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It is always nice to be able to finish off your sewing projects neatly. One of my favourite methods for finishing projects is to use bias binding. But what if you want to use a matching fabric to your project for your bias instead of the ready made variety? Or make your own pretty contrast bias? Well, here is how to make your own continuous bias binding.
How To Make Your Own Continuous Bias Binding
There are actually two methods of making your own continuous bias binding tape.
Cut Long Strips On The Bias Of The Fabric
You could cut a lot of long strips of your chosen fabric on the bias. And then sew all the strips together. But this can be time consuming and take up a lot of fabric.
But, when I was making the Tracy Bee Tunic, I had only a very limited amount of the Liberty London contrast fabric. I had a small rectangle left, in fact.. So I decided to try another method that involves only two seams.
Making Continuous Bias From A Rectangle of Fabric
This method can be a lot quicker for making a long continuous piece of bias. You only need to sew 2 seams and cut the fabric twice!
You will need
- a square or rectangle of fabric
- a ruler – preferably a see through quilting ruler or similar
- tailor’s chalk or a washout/iron out pen
- a sewing machine
- bias tape makers – these are invaluable whatever way you make your tape.
Take your piece of fabric and fold one of the corners to lay flat towards the opposite side. This creates a triangle. Press the fold.
Then cut carefully down the pressed fold line.
Take the resulting triangle and lay the straight edge against the other end of your rectangle of fabric. You are creating a rhombus/parallelogram
Now, right sides together, take the 2 pieces, and sew a 5mm seam. I use the edge of my presser foot as a guide. I also make the stitch length small (about 1.5-2) . Press open the seam.
You now have a rhomboid shape with a seam within it. The edges perpendicular to the seam are the straight edges that have no give. The other 2 sides are the bias sides, these have some stretch.
Marking Your Bias Lines
Now using one of the bias edges as your starting point, you need to mark out lines at how wide you want your bias tape to be. I wanted to make 25mm double fold bias tape, so I needed my lines to be 50mm apart (2inches)
When you get to the other end of the fabric you may end up with a piece that is insufficiently wide. This cannot be used for bias.
You end up with a piece of fabric that has lines drawn on the bias at equal intervals.
The next step is where the magic happens. Take the fabric, and right sides together bring the 2 line ends towards each other. But instead of joining together both line 1 ends, slightly offset joining the straight edges together. Join the bottom of line 1 to the top of line 2, Join the bottom of line 2 to the top of line 3. And so on.
Pin together, and sew a 5mm seam allowance to join the edges. Again, keep the stitch length as small as possible to ensure the stitches don’t fall apart when you cut this into a strip. Press open the seam. You have created a tube of fabric with slightly offset ends.
Now, you will see that you have a continuous line to cut from one end of the tube to the other.
Cutting along the line gives you a continuous long strip of bias fabric.
Making it into tape
I love these tape makers. All you have to do is work out how wide you want your finished bias, then double this. Cut your bias strip to be the doubled width, then feed your long strip through one of these tape makers. As it is fed through, the bias folds are created, and all you need do is to pull slowly and press with an iron as you go along. Magic!
And there you have it. Your finished pretty bias tape ready to be the finishing touch to your latest make.
Want to see how to sew bias onto a project? DIY Danielle has a great article on how to do just that!
I’d love to see your makes. Tag me on social media.
And please do pin this post for later.