Assembly, Binding & Showing Off

Smart Sofa Station Sew-Along

Jan 31

Finish off your Smart Sofa Station with confidence - and show us all so we can be inspired!

Welcome to week 3 of the Smart Sofa Station Sew-Along!

The Sew-Along has been such a fun experience, and so many of you have contacted me to say you’ve had a lovely time. That’s so encouraging that it’s been so useful and a great experience.

I’ve seen some fabulous finishes already, but if you’re still assembling and binding yours, today I have a few extra tips you to help make your final touches easier.

You can see the earlier posts for the Sew-Along here, here and here.

Adding Flaps & Pockets

When we start adding the flaps and pockets to the base, the overall thickness increases quite a lot.

To help get through those extra layers, I size up my needle to a 90/14, and increase my stitch length to 3.

Assembly, Binding & Showing Off - Smart Sofa Station Sew-Along - Tips to works through fiddly flaps

Unfortunately, you do need a reasonably decent sewing machine when it comes to sewing bulk.

If you have just an entry level one, it might not have the oomph needed to get through all these layers. So if you’re finding your machine is really struggling, skipping stitches, and you’ve already upped your needle size, then just go slow and see if that helps as well.

Assembly, Binding & Showing Off - Smart Sofa Station Sew-Along - Tilda Cotton Beach vibrant fabric

Otherwise it might be the machine itself.

If sewing is something you’re keen to keep doing, look around for a good second hand model and you’ll love the difference! You'll not regret the investment...

All My Binding Tips

The method I’ve used in this pattern for the pockets and exterior is the double fold binding method, meaning it’s folded in half, and then stitched along the raw edge, and then folded around the whole edge again.

Please bear in mind this is only one of the ways that you can apply bias binding.

If you have a different preferred method, feel free to do it your own way. I find the double fold method is less fiddly to apply overall, but it does use more fabric as you’re cutting wider strips.

Make sure to have your tools ready to ensure success...a stiletto is a sharp pointy tool that helps you manipulate fabric right under the machine foot. Small pointy scissors also do the job, and mine is actually an awl from a bias binding kit.

Get plenty of clips ... I like to pin my binding in half first along the whole width, and then clip it to the wrong side of the base. This stops one edge stretching more than the other edge and making the binding have a twist to it.

Assembly, Binding & Showing Off - Smart Sofa Station Sew-Along - binding tips for bias binding

As you clip to the base, the key here is to have it snug, but not being stretched.

Then when you come to the corners, you  need to ease (slightly loosen) it to allow for the bend. If you stretch the binding around the corners it will end up too tight.

Keep your awl or small sharp scissors in your hand as you’re stitching to help give you great control.

Use it to get right in close to the needle and keep everything where it needs to be, as the bias has a tendency to want to move out of the way.

As you stitch around the base, you’ll be transitioning from a few layers to many layers as you go over the flap and pockets. I like to slightly vary my seam allowance to compensate for the extra bulk so that you don’t end up with not enough binding to turn under. Try this and you’ll see it works a treat!

Don’t forget to add glue to your sewing tools arsenal.

Glue is a great no-pins option for sewing!

Assembly, Binding & Showing Off - Smart Sofa Station Sew-Along - glue is your friend!

I love using both glue sticks (school glue), and craft glue in a handy applicator like this one. It holds your fabric securely in places where a pin or clip is hard to use. It’s easy to sew through and will transform your sewing skills no end.

Use this to hold your binding in place when you come to stitch the right side, and it will be perfectly aligned.

You can see all these tips in the YouTube video here.

Creative Maker Inspo

Now let’s show off some of the awesome makes from the Sew-Along participants!

These awesome makers have been coming up with their own spin on everything. From adding embroidery to the flaps, to using decorative ribbon instead of bias tape, and creative problem solving, they’re so clever!

Photo: @Karen Blackstock Benisch

Karen's created a beautiful version in Acufactum fabrics, paired with a gorgeous Tilda Woodland binding. She also found a way to adhere her needle minder when the magnet wouldn't hold it properly. Clever!

Photo: @Kathy Jansen-Welch

This is Adrienne's lovely version featuring some more Acufactum fabric and using some gorgeous ribbon in place of the binding trim along the top.

If you're ever stuck with where to use ribbon like this, this is a fabulous idea.

Photo: AdrQuilter

Kathy's version is so crispy and neat, and I think you can't go wrong with this classy colour combination!

Photo: @Stephanie Syvret

I showed you the beginnings of Stephanie's Station last week, and here it is all finished!

Stephanie's appliqued a sweet flower onto the base, and included a red heart button, which shows how much love was stitched into this.

Here's one last peek at my completed Sofa Station - I'll reveal the whole thing on Friday on my socials, so make sure to follow along to see!

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