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How to Make Bias Tape

Updated on February 6, 2017

Make DIY Binding for Infinite Choices

Purchasing ready made bias tape for my sewing projects used to leave me so frustrated because of the limited choices in colors and patterns. I don't have that problem any longer.

Innovation and a few affordable sewing tools offer creative solutions to make binding tape cut on the bias in endless fabric combinations. Learn about these handy items plus a quick, super clever trick that allows an easier and faster way to skip all the tedious sewing of the bias strips together. (see link below to Prudent Baby's tutorial)

(Photo credit Pam Irie)

Bias Tape Maker, 1/2 inch by Collins
Bias Tape Maker, 1/2 inch by Collins

I love my tools to make bias binding. I have a variety of sizes to make tape that will suit any project, but the most common size I use is this one. This is so easy to use and really cuts down the cost of finishing some of my various sewing projects.

 
Bias Grain Basics via Simplicity
Bias Grain Basics via Simplicity

Basics on Cutting on the Bias

Fabric binding is made by cutting fabric on the bias instead of on "straight of grain". Cutting on the bias allows the fabric to stretch and follow curved edges with ease. More information can be found from the experts at Simplicity Creative Group.

(Diagram credit Simplicity Creative Group)

Prepare the Fabric

Making Bias Tape via a Parallelogram (Prudent Baby)
Making Bias Tape via a Parallelogram (Prudent Baby)

Bias Tape Tutorial - Easy to Do via Prudent Baby

I was ecstatic when I found this easy to follow tutorial which cuts the time to make bias binding literally in half. One half yard of fabric is transformed into a parallelogram with one cut and one seam. This is the first step you'll learn via Prudent Baby's tutorial and I guarantee you'll NEVER go back to the old method. Once you do it, you're hooked! ;)

(Photo credit Prudent Baby)

Drawing Bias Lines

Easy to do with a bias ruler!

Get a Specialty Ruler To Draw Bias Tape Cutting Lines

Marking fabric for cutting on the bias is so easy with this ruler. I don't know why I waited so long to get one because this binding buddy ruler is one of my very favorite sewing accessories now. Marking the bias cut lines on the fabric takes only half the time it used to take. So, all I can say is "what are YOU waiting for?" :)

Pause for a Poll - Biased or Not?

Making Bias Tape Endless Varieties
Making Bias Tape Endless Varieties

(Photo credit Pam Irie)

Exactly how biased are you?

See results

Forming Bias Tape

Manual or Machine?

Bias Tape Maker Tool
Bias Tape Maker Tool

Manual Method

Once the bias strips are cut, the basics of shaping bias tape can be done one of two ways. Using the handy tool shown in the picture allows you to manually pull the bias strips through one side while ironing the shaped fabric as it emerges from the opposite side. It's quick and affordable and the finished look is absolutely professional.

Tip: Notice the beginning edge of the bias tape has been cut at an angle. This makes it easy to insert and feed into the bias tape tool OR the bias tape maker machine.

(Photo credit Pam Irie)

Using the Simplicity Bias Tape Maker Machine

If time is critical, a bias tape maker machine is lightning fast. Watch the video below to see how easy it is and then go make your own bias tape. Angela Wolf shares her tips on this video.

Difference in Single Fold and Double Fold Bias Tape

Differences in Bias Tape
Differences in Bias Tape | Source

Bias Tape Maker Machine Tips

The bias tape maker machine comes with the tip made for 1" single fold bias tape. There are more tips available to make the single fold bias tape in specific sizes. Tips just snap in and out to change. Easy!

Do The Math!

1/2 yard of fabric = over 11 yards of bias tape!

How do ya like those numbers? :)

Handy Cutting Grid

Dritz Superboard
Dritz Superboard

Our home is small so I have no readily available hard surface large enough to use to lay out my fabric. But this cardboard cutting board solves that problem. I lay it across our guest room bed and I have a perfect surface to work on. The grid guidelines are invaluable. Pair this cutting grid with a bias ruler and bias tape making tools and you are on your way to making some of the coolest bias tape ever!

 
Make Custom Bias Tape
Make Custom Bias Tape

(Photo credit Pam Irie)

Don't Forget The Last Step

Manual or machine.....the first run through will always produce single fold bias tape.

To make double fold, simply fold over the single fold bias tape down the middle and you have created double fold bias tape. :)

Easy, quick and the results are fabulous every time!

Between you and me, what do you think about making bias tape?

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    • kimbesa2 profile image

      kimbesa 4 years ago from USA

      I've made my own bias tape, though it was a long time ago. I used the manual method. I love those machines that make bias tape and piping. Gotta have it! The cost is so much lower to make your own, and the possibilities so much more. Thanks!

    • Scarlettohairy profile image

      Peggy Hazelwood 4 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      I think making your own bias tape is so cool! My daughter has one of those gadgets and makes it too. She's even sold some on Etsy! Bet yours would sell like Bias Tape, Pam!

    • profile image

      aquarian_insight 5 years ago

      Wow! I found this lens so interesting. I remember my mum manually making up bias tape many years ago when she used to sew professionally, but I had not thought about it until now. You have really given such detailed information here. Great job. *blessed*

    • profile image

      aquarian_insight 5 years ago

      Wow! I found this lens so interesting. I remember my mum manually making up bias tape many years ago when she used to sew professionally, but I had not thought about it until now. You have really given such detailed information here. Great job. *blessed*