Let’s talk how to make bias tape!

Bias tape is one of those useful little sewing notions that has so many uses. It’s totally not just for quilters! While you can buy bias in those nice little neat packages, making your own has a lot of advantages. So why would you make bias tape yourself?

  • Packaged binding is in a limited range of solid colors. While that can be great, why not add some interest by making your own bias tape from a floral print, a stripe, animal prints, or dots?
  • Packaged bindings can be heavy and cardboardy on lighter weight fabrics.
  • You can your bias tape exactly to a fashion fabric by making bias tape from that fabric.
  • You can make a ton of bias tape from very little fabric, so it’s a great way to use up scraps.

So that’s some of the reasons why handmade bias tape is awesome. Let me show you 3 different ways to make it yourself, and whether you need fancy gadgets to make your own tape.

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What you need to make bias tape

The best fabrics for making bias tape

Before we start slicing dicing and making julienne fries from our fabric, what kind of fabrics make the best bias tape?

Any kind of lightweight fabric will do well as bias tape. But if it’s a natural fiber, it’ll be even better because it’ll hold all the pressing we need to do with it well.

Lightweight silks, cotton batiste, cotton voiles, cotton quilting fabrics, shirtings, cotton chambrays all make excellent bias. But you can be a little adventurous as long as the fabric is lightweight.

You’ll learn over time that the best bias tape is quite often the fabric your garment is made out of. So a pattern like an Ogden Cami made from a slippy rayon challis will be really nice with self bias binding.

It’ll be a little trickier to work with than an easy cotton, but it’ll make the most natural finish for the fabric. After examining and taking part a lot of ready to wear, I’ll say that it’s pretty rare to come across bias binding or facings that are from a contrasting fabric.

The easiest way to make bias tape

This method of making your own bias tape is great when you need just a little bit. Maybe you just need enough tape to finish off a neckline to use as armhole bindings. Do this if you need say less than a yard of bias.

Lay out your fabric flat. Match up the selvage edge with the 45 degree marking on your ruler.

Draw lines against the length of ruler’s edge. Make them the width that your pattern calls for or what you like. I tend to go for 1″ or 1 1/2″ widths.

Cut along the lines with your scissors.

Boom, that’s it. You just cut yourself some bias.

If you need a little bit longer of a length, put the strips right sides together and sew a tiny seam. Trim down the seam and press it open.

Onto a little slicker way to make your own bias…

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