Monday, October 20, 2008

Make binding or bias tape - without a bias tape maker

I've been creating a lot of aprons. One of the key ingredients seems to be bias tape. Store bought bias tape is okay but my options seem to be very limited. I decided to try to make some using a Clover Bias Tape Maker.

It was easy enough but the bias tape was oh so small. I visited a local quilt shop where I asked if they sold bias tape makers. I was told no. With my obvious look of disappointment (I believe I dropped my shoulders, threw my head back and said UGH rather audibly) the woman in the shop told me I could do it with a large needle. My interest was immediately piqued. After she explained the technique I rushed home and wrote down all she had said. I am here to tell you - this method is just as easy if not easier than using a tape maker.

Technically - I think this might just be binding. The example here is cut selvage to selvage - not on the bias. I'll show how to easily cut fabric on the bias another day.

What you'll need:
Fabric
A large pin or needle (I am using a hat pin I just happened to have)
Iron & Ironing Board
Sewing Machine, Thread, Scissors, Rotary Cutter, Ruler

Step One - I cut my fabric into four inch strips. This will give me one inch double fold bias tape. To make 1/2 inch double fold bias tape you would need your fabric to be two inches wide. (.5 * 4 = 2)

Step Two: Place your fabric right sides together. Make an L with your fabric. You will sew it diagonally (please zoom in on photo if you need to see the stitching line). (When you purchase bias tape you can see it is sewn together in places - that is what you are doing - sewing together your fabric strips to make one continuous piece of bias tape.) Keep adding strips until you have the length you need.

Step Three: Use a ruler and measure about 1/4 inch away from your stitched line.

Step Four: Use a rotary cutter and trim. You will now have some triangles that can be saved for a future project. Repeat until all joined strips are trimmed. Press your seams open with an iron. Iron your entire continuous strip of bias tape.

Step Five: I now need to take my large pin and stick it into my ironing board cover, out again, measure over two inches and stick it back into the ironing cover and out again. The opening is two inches wide. This is where the fabric will be placed.

Step Six: Take your fabric and fold both edged toward the center. Then pull it under the pin.

Step Seven: Take a ruler or guide and measure each fold making sure each is one inch. Pull the fabric out a little more, measure again, and start ironing.

Step Eight: Pull fabric through and iron. Every so often look closely to make sure that each side is still about an inch each. Once you have pulled your whole strip through you can just fold it in half, iron it and voila! You will have made your very own double fold bias tape / binding.

Let me know if you have any questions with the tutorial. Have fun making your own bias tape / bidning. Beth

4 comments:

Tilly said...

this is life changing! lol Now you have to tell me how to easily cut on the bias...I have never gotten that down!

carrie said...

That is awesome! Thanks for sharing.

Amy said...

I had heard of this and thought it to be an urban legend! Thanks so much Beth! When I went to buy one of those bias binding makers I refused to pay the price, came home and burned my fingers! I like your way much better! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

Fairy said...

I just found this. Thank you so much, it will make my life much easier.

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