Everything I Know About Bias Tape : Part 1

Judging from the comments I received last Friday…I seem to have quite a few followers who are brand new to sewing and find my little video tutorials helpful, so I whipped up a few more. Over the next few days I’m gonna share all the tips and tricks that I know about bias tape! Are you ready? Here we go!

What the heck is bias?

Hold a piece of woven fabric in front of you:

  • Pull the fabric in the vertical direction. (up and down parallel to the selvage edge) No stretch. This is the Lengthwise Grain.
  • Pull in the horizontal direction. (left to right along the cut edge) No stretch. This is the Crosswise Grain.
  • Now, pull the fabric on the diagonal. It should finally stretch! This is the Bias, a 45 ̊ angle being the True Bias. (The amount of stretch varies greatly from one fabric to the next.)

Cutting fabric on this diagonal will help you shape a curve more easily. Hence the use of bias tape around armholes, necklines, and various other “shaped” projects. You’ve seen it on everything from pants to potholders, and might not have even realized it. Using bias tape is a great way to add color, or just give your project a nice finished look.

There are 2 different types of bias tape…the single fold, and the double fold, and there are TONS of uses for each of them. Now, you could run to the store and pick up a pre-made pack, but where’s the fun in that? I’m gonna show you how to make your own, out of practically any woven fabric in your stash!

This first video covers all my tricks on cutting the fabric into the necessarily strips on the bias angle. I’ll even show you how to use those “weird shaped” scraps I’m sure you all have hoarded away somewhere. (I know I do! I can’t throw out fabric, I’ll need it one day!)

Now, after watching that, you should know that there are other ways to cut your fabric. This is just the most common method, but I also found a really great tutorial for making continuous bias tape that might interest you.
Once you have all your bias strips sewn together, this second video will show you how to fold and iron the creases for both a single and a double fold tape.

I hope that helped, but don’t forget to stop back tomorrow for 2 more videos showing more than 8 options for using your newly made bias tape!
Thanks for Visiting!
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2 thoughts on “Everything I Know About Bias Tape : Part 1

  1. This is great! I bought a little bias tape maker awhile back with the hopes of learning how to do it. I'd love to make trim out of fabric instead of the store bought bias tape. Thanks for sharing!!!
    P.S. I just saw that you live in Manassas…my mom is in Fairfax 😉

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