Many projects will use bias tape due to it’s amazing ability to stretch and not so easily wrinkle. For example, many bags will use handles that are made from bias tape, such as our upcoming tutorial on how to make rouleau handles. Another common usage of bias tape is for hemming clothing necklines and armscyths.
However you won’t always have enough fabric width to make a continuous stretch of fabric. In this situation you will need to join two bias tape pieces together in such a way that the stretch isn’t effected. Don’t worry, this tutorial will teach you everything you need to know about how to make bias tape.
First I will teach you the continuous bias tape method to make your bias strips as it’s the easiest way I have found. Finally I will teach you how to join strips together, which is helpful if you don’t have enough fabric for the first method taught.
Our YouTube Video:
If you want to watch Kat on Youtube, she teaches you all about how to make continuous bias tape.
How To Make Continuous Bias Tape
Cut a rectangle of fabric. It doesn’t matter if the longer side of the fabric is lengthwise or cross grain-wise. Cut the sides of the fabric so that it exactly follows the thread of the fabric. This step is used to find the fabric grain which is vital for the next step. You can use the fabric selvages.
Fold one corner of the fabric rectangle so that the crosswise edge meets the lengthwise edge. Press, then open out again. This crease is on the true bias.
Cut out a cardboard template the width required for you bias strips. Each strip should be four times the width of the finished bias. For example for a 6mm (1/4″) wide finished strip, your cardboard would be 25mm (1″) wide. For 12mm (1/2″) wide strip , your cardboard width would be 50mm (2″).
Using the crease to line up your cardboard along, mark parallel lines across your fabric until you reach the corner. Number each strip sequentially with a removable marker.
Cut off the fabric triangles at each end which are “outside” the marked fabric.
With right sides together fold the fabric into a tube. Match the marked lines together so that band shifts to the next fabric row, so strip 1 goes into strip 2, strip 2 to strip 3, and so forth.
TIP: the wider your strips the wider your rectangle will need to be to easily line up the strips. Otherwise the tube becomes really hard to handle.
Sew a 6mm (1/4″) seam along the edge where the strips join and press open.
Starting at one end, work around the tube cutting along the continuous pencil line. You end up with a long continuous strip.
How To Make Bias Tape
Sometime you will not have enough fabric to use the method above. Here is a method to join your pieces of strips.
With right sides together pin the ends of the strips so that they form a 90 degree angle. This is vital to keep the bias stretch continuous.
Stitch a 6mm (1/4″) seam and press open
Trim any edges that hang over the edge of the binding.