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How to Make Bias Binding with a Bias Binding Maker

Last week in my sewing technique series I showed you how to cut and sew bias tape. So today I thought I would share how to make bias binding with a bias binding maker as lots of my sewing tutorials of late feature bias binding from edging the coin purse to finishing off the ends of the pretty lace zip pencil case.

Bias binding, or bias tape, is a narrow length of fabric cut on the "bias", meaning that it has been cut at a 45º angle to the grainline or selvedges. When woven fabric is cut on the bias, it has greater flexibility and stretch than fabric cut on the straight grain. This makes bias binding ideal for finishing off a rounded edge, trimming quilts and adding a decorative touch.

You can of course, buy pre-made bias binding, but this will be limited to the colours and prints you can find in the shops. If you do it yourself, you can make it from any fabric you happen to be using, allowing your binding to perfectly match (or perfectly clash!) your project.

The edges are folded under once for single fold tape, and twice for double fold tape. Single fold bias tape is great for surface embellishment. Double fold bias tape is used to bind the edges of quilts and other craft or sewing projects.

Making bias tape couldn’t be easier. You only need a few simple tools: an iron, ironing board, and bias tape maker. The Bias Tape Maker is a tool through which bias-cut fabric strips are fed to make a single fold tape. It’s like having a third hand. You don’t have to use one, but it makes life easier!

Bias tape makers come in many sizes. The size of the bias tape maker refers to the width of the binding before pressing it in half. For example, if you want to make 9mm binding then you would purchase a 18mm Bias tape maker.

To figure width for a double fold, start with the seam allowance. This must be doubled because the fabric is folded in half. Then, take the finished binding depth and multiply that by four. See illustration below for clarity...

How-to step by step

  • How to use a bias tape maker tutorial- equipment you need-01

    Step 1

    You will need a bias tape maker with matching width bias tape. A iron & ironing board and one sewing pin.

  • Bias maker sizes

    Step 2

    Cut and sew the fabric into the desired amount of bias strips at the required width. Follow the package for recommended strip width. This width will be about twice the finished width of the finished single fold tape.

  • Binding widths

    Step 3

    Or about 1/4 the width of finished double fold tape as you will press the finished tape coming out of the tape maker in half .

  • How to cut & sew bias strips

    Step 4

    To know how to cut and sew bias tape see my full tutorial. 'How to cut & sew bias tape'

  • How to use a bias maker

    Step 5

    With the wrong side of the binding facing you, insert the end of the joined bias strip though the wide end of the bias tape maker.

  • How to use a bias maker

    Step 6

    The fabric will appear at the narrow end of the tool. You will see an opening at the top center of the tool on the plastic side. Use a straight pin through this opening to help push the fabric to get it started.

  • How to use a bias maker

    Step 7

    Pull the fabric strip out about 2cm (1"). Pin it to your ironing board.

  • How to use a bias maker

    Step 8

    Hold the metal ring of the tool with your left hand, slowly pulling it away from the pinned end. Holding the iron in your right hand, as the bias tape comes out the other end folded, press the folds in place with an iron.


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