Bias binding is a widely utilized in all sorts of sewing projects. Its uses are far wider then just a hem finish. It can have decorative as well as functional purpose in a garment. Though the craft shops have a wide variety of ready-made bias tapes, they often are the wrong shade for the project, or not stocked in a particular width. Hence is a necessity to make your own. Luckily it is not hard to produce at home and gives your more control over the design. It is a useful technique to know either you a dressmaker or a quilter.
Bias binding making sequence:
- Iron the piece of fabric you are going to make the bias tape with.
- Spread it flat in one layer. Do not allow it to hang over the working surface to avoid stretching.
- Mark the strips of a desired width.
- Cut. Quilters can put a rotary cutter and a cutting mat to use to speed up the process.
- Sew the cut strips putting the right sides together. Cut the corners that stick out.
- Press the seams open.
- Fold the edges one at a time, pressing and slightly stretching the tape. Keep the width of the bias tape the same all the way. If the tape is very narrow you might find a mini iron more useful then a normal one.
If you do not trust your eye, use gadget called the bias maker, it helps to fold the tape of consistent width. They come in several different sizes. But it is not strictly necessary, take your time in the beginning, all you need is to pay attention.
Folded and pressed bias tape should retain quite a bit of stretch. It comes into play when it has to be made into complex shapes. Bias tape can be molded into very intricate contours.
Bias binding vs straight-cut tape.
- To choose the right binding tape for your project one should know the different characteristics of each. What is obvious for a seamstress might escape the attention of a novice sewer. Straight cut binding tape is used where there are no curves to negotiate, warp and weft have no elasticity to talk about and cannot be molded into complex shape by stretching.
- When sewing a binding tape you need to keep in mind the bulk distribution of seam allowances. The straight join will have them at the same spot, creating a rather thick bulge - visible, hard to top-stitch neatly and generally unsightly. With bias binding the bulk is spread and a diagonal seam is less obvious.
Tools of the trade: