Fabric Glue, Bias Binding and Aprons

Wasn’t planning on sewing Christmas gifts–other than PJs for The Grands–until I spied some Minnesota word print fabric at a Christmas boutique.  A stop at the local quilt  shop and I walked out with several Minnesota themed fabrics to mix and match for an apron gift.  Knew it would have to be a ‘quick to make’ project and fabric glue is at the top of the list for quickies.

Apron finished with bias binding

Apron finished with glued bias binding

Apron History

I grew up in the days when everyone wore an apron in the kitchen–their kitchen, friends kitchens, family kitchens, church kitchens, and had a drawer full of them.  Christmas and birthdays were sure to garner a new collection.  Grandma Walk left a dresser drawer of unworn aprons, “Too good to wear.”  Both Mom and Grandma had ‘favorites’ with a shredded line across the tummy from rubbing against the edge of the kitchen sink.

I never took to aprons as I wore jeans and sweatshirts; Mom and Grandma wore House Dresses.  Jeans and sweatshirts didn’t require ironing after laundering as did the dresses, so why bother protecting them, just one more thing in the laundry.  Neither did my contemporaries and am happy to say, nary a one appeared at my bridal showers.

In the last few years, aprons have made a comeback and I have succumbed to making them as gifts, and even received a couple.  They hang on a kitchen cupboard door as textile embellishment rather than worn.  What can I say, another item in the laundry and would probably need ironing.  Nor have I seen the gifted aprons worn; my Sister’s have theirs hanging on cupboard knobs too.

Kitchen Textile Embellishments L from Singapore, R gift from college roomie

Kitchen Textile Embellishments
L from Singapore, R gift from college roomie


Bias Binding and Aprons

Bias binding and aprons go together like bread and butter.  The first ones I made were totally machine sewn.  However, the finished product has been my nemesis as the wrong side never looks as good as the right side.   Contrary to millions of Pinterest postings, unless using a binding foot, the wrong side will never, never, never, look as good as the right side.

Qualifier:  If you practice, practice, practice and apply bindings on a daily basis, maybe, just maybe, the wrong side will be perfection.


Fabric Glue

Several years ago, I began experimenting with fabric glue when I made a couple of baby swaddle blankets for Etsy.  If the product is for public consumption, it has to be Perfect.       I found that fabric glues were vastly improved and have used them ever since.  They dry clear, are acid-free, flexible, washable and permanent.  Read the label and sample; sample each time a new/different fabric is used.

Currently, my fave is Elmer’s Craft Bond, Fabric and Paper Gluee431_1-jpg

  • It’s available at Target–no special trip to the fabric store
  • Cheap enough that I don’t care when The Grands use a whole bottle in one hour,
  • And, best of all, it doesn’t harden in the bottle.  With a gazillion years of experience under their belt, Elmer’s has perfected the dispenser tip so it doesn’t clog–if Grands remember to close it!
  • Dispenser tip lays down dots and/or fine line of glue.

Glued Binding Tutorial

  1. Make binding using bias binding maker

    Making double fold bias binding with bias binding tool maker--click for video

    Making double fold bias binding with bias binding tool maker–click for video

  2. Stitch binding to project
  3. Press binding around project edge just so edge covers stitching

    Press binding around edge so edge covers stitching

    Press binding around edge so edge covers stitching

  4. Apply thin line of glue just inside stitching line

    Apply thin line of glue next to stitching line--toward the binding

    Apply thin line of glue next to stitching line–toward the binding

  5. Finger press binding in place.  Keep a damp towel handy to wipe off any excess.  Once glue dries, it’s permanent.

    Finger press; keep damp towel handy to wipe of excess; once it dries, it's permanent

    Finger press; keep damp towel handy to wipe of excess; once it dries, it’s permanent

  6. Iron to speed drying.

    Speed dry glue with iron

    Speed dry glue with iron

  7. Let dry at least 24 hours before washing.
  8. Isn’t it gorgeous!  Both binding sides are equal width and no stitching that meanders where ever from folded edge.
    Finished binding

    Finished binding


    Fabric Glue Tips–Try It; You’ll Like It!

  • Start with accurate sized binding.
  • Test glue on each fabric; it should remain flexible and not show through to the right side.  With bindings, there are multiple layers of seam allowances so show-thru shouldn’t be a problem.
  • Keep a damp towel handy when working with glue; wipe it off project or working surface before it dries.
  • Glue will not be any heavier or stiff than thread topstitching.
  • It’s quicker than topstitching, stitching-in-the-ditch, whatever sewing method.


A inside view to be proud of!

An inside view to be proud of!


Apron Pattern

I like Mary Mulari’s Church Ladies Apron Pattern for it’s name and it has pockets (cell phone–if I wore it–although Grandma used it for a handkerchief).                                     It can be made reversible, eliminating the more time-consuming binding.  I like binding for the edge contrast, plus am determined to conquer PERFECT bias binding, even though I may only do it once a year.  The glue process seems to be a winner so can check this off my sewing bucket list.

Mary conveniently includes a log/record of who/when pattern was used.  Looks like Sarah is getting a 2nd apron–OOPS!  Oh well, the other one was a Christmas print in 2012 and she doesn’t wear that one either.  Maybe this one will at least get displayed to show CA friends her Minnesota roots on an apron.  Ya Think?

Apron Log

Apron Log

Church Ladies

I grew up in a country church and the annual Ladies Aid, aka Church Ladies, fundraiser was the Church Supper cooked and served in the basement.  Yes, the ladies all wore aprons, one from the top of the dresser drawer.

Garrison Keillor, a Midwest author and media personality, has popularized Church Ladies, church suppers, green jello salad… in his NPR monologues and book, Church People.

Church Basement Ladies is also a popular Midwest stage production.

Related Topics

Another apron blog, this one with top-stitched hem.

Mary Mulari’s Church Ladies Apron.

Church Lakes Apron

Church Ladies Apron


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