Sewing Basics # 15 – Using a Bias Tape Maker

I’m sure that there are many good tutorials of how to use this little super gadget out there on the web. But since we have been on the subject of bias strips I thought I may as well follow up with a brief explanation of my own to round things off nicely on this particular subject….

Placing RS together with the top strip perpendicular to the one underneath, pin like so….

Sew diagonally left to right, (corner to corner if you imagine as a square, the area where the two strips overlap) at a 45 degree angle…

Press the stitching line, then press the seam allowance open, then press the seam on the RS too…

Trim seam allowance close to the stitching….

The RS……

RS down/WS facing up, insert one end of the strip into the widest end of the bias gadget ensuring the fabric strip is as central as possible…..

Gradually feed the fabric strip along until it pokes it’s little nose out the other end of the gadget (I found that the strip would sometimes get stuck a little way along so I gently poked the tips of my thread snips through the gap along the centre of the bias gadget to help move it along)…

Press the tip of the strip as it pokes through…

Then pin in place on the ironing board…

Take hold of the handle of the gadget and gently slide it along the fabric strip…

…bit by bit, pressing as you go….the first bit is the trickiest….

Keep going all the way to the end of the strip. Depending on how long it is you may have to shift it along the ironing board and re-pin it several times along the length of the strip…and there you have it…nice neat bias tape ready to use on your next sewing project 🙂

Toodle pip!
Px

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11 Comments

  1. CamberwellGal October 19, 2011

    …Perhaps I need to get out more, but I find making bias tape is weirdly, deeply satisfying.

    The Collete blog/website has a fantastic tutorial for making ‘continuous’ bias binding, with much less itty bitty bits of seam sewing, although your description and pics of how to combine the ends is very clear above (this bit I always get wrong doing it this way!)

    I now have lots of different bits of random colours and patterns tied up with the postman’s handy red rubber bands in my sewing box. Great tutorial though – thanks!

    Reply
  2. didyoumakethat October 19, 2011

    Thanks, Miss P! I always wondered how genuinely useful these little critters were. I can see that pinning the end of the tape into the ironing board cover would make all the difference. I may have to invest.

    Reply
  3. Miss P October 19, 2011

    Oooh Karen, I love these “little critters”. So neat!
    Px

    Reply
  4. Miss P October 19, 2011

    Hey Camberwell, yes I had seen that tutorial and it looks brill. But for some reason I just couldn’t get my head around the explanation of the process, so have never tried it. Glad it works for you though 🙂 I was making the bias pictured for a neckline finish and only had to sew 2 strips together (ie just the one 1″ seam) to have enough so I don’t find that aspect particularly troubling personally. I needed a solution to simplify the cutting rather than the sewing as referred to in the previous post.
    You don’t need to get out more, btw, lol! I get satisfaction out of handsewing which alot of people avoid like he plague. I think all us sewists find therapeutic properties in different elements of the craft 🙂
    Px

    Reply
  5. Kestrel October 19, 2011

    Hi Miss P, I was wondering where you got your bias maker from/what brand it is? I have bought a different one which I have never quite been able to get the hang of. I will give it another go having read your posts but might have to try a different brand if I’m still struggling!

    Reply
  6. Miss P October 19, 2011

    Hey Kestrel, the link is in the blog post. Click on it and the second one down (the 12mm one) is the exact one used in this blog post. Good luck!
    Px

    Reply
  7. Law October 19, 2011

    Thanks Portia, love the previous tutorial too, so simple but effective!

    Reply
  8. monkeysocks October 19, 2011

    I do love my bias tape maker-its just so satisfying! I usually just sew a few bits together too if I am only using a shortish bit, but I would highly recommend trying the continuous strip method again if you have to make loads, as it is so much quicker than doing hundreds of little strips! (in case anyone is wondering, you just cut a long rectangle with the ends cut at 90 degrees(so a parallelogram?..) then draw lines on it parallel to the long edge the width you want them, then sew the short ends together, but offset one strip, so that when you cut along the line it goes round and round and you get 1 long strip with less joins. (better explained tutorial here http://www.coletterie.com/tutorials-tips-tricks/continuous-bias-tape-tutorial -they start with two triangles instead of a parallelogram but its easier to start in the middle at step 4 if you have enough material)

    Reply
  9. Miss P October 19, 2011

    Crikey Monkeysocks, what are you making that requires hundreds of bias strips, lol?!!! Thanks again for the Colette link. As I said I have seen it before. It’s just that I find the masking tape is better for stabilising the fabric AND negates the need to do any marking at all. Which, for me, is the part of bias tape that bugs me. I really don’t mind sewing the little strips together 🙂
    Px

    Reply
  10. Miss P October 19, 2011

    Hey Law, thanks and you’re welcome! Glad it’s of some help 🙂
    Px

    Reply
  11. Anonymous October 19, 2011

    I tried the method by which one makes a big continous strip by cutting a tube and it was very imprecise and required a lot of seaming. I know some serious, professional-level sewers and no one uses that method. If you want to cut uniform strips, especially of slippery fabric, you have to cut long strips in a single layer.

    I have one bias strip maker, but seldom use it. There are times when I only want to fold up side. Or I don’t want the size folds the tool makes. Doing it by hand provides more versatility, although it does take longer.

    Reply

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