold
and silver was used, tailors went out of business during that
Today, we think of braid and binding as a decorative
touch to our garments. Binding comes in many colors and widths.
Most of them are already folded and ready to apply. Machine
stitching saves time and also is a more secure way of applying
the braid or binding. Binding has never been difficult to apply,
but one usually runs into trouble on the corners. Mitering is
necessary. A miter is when you turn a corner on a straight run of
fabric. Let's use a neckline as an example. Sew the binding to
the end of the front edge. Now sew across the corner, catching
both sides of the binding (see illustration) Stretch the binding just slightly and continue around
the corner. Be sure to fold the binding so the corner miters. You
will have to mold the binding around the corner and perhaps take
the time to baste in place first. Press.
If you are using the binding/braid on a rolled
lapel, it would be better to sew one side by machine and finish
the other by hand. Fashions today are calling for more detail. It
is that small detail that gives any garment a rich look. Add with
care and you will discover that most people won't believe you
"made it yourself."
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