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How to make bias tape without measuring out lines
Now for how to make bias tape version 3.0. This one works just like the last one, except we’re not measuring out lines first.
I like this way of making bias for a couple of reasons:
a little lazyalways looking for shortcuts
- I don’t know what it is, but my ruler always gets messy marker marks all.over.my.hands when I make continuous bias. Yes, they’re washable, but also ew.
To make make continuous bias without measuring, follow steps 1-3 above for making continuous bias tape.
When you go to pin the second seam, shift the edges just like you would have done with the lines. Shift it to the left whatever the width of the bias that you’re cutting. For this one, I cut 1″ bias, so I shifted the seam 1″ to the left.
Sew the second seam and press open the seam.
Cut with a ruler, rotary cutter and rotary mat
Slip a corner of the rotary mat inside the tube. Use a ruler to cut the bias tape the width you’d like.
Cut as far as you can with the tube at this angle before you go off the edge of the mat. Keep rotating the tube around the corner of the mat, cutting more tape as you go.
Just like with the line method of making bias tape, you’ll probably have some leftovers. That is your only waste.
Pressing the bias tape
Whatever method you’ve used to make your own bias tape, we need to press it to finish it off. There’s a few different ways we can do this too. You can press the tape with the help of a bias tape maker, but it’s optional.
Single fold vs. Double Fold Bias tape
If you buy bias tape in a package, you’ll see that they’re marked “single fold bias tape” or “double fold bias tape.” What is the difference?
It’s a little confusing because looking at them, both single fold and double fold tape have the raw edges of the tape pressed towards the center.
Double fold bias tape has a second fold between the sides, and if you fold down that line, it’s a little off-center. That’s because double fold is used for binding. In theory, you can sandwich the layer(s) you’re binding between the double fold tape with the narrower side on top. That way if you stitch close to the edge, it’ll still hit the slightly wider edge on the bottom. Pretty cool!
Press bias tape to make a facing
This is probably the way I use bias the most. Bring the raw sides of your tape together and press straight down the middle. When you go to stitch this to neckline or armhole, you’ll sew through both layers of tape, then fold everything to the inside.
I like doing it this way because I’m guaranteed that I won’t miss the second edge of my tape like you can sometimes with double fold tape.
Make bias tape with a bias tape maker
To use one of the little bias tape makers, thread the end of your tape through the wide end. Use a pin or an awl to poke the tape through the narrower end.
As the tape comes through the narrow end, press the tape with the hottest temp you can for the fabric and lots of steam. Keep moving the tape through the end of the maker a couple inches at a time, pressing as you go.
As it sits, this is single fold bias tape. To make it into double fold bias, fold the finished tape together so that one folded side is just shy of meeting the other fold. Press along that new fold.
Make bias tape without a bias tape maker
If you don’t have a bias tape maker, or you never remember to dig them out when you need bias (oh, wait, that’s probably just me), this is how you can fold it up yourself with no maker.
Bring the raw edges of the tape close to each other, but a little bit off-center. Let one side peek just above the other. Press down that fold.
Unfold everything. Next, bring one raw edge to that center pressed line. Press the new folded edge. Repeat with the second raw edge.
You can leave this as is and enjoy your single-fold make bias tape. To make your tape into double fold tape, again, fold the edges together, this time along that first off-center line your pressed. Press again. Tada!
So those are several different options for tackling making your own bias tape. Whatever you slice it (ha!), this may very well become one of your secret weapons for adding something extra to all your sewing projects!
Elizabeth Farr is the writer behind the Elizabeth Made This blog where she shares helpful sewing tips, step by step sewing tutorials and videos to help you explore your creativity through sewing. She has written sewing Eguides and patterns, been a featured teacher at Rebecca Page’s Sewing Summit and Jennifer Maker’s Holiday Maker Fest and her work has appeared in Seamwork and Altered Couture magazines. She also created a line of refashioned garments for SEWN Denver. When her sewing machine isn’t humming, she’s playing and teaching violin, and hanging around a good strategic board game with her husband and 4 kids.