Making your own bias tape….
This is a “no-brainer” for some of you.
And for some of you, you are perfectly happy buying it pre-made.
But after my Applique Baby Bib post, I did get a few people asking questions, so here are responses to your FAQ’s, plus a quick how-to for making your own!
Q1: What exactly does “on the bias” mean?
A: Cutting fabric “on the bias” means to cut it on a diagonal. Let’s use quilting as an example. Typically, you cut your strips for quilting with the grain of your fabric. Your cuts either go from selvage to selvage or parallel to a selvage edge. When you cut on the bias, you’re literally going to cut on a 45 degree angle. Yes, it’s going to eat up more fabric, but it’s necessary in order for your finished bias tape to curve around the edges of your work.
Q2: Why would you want to make your own bias tape when it is so easily found in your craft store, and isn’t very expensive at all?
A: Sometime I do buy it! If I just need a solid color and I can find a perfect match, I do often just pick it up at the craft store. However, if I’d like a print (as in the applique baby bib post) then I make it myself.
Q3: Can’t you buy bias tape makers at the craft store?
A: Yup! You sure can! And by all means, go right ahead and pick one up! For me though, as soon as I buy a 1/4″ bias tape maker, I’m going to need a 1/2″ bias tape maker. Then a 3/8″. Then a 5/8″. Get the picture? By making your own from scratch, you aren’t restricted to any size!
Q5: What if I need a piece longer than my fabric is wide? What’s the best way to piece my strips together?
A: Now we’re ready for the step-by-step how-to!
1. Cut your strips 4 times wider than you’d like your finished bias tape to be. For example, if you’d like 1/2″ wide bias tape, cut your strips 2″ wide. If you’d like 1/4″ wide bias tape, cut your strips 1″ wide. Then be sure you trim off the short selvage edge from each end!
*If you’re going to need a length of bias tape longer than your fabric is wide, i.e. longer than 40″ inches long, you’ll need to piece two or more strips together. The best way to do this is also sew them on a 45 degree angle. Follow the steps below. If one strip of fabric will be enough for your project, skip down to step #4!
2. At one end of each strip, draw a diagonal line on the back of the fabric. Use the 45 degree line on your ruler as a guide. With right side together, place the ends of two strips perpendicular to each other (as shown in the picture below).
3. Sew on the drawn line. Cut away the excess fabric by cutting 1/4″ out from the sewn line. Press your seams open. Continue as many times as necessary, until you have a long enough pieced strip for your project.
4. Press your fabric strip in half longways, wrong sides together.
5. Open your fabric back up and now press the long edges in to the crease you made in Step 4. Again, wrong sides together, right side facing you.
6. Fold your fabric back in half on the line you originally pressed!
It’s that easy!
And now you’ve got perfectly matched bias tape for your next project!
Nikki, In Stitches