Introduction: How to Make Continuous Bias Tape
So why make your own bias tape, it comes packaged at the store?
- It's inexpensive
- It perfectly matches the material of your current project
- It saves you a trip to the fabric store and uses up scrap material
- It is so easy
- Does anyone else hate how scratchy packaged bias tape is?
Step 1: Gather Scrap Material
- scrap of fabric at least 12" x 12"
- fabric pen/chalk/pencil
- sewing machine
Step 2: Cut a Square
Cut a square on the straight of grain. Make sure you're accurate, use a ruler and check twice!
I generally make 2" bias binding.
12" x 12" square = 60" of binding
13" x 13" square = 72" of binding
15" x15" square = 100" of binding
Step 3: Cut in Half Diagonally
Using a ruler and your fabric marker of choice (I use a regular pencil most of the time), draw a line diagonally across the square from corner to corner. Find those scissors and cut in half.
Step 4: Sew Triangles Together
Sew, right sides together using a narrow seam allowance. Press the seams open.
(I think of this stage as the little pants stage.)
Step 5: Draw the Cutting Lines
I usually use the clear 2" wide quilters ruler to measure off my tape. Its perfect. Start at one edge and draw your lines in. For this project I actually cut the bias binding a little narrower than usual. It was for a neckline of a dress and I didn't need a wide bias tape.
You can see how bad I am and am using a pen. The fabric is blue right?
Step 6: Pin and Sew Final Seam
Pin diagonal edges, right sides together, forming a loop of fabric. Offset the edge by one width of bias tape so that when it is cut, the bias tape is continuous. Sew using a narrow seam allowance
I offset the diagonal edge down ever so slightly. This is to line up the cutting lines where I'm sewing so that the cutting lines match up once it's sewn. I pin very carefully.
Iron seam allowance open. In the photo with the iron, the offset edge so the bias tape is continuous is shown more clearly.
Step 7: Cut Your Bias Tape
Cut! And you're done.
To store bias trim I usually leave it uncut and just take off what I need so that the bias tape doesn't stretch out.
If you wanted to cut before storing it, you could roll it up and put an elastic band around it, or carefully wrap the tape around a piece of cardboard and use a pin to hold the loose end in place.