This section is from the book "School Needlework. A Course of Study in Sewing designed for use in Schools", by Olive C. Hapgood. Also available from Amazon: School Needlework: A Course Of Study In Sewing Designed For Use In Schools.
A binding or band is used to strengthen and cover the raw edges of a seam.
No. 8 needle, No. 50 thread, pins, scissors, and a piece of cotton cloth half-a-yard long and seven inches wide, notched in the middle, gathered and stroked (page 36); for the binding, a piece of cloth eight inches long and three inches wide.
Fig. 37. - Showing the corners of the binding cut, and the middle of the edges marked by notches and a cross-stitch.
1. Find the middle of the band, and mark the place by cutting a notch (Fig. 37) at the edge of each side, or by taking a cross-stitch (Fig. 37) with colored cotton.
2. Cut off each corner of the band one-fourth of an inch deep (Fig. 37), to avoid having many thicknesses of cloth, when the corners are turned.
3. Loosen the gathering thread.
Fig. 38. - Showing half of the gathers basted and stitched.
4. Holding the wrong side of the gathered piece towards you, place the middle of the band at the notch in the middle of the gathers, and put in a pin vertically, to hold them together (Fig. 38).
5. Pin the ends of the gathers one-fourth of an inch from each end of the band.
6. Tighten or loosen the gathering thread, so that the length of the gathered edge exactly matches that of the band.
7. Fasten the gathering thread by winding it around the pin.
8. With the point of the needle adjust the gathers, so that the fulness is evenly distributed along the band.
9. Holding the gathers towards you, baste, with small stitches, a little above the gathering thread.
1. Stitch the gathers to the band, exactly over the gathering thread, taking up only one gather at a time (Fig. 38).
2. Take out the pins, as you come to them.
3. If, when sewing, the gathering thread should be too short, loosen it by unwinding it from the pin.
4. When the band is stitched on, fasten the thread securely, cut off the gathering thread and take out the basting thread.
1. Turn up the band, and crease the opposite edge and the two ends, one-fourth of an inch deep.
2. Cut off the corners of the gathers above the stitching.
3. Fold the band over to the line of stitching.
4. Pin the middle of the folded edge to the middle of the line of stitching.
5. Pin the ends, being careful to have the corners exactly together.
6. Baste the band down, keeping the edge of the fold directly over the stitching.
7. Overhand each end, beginning at the gathers.
8. Hem the band down, taking a stitch in each gather, a little below the stitching. Do not allow the stitches to show on the right side.
A binding should be cut lengthwise of the cloth, when strength is required, or where much wear is coming, as on underclothing. A narrow binding for finishing a garment should be cut on the bias. The binding and gathering should be equally divided by notches, so that there may be no more fulness in one part than in another. If there are but few gathers, half-backstitching can be used instead of stitching. Great care should be taken to have the ends of the band neat; some prefer to turn the ends of the band under before stitching, others stitch the ends of the band together, before putting it on to the gathers.