How to Finish a Pathfinder Vest with Binding

There are a number of reasons why you may choose to finish the edges of a Pathfinder Vest with bias binding.  Perhaps you are using a double-faced fabric, such as quilted fabric or softshell, or a thick fabric that you don't want to line, such as boiled wool.  Or perhaps you'd just like to add some visual interest by adding a pop of colour or pattern with some pretty binding. 

Binding the edges of the Pathfinder Vest with bias tape is a simple way to finish raw edges or add a lovely decorative element.  We will use a neat technique, used for joining the binding on quilts, to finish the vest binding.


  • Double-fold bias binding (store-bought or homemade, whatever width you prefer), enough to go around the edges of the vest body and the armholes, plus 5-6" (13-15cm) extra for joining
  • Pins

1.  Open the bias binding flat and begin pinning the binding to the edge of the vest around the bottom, front edges, and neckline (or hood edge), aligning the edge of the binding with the edge of the vest.  Pin the right side of the bias binding to the wrong side of the vest.  I like to start attaching the binding in a fairly inconspicuous location, such as along the back bottom edge, because there will be a join. 

2.  Begin sewing the binding 3"(7.5cm) in from the starting end of the bias strip - we will leave an unsewn gap for joining the bias into a neat loop.  The stitch line will follow the fold in the bias binding.  Continue sewing the bias the entire way around, stopping about 3"(7.5cm) from where you started stitching and ensuring you have about 3" (7.5cm) of extra binding. 

3.  For a nice clean finish where the bias strips meet, we will join the strips in the round.  Start by folding one end of your binding up at a 45 degree angle, and the other strip down at a 45 degree angle so that the folded edges just meet.  Finger press these folds in place. 

4.  Mark a line on the inside of the folds and pin the two ends of the strip together so that the lines match up.  Stitch along these lines to close the ends of the bias tape into a loop. 

5.  Trim the seam allowance of the join you just made and press the seam open.  Finish sewing the bias binding to the vest by closing up the gap that was left from joining the ends of the binding.

6.  Fold the bias binding over the edge of the vest so that is on the outside of the vest.  The centre fold of the bias binding will sit along the edge of the vest.  Pin the binding in place on the outside of the vest.

7.  Working on the the right side of the vest, edgestitch the binding, ensuring that the binding is covering the stitch line underneath.

8.  Repeat these instructions for finishing the armholes. 

Would you like to try making a quilted Pathfinder Vest?  Have a look at our tutorial: How to Make Quilted Fabric

Have you made a Pathfinder Vest with bound edges?  Please join us in the Twig + Tale Facebook group to ask questions, look for inspiration, and of course to share photos of your projects.  

Did you know that the Twig + Tale Blog is home to a number of simple tutorials for pattern hacks and sewing techniques?  Read more about the Women's Pathfinder Vest here:

~Images by Liz Joffrion and Angela Schade~