- DIY Bias Tapes in Minutes-- If you are making bias tape for applique or any sewing project, this sewing tools is for you! Choose the fabric pattern you like, Easily DIY your own bias tape to make quilt binding seams, sewing, serging, crafting, fishing,and little projects,like place mats, bibs, armhole, neckline, applique and so on. These quilting supplies work great for regular sewing,it will save lots of money not to buy bias tape from the store.
- Bias Tape Set-- Included 4x Bias Tape Makers (Green 1/4, Yellow 1/2, Red 3/4, Blue 1) + 1x Bias Binding Foot+ 1x Awl+ 10x Ball Point Straight Pins, the smaller Sewing clips are perfect for those hard to reach spots as well as using them to mark where not to sew. And the large clips are perfect and strong enough to hold together several layers of leather.
- Bias binding foot -- Snap-on adjustable bias tape binding foot, fits all low shank snap on singers, domestic sewing machine, they are sturdy and useful for all types of crafts.
- Snap-on adjustable bias tape binding foot, fits all low shank snap on singers, domestic sewing machine,they are sturdy and useful for all types of crafts.
- Not only is it economical, but you can also quickly make the colors or patterns you need for your project!
How to Make Bias Tape--These work great for making bias tape. Cut your fabric strips the same size as the large opening, cut a point on one end and feed through while you iron.Make your own bias tape. Not only is it economical, but you can also quickly make the colors or patterns you need for your project!If you are not familiar a quick YouTube video will do the trick.
Bias Binder Foot:
- Material: Plastic + Metal
- Adjustable to fit bias tapes in different widths from 1.97inch (5mm) to 7.87inch (20mm)
Bias Tape Maker:
- Material: Steel + Plastic
- 4 different sizes in one set: 6mm (green) / 12mm (yellow) / 18mm (red) / 25mm (blue) Need the width of the cutting cloth: 12mm / 24mm / 36mm / 46mm
- A precision tool that folds fabric into perfect halves automatically, ready for sewing on or gluing.
- 1pcs Sewing Awl
- 1pcs Bias Binder Foot
- 4pcs Bias Tape Maker
What is it? What is it used for? What the heck does “bias” mean? And how can you make your own?
Let’s talk about it!
Have you walked by the zippers and threads in your fabric shop and wondered what all those cute packages of solid trim are? They’re bias tape, piping, and quilt bindings.
If you need a solid colored bias tape, the store bought stuff is convenient. But if you haven’t discovered already, it’s also very easy to make you own. And then the options are limitless…..and so much cuter.
With a few tools and an iron, a 1/2 yard of fabric is transformed into 9 yards of double-fold bias tape! It’s even cheaper than the pre-packaged stuff (which is typically 3 yards in length).
You can watch a full video of this tutorial here, or just by pressing the play button below.
Or continue reading for the step-by-step photo instructions.
And when you’re ready to sew it on, jump to our next tutorial: How to Sew Bias Tape. We’ll show you the simple, shortcut method and the proper, never-fail method.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s go back to that aisle in the fabric shop….
Inside all those pretty packages are some interesting trims:
* Bias tape usually comes in solid colors of polyester/cotton blended fabric, is 3 yards in length and varies in width and use.
* Quilt Binding is a fancy name for wide bias tape. It is sometimes made from polyester satin and ranges from 1 to 2 inches wide.
* Piping (sometimes called Welt Cord) is made by sewing rope-like cord inside of bias-cut strips (similar to making bias tape). It’s used as a trim on clothing and for home decor projects.
For this tutorial, however, we’ll focus mainly on Bias Tape. And now that we know what it looks like….what is it?
Bias tape is a type of trim and also a binding. It’s a long, continuous strip of fabric with neatly folded edges, making it ideal for finishing off hems and blankets and for adding a splash of color and contrast.
Bias tape comes in Single Fold or Double fold.
* Single fold is flat, with single edges folded over. It’s often used as a trim and sewn flat just as it is, such as parallel to a hem or with decorative stitching on the top.
* Double fold bias tape is single fold tape that has been folded again in the middle to create a sandwich. Note that the fold is actually slightly off-center, so that one side is wider than the other, by a fraction. This makes it easier to sew with and decreases the chance of sewing on the top of the binding and somehow missing the back of the binding with your stitching. That may sound confusing. Try it out and it will all make sense.
Double fold bias tape is the most common type used (and the kind I sew with most). It typically comes 1/2 inch and 1 inch wide–which is sometimes packaged as “quilt binding”.
Double-fold bias tape has a variety of uses, mostly as a binding over raw edges.
It can be used around arm holes and edges (yellow vest),
as a waistband and around leg holes (the perfect diaper cover).
Bias tape makes a wonderful Quilt Binding (Faux Chenille Blanket).
The leftover scraps come in handy for Scrappy Monster arms and legs.
It can bind handles (Baby Basket),
Carseat covers and canopies,
It neatly finishes-off raw edges (semi-homemade cover),
and makes a simple girl’s summer shirt (summer vacation dress pattern).
If you’re like me, you’ve been using bias tape more often than you’ve realized! So let’s talk about how to make your own. And to do that, let’s first understand what bias means.
Looking at a rectangle of fabric, one edge is the Cut Edge (where it was cut from the big bolt at the fabric shop). The other edge is the Selvage (or Selvedge in British English). This is the finished edge of the fabric, which doesn’t fray, and is often marked with the fabric designer’s name and color printing circle codes.
Both edges create fabric grain lines. The selvage is the lengthwise grain, while the cut edge (when it runs perpendicular to the selvage) is the crosswise grain.
The cut edge and the selvage typically make a 90 degree angle with each other. And the bias cuts a diagonal line in the middle of that, creating a bias grain! It makes a (2) 45 degree angles with the cut edge and the selvage.
When creating bias tape, all the fabric strips are cut on the bias rather than parallel to the fabric’s grain line.
So what’s so great about the bias?
Most woven fabrics (unless they have a bit of spandex blended in) have no stretch. This is the beauty of woven textiles. However, if you try to tug and stretch a piece of woven fabric along the bias, the fabric will give a little bit. It’s not that it “stretches” but it has some “ease” to it. Take a piece of fabric and try it out.
And why are bias-cut strips used for bias tape?
Well, if you’ve tried to ease woven fabric around a curve or created a casing around an armhole, you know that it’s hard to do. Binding tape made from bias-cut fabric eases and forms around curves easier than strips that are cut from the grain line. Another reason: when you cut strips parallel to the grain line or selvage, the binding has a tendency to pucker and doesn’t always lay flat (I’ve tried it). Thus, bias cut strips make the perfect binding or….bias tape.
Okay, still with me?
The background info is behind us now.
Let’s make bias tape!
Gather your fabrics.
* Fabrics with small prints work best since a large print won’t be very obvious on a skinny bias tape.
* You can make 9 yards of 1/2 inch, double-fold bias tape from a 1/2 yard of fabric.
I find that it’s easiest to cut the bias tape from 1 yard of fabric (so you have more surface area to cut longer strips of fabric). But I’ll show you how to do it with 1 yard and a 1/2 yard.
Fabrics to use:
* 100% cotton
* Cotton/Poly blend (I find this easiest to use)
* Satin (or Polyester Satin)
* Flannel, Corduroy, and cotton variations
Next, you’ll need a Bias Tape maker. Of course all things can be done the old-fashioned way and you can slowly iron the fabric edges over little by little. But for $3-$15, you can buy niffy tools that simplify the process. And if you’re a real bias tape enthusiast, Simplicity sells an electronic bias tape maker!…but I’ll tell you about that next month.
I have two bias tape makers: 1-inch wide and 2-inch wide. The widest maker available in most shops is a 1-inch. Online I found the 2-inch wide maker. It’s not as cheap as the others ($14) but I love having the wider option.
It’s important to remember that the width printed on the package is for single fold bias tape. So, a 1-inch wide bias tape maker actually makes 1/2 inch wide double-fold bias tape. The 2-inch wide maker will make 1-inch wide double-fold tape, which is great as a quilt binding.
At the back of the maker is where the fabric is inserted. Measure around this opening so you know exactly how wide your fabric strips need to be (2 inches for the 1-inch maker, and 3.75 for the 2-inch maker).
And now, let’s cut bias strips.
There are many ways to cut and sew bias tape. Other methods I’ve seen online involve sewing pieces of fabric together before cutting your strips….but no matter how many times I read the instructions I can’t wrap my brain around it. So, this method feels simplest to me. But each person learns differently. If my method is odd to you, check out these other tutorials on Whipstitch and Prudent Baby.
Bias Tape from 1 yard of fabric:
Okay, as I mentioned above, it’s easiest to get long bias strips from 1/2 yard of fabric that is cut from 1 yard (so that you have more surface area length for each strip). I’ll show you the 1 yard method first.
Fold the Selvage over to the cut edge of the fabric to create a 45 degree, or a bias cut. Cut along that fold with a pair of scissors. And voila, you have a triangle! If you have a super long cutting mat, you can start cutting bias strips now! But since most of us have a small cutting surface, fold the triangle in half, along the bias cut. This will allow you to cut more of the fabric at once on a smaller cutting mat.
And finally, fold the triangle down one more time, along the bias edge. Again the only purpose here is to make the fabric smaller and easier to cut. If you’re confused, go back up to the original triangle and just start cutting strips along the bias.
Okay, I’ll be making 1/2 inch wide double-fold bias tape, so I need to cut 2-inch wide strips. Remember that you’re cutting from the BIAS CUT EDGE.
Using a rotary cutter, quilting ruler, and cutting mat, continue cutting 2-inch wide strips till you get to the end of your fabric.
Now we’ll sew all the strips together. Some people find this part tedious but I think it comes together fairly quickly and seems easiest to me, compared to other methods.
Take two strips of fabric that have edges angled in the same direction and put the right sides of the fabric together.
Now I know your instinct is to line them up flush with each other but in a moment I’ll show you why that doesn’t work. You need each strip to over-hang a bit and make a 90 degree angle with each other. Try to be exact but don’t stress over it. Just eyeball as best as you can (the strips end up overhanging about 1/2 inch).
Here’s another look at it. A 90 degree angle:
Then sew the strips together using a 1/4 inch seam allowance. Typically, the edge of your presser foot is a 1/4 inch allowance, which makes it even easier! Just line it up with your presser foot each time.
Now, had you lined the two strips up flush with each other, without the overhang, your strips would come out looking like this:
But with the overhang, the strips line up perfectly! Just snip off those fabric edges and you’re set!
Now don’t worry if your strips don’t line up exactly every time. No big deal. The edge is the part that will be folded under anyway, so it doesn’t need to be pristine. Just keep pressing forward.
Once your strips are all sewn together it’s time to for the folding fun. Stick the end of the long fabric strip into your bias tape maker. The angled edge will help it feed in easier. If you’re having a hard time getting it out the other end, use a seam ripper or other small object to stick down inside the maker and pull it along.
Then, with your iron on the proper setting for your fabric type, iron down the folded fabric that comes out of the maker.
It’s as simple as that! The small handle on the maker will help you pull with one hand as you iron with the other.
When you get to a spot where two strips were sewn together, just keep pulling and ironing and you shouldn’t have any problems. Keep going with this method till you get to the end of your strip. This will take a while, so listen to good music or turn on a show in the background.
Okay, at this point, you’ve created single fold bias tape. If that’s what you wanted, you’re done!
But for double-fold tape we need to iron it over one more time. Fold the tape in half, so that one side is just slightly wider than the other…about 1/16 of an inch….very small.
Iron all the way to the end of the strip and you’re done!
Yards and yards of beautiful bias tape!
It’s one of those simple tasks that makes you feel accomplished (like getting all the laundry in the washing machine—and eventually folding it)
To make 1-inch wide double-fold bias tape, use a full yard of fabric and cut strips that are 3.75 inches wide:
Pull it through the tape maker, iron it in half,
and you have beautiful single-fold or double-fold bias tape.
Making bias tape from a 1/2 yard of fabric:
The process is a bit more complicated (at least to me) but just read through it step by step.
Fold your fabric to get a 45º angle like we did above and cut the edge with your scissors.
Now to create longer strips of fabric place the cut triangle up on the right, next to your fabric. Those two pieces will be sewn together.
Now fold the bottom half of the fabric to create another bias edge and cut it with your scissors.
Place that triangle below on the left, next to the other piece of fabric (the stripes on the fabric helps match everything up).
Sew the 3 pieces together in those two spots, iron the seams, and now you have one long piece of fabric to cut your bias strips from.
Fold the fabric just as we did in the original directions so you can cut more layers at once, from the bias cut edge. If there’s any excess fabric that’s not wide enough to be a strip, just trim it off before you start cutting strips (like the photo below):
And now you’re ready to cut….2-inch wide strips:
Sew the strips together at the ends, feed them through the bias tape maker, iron, and you’re done again!
To keep your bias tape neat and orderly, wind it around a small piece of cardboard (two layers of old cereal boxes, 4 layers of cardstock, or scraps from an old shipping box all work great).
When you’re done,
Tuck the end under and it will stay put.
And you know what….homemade bias tape would make the perfect gift for a sewing friend!
Tie old ribbon scraps around each set and you’ve got special handmade gift. I’d love to receive something like this. It’s so much more fun to sew up a project with a stash of unique trims on-hand.
Congratulations! You’ve made it to the end of the tape.
If you’re ready to sew your trim on….jump to our next tutorial: How to Sew Bias Tape. We’ll show you the simple, cheating method and the proper, never-fail method. Enjoy!
Village Bound Quilts Blog
Village Bound Quilts blog provides free tutorials, quilting resources and how to guides, DIYs, and free quilt patterns.
Tiffany, Village Bound Quilts
You've pieced your quilt top, carefully basted and quilted it, trimmed the excess edges and now you need to finish those edges so you can start snuggling your work of art! Whether it's your favorite part or least, quilt binding is an important final step in your quilt making process. But what exactly is it and how do you make it?
As a self-taught quilter, I found it frustrating to view a tutorial on one site, only to have it missing information I wanted to know, or to have it use 'quilt language' that I didn't (at the time) understand, and then have to fill in the missing pieces by jumping around. I'm hoping that you won't have to do that here! I start with a few key terms and a short math instruction, but if you want to skip those parts and get straight to detailed instructions on how to sew your binding strips together, feel free. Brevity is not my strong suit, but lucky you, I've done my best to include everything I can possibly think of. Okay - here's the low down:
What is quilt binding?
Quilt binding has two recognizable definitions: it is both an object and a process. As a process, quilt binding is the act of sewing the binding tape to the quilt (which will be covered in a future post). As an object, quilt binding is the fabric that wraps around the outer edges of your quilt sandwich - the top, batting & backing together - and is attached after quilting to finish your quilt. And this, my friends, is what we are talking about today!You may also see it called binding tape, bias tape, bias binding (though not to be confused with twill tape or seam tape, which are ribbon-like and mainly used when sewing garments or buttonholes and not for quilts).
First, and not to further confuse you right away, BUT... there's more than one way to make quilt binding. WHAT?!! I know, you're totally freaking out right now, but don't. If we have a short vocab lesson first, I just know you're going to be a confident binding maker! There are two ways to cut your fabric when you make you binding - straight grain or on the bias - and each have their pros and cons.
Lengthwise grain runs parallel with the selvedge and will stretch the least, due to the warp threads being pulled tighter than the weft during weaving. Binding can be cut from fabric this way, but it won't have much flexibility and it's also the least efficient way to cut from a length of fabric. Ask me how I know. hashtag, beginner mistakes.
Cross grain, aka crosswise grain, is perpendicular to the selvage but still along the grain of the fabric. It has less stretch than bias cut, but when you're binding straight edges - as most quilts have - you don't need the fabric to stretch much. Most often when quilting patterns call for a number of strips to be cut to make the binding, they are cutting in this manner because of it's ease of use and limited fabric waste.
Straight grain, or straight-of-grain is a term used for either the lengthwise grain or the crosswise grain, as it refers to the direction of the threads in the fabric (straight). Usually with binding fabric, straight grain is referring to the crosswise grain.
Bias cut is cut on the bias of the fabric (45-degree angle). Because it's not cut along the grain it has a lot more stretch, making it ideal for binding projects that have curved edges (like rounded quilt corners). It can be slightly more difficult to cut and can produce more fabric waste when cutting is poorly planned, but that shouldn't deter you from using this method. Cutting this way can also produce some great results when using striped fabric as binding!
Selvage, or selvedge, is the edge of the fabric that is tightly wound to prevent the fabric weave from unraveling. In solid fabrics, this edge is often fringe-like. Most high-quality cotton prints have the manufacturer, designer & fabric line information printed in the selvage. The selvage of any fabric is usually removed from the fabric when cutting, before sewing and piecing.
Double-fold, also sometimes called French fold, is the sturdiest way to fold your binding for quilts, especially when they are anticipated to get a lot of use (aka - frequent washing). the binding strip fabric is folded in half, bringing the edges together on one side, resulting in 2 layers of fabric hugging the raw edge of your quilt sandwich.
Single-fold uses a bias tape maker to fold the edges of binding strip fabric inwards, leaving only 1 layer of fabric along the outermost fold. While the amount of fabric is the same and can be used on either straight cut or bias cut strips, it's single fold makes it more prone to wear as compared to double-fold.
Tape is just the term used for the continuous length of strips that you sew together to make binding with - basically just a really long piece of fabric.
So you can have cross-grain single-fold binding, or double-fold bias binding, or really any combination of the fabric cut and the fabric fold. Technically we are making double-fold straight-of-grain binding tape when we most commonly make binding . But that's a mouthful - so we'll just call it binding. Good? Good! Moving on!
How much binding do I need?
We can figure this out with some simple math - all you need to know is the size of your quilt and the size of binding you'd like to make. You can make quilt binding in any size you'd like, but 2 1/4 (2.25 inches) or 2 1/2" strips are most common - this will give you a binding width of about 1/4" on the front and back of your quilt. Using 2 1/2" strips might be recommended for early beginners, especially if you're going to be attaching your binding entirely by machine (so that attaching leaves room for 3/8" instead of strictly 1/4" seam allowance). But you can make binding in any width you'd like! Here's how to figure out how much fabric you'll need for the size binding you choose:
Let's assume you have a 60in x 70in quilt. First, add up the sides of your quilt then divide by the usable WOF of your yardage. Because the common WOF (width of fabric) for quilting cotton is 42in, you can safely assume that a usable WOF for most quilting cotton is 40in.
60 + 60 + 70 + 70 = 260in binding needed to fit your quilt
The perimeter divided by usable WOF is 260 / 40 = 6.5 (round up to 7) strips needed
Since you'll want to ensure enough yardage (and cutting a partial strip is impractical), round up to the nearest whole number - 7 is the total strips you'll need to cut for binding a 60 x 70in quilt. If your number of strips needed comes really close to a whole number, like 6.95, you may consider adding another strip (or at least another 10 inches of binding fabric), just to be sure you'll have enough to join the ends together.
Next, multiply the number of strips needed by the binding strip width you chose, and round that up to the nearest 1/8 yard size.
7 x 2.25 = 15.75in of fabric needed, round up to 18in
18in = 1/2yd fabric
So to bind a 60 x 70in quilt, you'll need 1/2 yard of fabric, which you'll cut 7 strips from at 2.25in each. Easy!
Alright, now here's the thing: if you really don't like doing math and you really don't like the idea of making binding yourself, you can buy it but you'll be limited on the colors and length you need/want if you shop big box store. There are specialty shops that make and sell bias tape using modern fabrics and current trends (those can be found online through social media, Etsy, etc), but beware of "double fold bias tape" - if it was made with a bias tape maker, it still has only 1 layer of fabric at the center fold. Or you could forget about wondering how it was made and just make your own perfectly coordinating binding! And it's super easy to make, especially now that we've already calculated how much fabric we need. Let's do this!!
How do I make my own binding?
Real quick: if your already making quilt binding, chances are you have some basic quilting supplies. In case you want to know what I use, you can check that out here.
Square up your fabric
Most often, the fabric that you receive straight off the bolt from the fabric store is misaligned, so first you need to 'square up' your fabric. Open your fabric (undo the fold that it had off the bolt), and press your fabric flat - all of it - including the fold it came home with (Image 1). You'll need to refold your fabric creating a new center fold, making sure that the selvage edges are aligned. To do this, hold your selvages together in the air (you should be standing), with the fold of the fabric hanging towards the floor. You'll slide one selvage edge along the other (like a sliding door) until the waves are gone and the fabric hangs flat (Image 2). How much you'll need to move your fabric this way will vary, depending on how it was folded on the bolt and how well it was cut at the store.
Cutting binding strips
Now that your fabric has found it's alignment, take it to your iron and give it a quick press along the new fold to gently crease it. Next, carefully move that newly folded fabric and align the fold edge with a straight line on your cutting mat. Then with your ruler aligned at the folded edge and along a line on your cutting mat, trim one side of your fabric to create a straight edge, thereby 'squaring up' your fabric (Image 3). Cut your first strip and open it to test for alignment before cutting the remaining strips. You want to be sure that your strip is a straight line and not a slight 'v' shape at the fold when the strip is opened flat (this will make a difference in the binding process).
Making one big tape (joining strips)
You can trim all of your selvage edges first, but it's unnecessary, since we are joining on the diagonal. Joining on the diagonal helps distribute any seam bulk in your binding; When you fold your binding over the quilt edge the seam will wrap around on the diagonal (like a spiral), rather than a horizontal line (like a book). It's a bit easier on your machine too, if it has trouble working through thick layers of fabric. If you'd prefer to join your strips end-to-end, you'll want to square the ends of your strips to remove the selvages. Joining end-to-end is acceptable, but it can create bulk during the attaching process, because now you've added 2 additional layers of fabric into your binding in the same 1/2in of space. Only use this method if you think you might be cutting it close on binding fabric and are hoping to score a win in the game of 'binding chicken'.
1. Lay out your first two strips in parallel lines, making sure they are right-side-up and your print are facing opposite directions (head to toe).
2. Lift the bottom right corner of the bottom strip and lift it up and across the top strip to the upper left corner, so that the right-sides are together, the two strips intersecting and 90-degrees. You can use the lines on your cutting mat to be sure that your strips are perfectly perpendicular. join at a 45-degree angle.
3. Align a ruler across the center of the intersection, separating the two tails from the two strips. Use your marking tool of choice (I like a Hera Marker), and mark the line. Use a few pins to hold the fabrics in place and keep them from shifting.
4. Sew a straight line along the mark you just drew. I recently discovered I like to use a slightly shorter stitch length of 2.0 to join my binding pieces, as they seem to stretch apart less this way, but a standard 2.5 is great too!
5. Using your ruler and rotary cutter, measure a 1/4" seam allowance and trim away the excess.
6. You can use these same steps 1-5 to join all of your strips together at the same time, marking, pinning and then chain piecing them before trimming the tails.
7. Press seams open to distribute bulk (this is one of the rare times I'll recommend pressing this way when making a quilt).
8. Check your seam to make sure your strips are correctly oriented and that your strip is still a perfect width. You want to be sure that the left side of your seam is not higher or lower than the right.
9. Fold your fabric in half, wrong-sides together, making sure that when you get to a seam, the seam allowance stays open as you fold your strip in half. Press the full length of binding to set the fold.
What size binding/bias tape for quilt?
I don't use bias strips for binding unless the quilt has curved edges. Straight-of-grain binding is easier to handle.
The Clover bias tape makers create two folded edges. For quilts, you generally want to bind with just one edge folded, which gives you the double layer of fabric at the quilt edge that wears better.
I have found that the width of the strip to cut depends greatly on the batting. For thin battings, I like 2.25" strips for binding. For thick battings, I like to cut 2.5" strips.
I actually do not like cutting continuous binding -- creates too many seams. I simply cut strips of fabric cross-grain (width-of-fabric, the usual method for cutting quilting strips) and sew them together on the machine. I'm sure there is another Youtube video that shows a very simple and easy method to do this, as that's how I learned to do it myself! I used to get confused and sew the strips together wrong, but the Youtube method shows how to do it very quickly, one strip after another. I did this last night for the binding on a baby quilt, and it took me at most 5 minutes to cut the strips and 5 minutes to sew the strips together (and press seams open, and trim seams).
Edit: It was hard for me to believe, but I have found that *not* ironing the strips in half works better! The binding rolls over the edge better, plus it saves time. It took me a long time to try this out, but I'm happy I finally did.
Maker quilt binding
.Make Your Own Bias Binding - Bias Tape Maker \u0026 Bias Footer Review
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