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Bias Tape Tutorial by Guest Blogger, Heather of Littlestprettythings.com

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Bias tape is one of those things that can make any project feel really special.  We are excited to share Heather’s tutorial, of the fantastic blog littlestprettythings.com.  Here you’ll find step by step instructions on how to make this versatile trim!   And stay tuned for another tutorial from Heather, where you can put your beautifully finished bias tape to use!
I am quite sure there are many, many tutorials for making
your own bias tape on the internet, but as a self-taught novice sewer I still
get confused by it sometimes.
Bias tape is simply strips of fabric, cut on the bias (the
diagonal) then sewn into one continuous strip, folded, folded, and folded again
to make a neat little casing for raw edges. It is cut on the diagonal because
generally woven fabrics don’t have much give, but when cut on the bias there is
just a tiny bit of stretch. This is
particularly useful for binding curved edges. You get a nice, neat trim with no
puckering. Do not shortcut by cutting strips with the grain and think “Oh,
it’ll be fine,” because trust me – it will definitely not be fine.
Anyway, fabric stores sell bias tape in all sorts of widths
but mainly in just solid colors. Sometimes it’s fun to use something a bit more
interesting. In that case, get your cutting mat and rotary blade out – we’ve
got work to do.
For 4 yards of ½” double-folded bias tape you’ll

fat quarter of desired fabric

rotary blade

cutting mat

straight edge (I like using a quilters ruler)

bias tape maker* (note: a
1″ bias tape maker will make ½” double-folded bias tape)

coordinating thread
* A bias tape maker is not necessary but it will
make your life about a million times easier.
1.     Lay your fabric out on a flat surface. Fold the
bottom corner up, even with the selvedge. Cut excess fabric away, creating a
perfect square.
2.     With the fabric still folded in half, use scissors to
cut along the fold. This is the bias. You now have two triangles.
3.     To make it easier to cut, fold the triangle in half
bias-corner to bias-corner. Arrange the fabric on your mat so the bias edge is
lined up with the ruler markings and the selvedge edge is on the diagonal.
4.     For ½” double-folded bias tape, cut you fabric
into 2″ strips. (to determine the width of your strips multiply your desired
finished width by 4. ½ bias tape: .5×4=2 so 2″ strips.)
5.     Piece your strips right-sides together leaving a
¼” overhang on each side. Then sew the strips together using
a ¼” seam allowance. I actually have my presser foot marked with a
permanent marker at a ¼” to make this easier. You want your needle to
start at exactly the point where the 2 fabrics meet.
By overhanging the corners of the
strips ¼” and sewing a ¼” seam allowance you will get
a perfectly aligned strip. Lining the strips up evenly will cause them to
stagger at each seam once sewn. No good.
Once you’ve sewed your strips
together press the seam allowances open. Now you’re ready for the bias tape
1.      Feed your strip through the bias tape maker and press
as you pull the tool down your ironing board. You will be creating two folds
toward the center of the strip. Be mindful here to keep the folds as even as
you can.
* If you don’t have a
bias tape maker, you’ll have to manually fold each side in to meet the center.
I iron the strip in half first then fold the edges in to meet the crease and
iron again. Watch your fingers!
2.     Once all the fabric has been fed through the bias
tape maker, fold the strip in half again (hence “double-folded” bias
tape) and press.
There you have it! 4 long
yards of beautiful double-folded bias tape!
Thanks so much Heather!  
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