Dresses from Shabby Apple

Making your own bias tape

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Recently I attempted to make my own bias tape. I know. Deep breaths. haha I just was not excited about any of the plain colored bias tapes out there to purchase. I knew that making my own could give me so many more coordinating fabrics and therefore a cuter finished product. So I decided I could do it. I would make my own.
So here is your fabric. The selvage edge is the edge that is more of a straight "finished" edge. The raw cut edge is where they cut your fabric at the fabric store. The bias is where you want to cut your bias tape on. It has a little more give in the grain of the fabric and can more easily be worked around curves and edges in fabric. I will show you how to cut your fabric so the strips are all cut on the bias.
I am using a 1/2 yard of fabric in my examples. Fold a right triangle at one end of your fabric and cut along that folded crease.
Here is your triangle cut. I have named each side to make it easier for you to see where to lay your fabric in the next steps to sew it together. Move your triangle to the other end of your fabric.Now put your triangle right sides together with the fabric. You are going to sew along edge B about 1/4 inch.
Iron your seam to one side or the other. Now you should have a parallelogram shape.
For 1/2 inch bias tape like we are making, you are going to start by drawing your lines parallel to the ends every 2 inches.
Here are all of your drawn lines. If you finish at the end and there is a little excess left over, just cut it off.
Now this next part looks tricky. It is all twisted but really what you are doing is taking one of your pointed ends and lining up the next lines with the lines on the opposite end. Make sure your fabric is going right sides together when you are doing this. Now you are just going to keep lining the next sets of lines up with one another. Pin as you go along.
You will end up with this weird twisted thing like I have in the picture above.
Now sew along this pinned edge 1/4 inch seam.
Here it is all straightened out after it is sewn.
Iron your seams flat now. It will be a twisted around the fabric seam that you will want to iron.
Now go back to the first pointed edge that was not lined up with the other side. This is where you will begin cutting. Just keep cutting around and around until it all of your lines are cut into one continuous strip.
Here is my VERY long strip of fabric. It makes a LOT of bias tape. I think about 9 yards compared to 3 yards of the packaging you buy at the store.Now if you have a bias tape maker (or want to buy one) they are about $7-12 on Amazon or at Joann's (maybe use a coupon). You need to buy the 1 inch version in order to get 1/2 inch double fold bias tape. Then you would just insert your strip into that handy gadget and iron as you go. It is pretty slick and very fast!
Or you can do it the old fashioned way and iron your strip in half first so you have a crease down the center of your strip.
Then iron one side into the middle, just a tiny bit less than halfway.Go ahead and iron the other side into the center just a little less than halfway as well.Once both sides are ironed into the center, you are ready to iron it in half.Here it is being ironed in half. Usually bias tape has one side that is about 1/16 inch or so wider than the other. This makes it easier to "catch" it in your sewing when you are working on a project. Go ahead and do this as well if you want.
Then once your bias tape is all ironed in half, get a piece of cardboard and have the hubby wrap it around it...or you could do it too. haha

This bias tape will last a LONG time and it is really not hard to make. Grab a Diet Pepsi or your drink of choice, put on a good sitcom or movie and get ironing!!

If you have any other questions on how to do this...feel free to ask. Here are also a few tutorials I found online that may be helpful as well:


Jessica July 3, 2011 at 3:53 PM  

Great tutorial! Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous,  July 7, 2011 at 12:00 PM  

THanks for the tutorial. I've been too intimidated to try this, but I have a dress I want to try that I want to make bias tape for. I might have to check back with you when I get to that point! :)

Unknown July 7, 2011 at 3:56 PM  

Thanks for this! I know there are a ton of tutorials out there.. but your version seems to be more understandable. I may attempt this very soon!!

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