The Beauty of Bias Tape Part 1: Make Your Own

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Make your own bias tape

For those of you who love to sew as much as I do, I see homemade bias tape in your future. Sure, you can go to the store and buy some plain trim, but why not make your own. It’s easy, fun and the possibilities are endless. That’s why I created this new bias tape series for you. Today, I’ll teach you how to make your own, and then, for the next few weeks, I’ll show you the fun things you can do with all that bias tape I know you’re going to want to make.

Make your own bias tape

The beauty of bias tape is, because it is cut on the bias (45 degree angle) of the fabric, it is super pliable, has stretch and it can curve around all kinds of shapes. It can be used to finish off a raw edge on almost anything — hems, armholes, necklines, ruffles, peplums and seams, just to mention a few. You can create your own in any color, pattern or size you’d like. Making your own saves loads of money. And homemade bias tape makes a great gift for all of your sewing friends. So, what are we waiting for? Let’s turn up some good music and get started!

First, pick out some fabrics you like. For this tutorial, I chose cute cotton fabrics with a small print. You can also use satin, corduroy, knits or cotton blends.

Choose your fabric

You don’t have to have a bias tape maker, but it does make the process a little easier. There are many out there on the market and they come in different sizes, but the main thing to remember is that the measurement listed on the package is for single fold bias tape. So, if you’re making 1/2 inch double fold bias tape, like I did here, then you’ll need a one inch bias tape maker.

Consider investing in a bias tape maker

It also helps to use a rotary cutter to get a nice clean cut.

Materials include a rotary cutter, bias tape makers of various sizes and fabric

Now turn on some good music and fold your fabric to form a triangle.

Fold your fabric into a triangle

Cut off the extra piece.

Cut the excess fabric that is not part of the triangle

Next, fold this triangle in half by taking the top corner and folding it down to meet the bottom corner. This will create a triangle with four layers of fabric that has one side with raw edges, one side with two folds, and one side with one fold.

You now have folded edges and raw edges

Pivot your triangle so the edge with one fold is at the bottom and clean up the raw edges.

One fold is at the bottom and clean up the raw edges

Using your rotary cutter, cut 2 inch strips.

Cut two inch strips with a rotary cutter

Right sides together, line up the short ends of the strips like this:

Line up short ends with right sides together

Sew a quarter inch seam.

Sew a quarter inch seam

Trim off the little triangles that were sticking out.

Trim the fabric from the seam

Press the seam open.

Press the seam open with an iron

Continue to sew the strips together this way until you get your desired length.

Place the end of your strip into the bias tape maker.

Place the end of the seam in the bias maker

Pull it through to the other side and start the fold.

Create your bias tape with the bias tape maker

Press the folds as you pull the strip of fabric through the bias tape maker.

Press the folds as you pull the strip through the bias tape maker

One fold will be slightly smaller than the other fold.

One fold will be slightly smaller than the other

Fold the strip in half again and press with a hot steam iron. Notice how one edge is a little smaller than the other. Continue to press the entire strip.

Press the entire strip with an iron

I don’t know about you, but to me, there is something very comforting about ironing and creating yards and yards of bias tape. With some good music playing, I could seriously do this all day long.

Now wrap your cute bias tape around some stiff cardboard and get started making more…

Wrap your bias tape around cardboard

…because next week I’ll be showing you different ways to use your homemade bias tape in some of your upcycling adventures.

This is part one of the bias tape blog series

Have fun and I’ll see you next week!

Beth

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