Alright today is the day we’ve all be waiting for. Binding seems to be the step that gives many the most trouble when it comes to making the Agility pattern. There is a really great video in the 5 out of 4 Facebook group that demonstrates the single fold binding method that is used in most 5 out of 4 patterns including the Agility. You can find the video here. (A big thank you to Ashley who posted this.) Since there is already a video demonstrating the binding method, I’m going to focus on helping you follow the steps to attach all of your pieces in the correct order. I will admit that I had a few missteps while doing this and I did not enjoy ripping out stitches so I hope to save you the trouble.
But before you get started, let’s make sure you have all of your binding pieces cut out. For the t-back version you will have a total of 4 pieces to cut. One piece for the neck binding and another 3 pieces that you will stitch together to make up the binding for the arms and back. The neck binding measurement for the t-back version is on page 25 and the back and arms on page 29.
The strappy back version also has 4 pieces to cut for the binding. The neck piece measurement is on page 29 and the back and arm binding measurement on page 30. Make sure you cut the binding pieces the measurements that correspond with the bra size of your Agility. You will also need 3/8″ elastic. It is easier if you do not cut the elastic yet.
If you are making a nursing version of either the t-back or strappy back, you will need to cut out 3 additional binding pieces so you can bind the arms and neck on the nursing layer. These measurements on on page 16.
I’m going to start with binding the nursing layer since that needs to be done before binding the bra front and back. Take your nursing layers (main/outer, support, and lining) and stack them wrong sides together. Most support fabric won’t have a right/wrong side, just make once your layers are together, that the right sides of the outer and lining fabrics are on the outside.
Baste your layers together.
Next take one of the arm binding pieces and with right sides together pin binding at each end and in the middle. Sew using a stretch stitch. You will need to stretch the binding between pins. Repeat for the other arm binding. Complete the single fold binding by wrapping the binding to the wrong side of the bra and topstitching. Trim excess binding on wrong side.
If you are making a NURSING BRA ONLY, repeat these steps for the neck binding. If adding an overlay DO NOT add the neck binding yet.
Once you have added the binding to the arms and neck of the nursing bra, it should look like this:
Now you want to take your main bra front piece and put it right side up. Take your nursing layer and put it right side up on top of the main bra front piece. Then take the bra back and place it wrong side up on top of the nursing layer. Line up the side seams starting at the bottom. The nursing layer will be 3/8″ shorter than the bra and back pieces. Sew together at the sides. Flip your fabric so the nursing layer is on top and the seams are on the inside.
Take your bra lining and place it inside the bra so that wrong sides are together. Baste.
If you are making a nursing tank/dress, you want to baste the overlay to the nursing front neckline before you add the binding. You can add the overlay to the main front bra as pictured below. Whichever layer you choose, baste the overlay to it before adding the neck binding.
Now on to the neck binding. For t-back version, fold the neck binding in half with right sides together and stitch the short ends together. Mark quarter points on both the binding and the neck of the bra. With right sides together, stitch the binding to the neckline. Complete the single binding by wrapping the binding to the wrong side and topstitching. Trim off the excess binding on the wrong side of the fabric.
For strappy back versions, you want to fold your binding in half and mark the center front. Referring to the chart on page 29, measure from one end of your binding piece in towards to center and mark the shoulder point. For example if making size small, you would measure 12.25″ from the end and make a mark. Repeat on the other end. These marks will line up with the shoulder points when attaching the binding.
I am making a size XL and in the picture below you will see I have marked 13.75″ from the end to mark my shoulder point.
Find the center front of your bra by folding in half and matching the side seams. Place binding and bra front right sides together and align the center front and shoulder points that you previously marked. Attach the binding by stitching from one shoulder point to the other.
Now we need to add the elastic. It is easier if you do not cut your elastic pieces so you do not have to worry about them being too short. Take your elastic and place it on the wrong side of the binding and in the seam allowance. Sew elastic to the binding, being careful to stretch the binding only as you sew from one end to the other. DO NOT stretch the elastic or the bra as you sew. If using a serger to attach the elastic, make sure you turn the knife blade off.
Complete the single binding by wrapping the binding to the wrong side and topstitching. Trim off the excess binding on the wrong side of the fabric.
We are going to repeat these steps to attach the arm and back bindings.
For t-back versions, the process to attach the arm and back bindings is the same. Mark the center of your binding piece, then refer to the chart on page 27 to determine where to mark your shoulder points on the binding. The seam where you attached the shorter back binding piece to the 2 longer arms pieces should align with the bra side seams. Complete the single binding by wrapping the binding to the wrong side and topstitching. Trim off the excess binding on the wrong side of the fabric.
Give yourself a high five because your bindings have been attached successfully.
Don’t forget to post a picture of your progress in the 5 out of 4 Facebook Group. You can find today’s thread by searching #5oo4AgilityDay4