Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Sewing – How to Make Bias Tape

The difference between bias tape and binding is that bias tape is cut on the bias of the fabric and binding is cut with the grain.  You can use binding for any straight edge, but if you have a curved edge you will want to use bias tape. Because it’s cut on the bias, it stretches and will "bend" to a curved edge that a straight grain strip will not without kinks and warping.

Open your fabric with no folds.


Grab the left corner of your selvage edge.  Bring it up to the cut side to create a 45 degree angle.


Grab the right corner of your selvage edge and fold up on top of the first fold matching your folds.


I cut off the extra fabric as I knew I didn’t need that much bias.


Cut off a really thin strip on the left fold.


Because I have a bias tape maker, I cut my strips to fit it – 2” wide.  This tutorial will work with whatever size strips you’d like.


You will be left with two triangles on the right that I don’t usually use.


If using plain fabric as I did, draw a chalk line at each end of the bias so you know which sides are the right sides.  Do this to all your strips.


Now match your ends with right sides or chalk lines together – it’s kinda like making a partial letter X.


Stitch them together with a scant 1/4" seam allowance.


Press your seams flat.


Sometimes I don’t pay careful attention and they don’t end up very straight but that’s ok.  My bias tape maker will turn those ends under so nobody is any wiser!  And I wonder why I can’t quilt??!!  Maybe I got my answer!!  LOL


There is a handy little hole in the top of my bias tape maker that allows you to move the fabric through with a pin.


With the iron in one hand and the little handle of the bias tape maker in the other, simultaneously slide the bias tape maker backwards and press the tape immediately as it comes out at the front. The raw edges will be folded neatly into the centre of the tape.


Press the bias tape in half, allowing approximately 1/16" of overhang on one side. Measuring is unnecessary, just eyeball it. Press the entire length, pressing on the outside, so that the inside of the bias tape face one another - this makes your bias tape 4 layers thick.


I got about 100” of bias from my 21” square of fabric that I started out with and I didn’t use the smallest pieces!


You are now ready to attach your binding!

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