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Guide to Bias Binding

You can buy a variety of ready-to-use bias binding, but making your own out of the same fabric type produces much better results. You can make a small amount of bias binding for each project as and when you need it, or make a large amount, ready to use at any time – it’s up to you how much you make at a time. There are a few different methods to making bias tape – we’ll show one way, but you can try other methods. Use a rotary cutter and bias tape maker tool to get oh-so-neat results. Bias tape making tools are nifty and inexpensive gadgets that come in a few different sizes from ¼in to 2in. The width marked on the package is for single-fold bias tape, so a 1in bias maker tool will make ½in double-fold tape.


Make sure you have some fabric and a bias tape making tool handy (they come in different sizes from ¼in to 2in).

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Lay out your rectangle of fabric wrong side up. To find the bias, fold the fabric so the edges meet to form a triangle. Press the fold.

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Unfold and this line is the bias grain. Using a long ruler, mark off strips along the bias by measuring equal distances from this line.

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Your strips should be twice the width of your finished bias tape. So if you want 2.5cm (1in) bias tape, cut your strips to 5cm (2in) wide.

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Once you have marked off your strips, use a rotary cutter, ruler and self sealing mat, or fabric shears to cut along the lines.

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You will now have several strips of fabric cut along the bias of the fabric.

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You can then cut off the angled ends of the strips, as shown, to square up the ends.

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Place two strips at 90-degree angles to each other, with right sides facing and raw edges matching. Pin in place.

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Carefully sew diagonally across the two strips, as shown.

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Sew the remaining strips together in the same way to create one long strip. Make sure your seams are all in the same direction.

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Trim all of your seam allowances to a scant 6mm (¼in).

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Press the seams open. Then trim off the parts of the seam allowance that stick out beyond the edge of the fabric.

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At one end of the strip, fold the corners to the wrong side to form a point. Insert this into the wide end of the bias tape maker tool.

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Make sure the wrong side is facing up. You can use the tip of a seam ripper to gently guide the strip through the tool.

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Make sure that your strip is centred in the tool, as shown.

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Gently pull the tool while you hold the end of the fabric strip and press it with your iron as you pull.

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Continue to press the entire length of the strip. You now have a nice amount of single-fold bias tape.

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If you would like to make it into double fold bias tape, simply fold the tape in half with the single folds on the inside and press.

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First published in Simply Sewing Magazine