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Topic: How to make bias tape without the fancy gismo  (Read 9049 times)
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« on: January 03, 2011 03:09:27 PM »

I made bias tape and posted it in the destash thread and a few people asked how I did it especially since I did not use the fancy bias tape maker.  So here you go!

start with a rectangle of fabric. Quilting cotton works wonderfully. This is a synthetic blend. It worked just fine. Orient the rectangle with the selvage closest to you. The bias is at a 45 degree angle to the selvage.

Fold one corner up to make a 45 degree angle. Press in place. Please note that I used a square of fabric. When using a rectangle, draw the corner up so that the selvage meets its parallel straight edge.

cut along the fold separating a triangle (on the left) with the rest of the rectangle (on the right).

without changing its orientation, move the left triangle to the end of the rectangle. Match the straight edges. The shape is a parallelogram.

stitch along the straight edge.

starting from the leftmost diagonal edge of the parallelogram mark the width of the strips for your bias tape. I used 2 tape measures and a straight edge to mark 2 inch wide strips. Measure strips 2 inches wide all the way from one diagonal edge to the other.

starting from the left mark the strips 1 - 2 - 3 etc.  This is difficult to see in the photo so look close!

This is the part that is the most awkward. bring the selvage up to meet its parallel edge. Match the strips up but offset the strips by one number. Strip number one matches to strip number 2. Strip number 2 to number 3 and so on. there will be an unmatched corner on each side and the fabric will seem all twisted and wrong. Stitch the selvage and its parallel edge together making a tube.

Start cutting the strips. Cut strip number 1 off the tube. Ready for the cool part? When you get to the end of strip number 1 you're at the start of strip 2 so just keep cutting and the strips will spiral off the tube of fabric.  This was not a perfect process and the lines did not match up perfectly.  Do not despair.  The finished product is still lovely and functional and you will be the only one to know the truth of the imperfect bias tape.

Now you have one long strip of fabric cut on the bias. Awesome.

March over to your ironing board and jam a needle through. leave about an inch of exposed needle.

Weave the fabric under the needle folding both raw edges over as you go. Use your iron to flatten out the rolled edges as you gently pull the fabric under the needle. You will have to do a little fiddling to keep the folds nice and even.

for double fold bias tape, once you have pressed all the raw edges to the center of your tape, fold the tape in half, adjust the pin and repeat the previous step.

press as you go.

roll it around some cardboard and you are done, my friend!
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« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2011 03:17:44 PM »

Lovely tutorial! Thank you very much, the part about sewing the two ends together to make a tube have eluded me for far too long.

edited for spelling 
« Last Edit: February 03, 2011 08:07:54 AM by rottenlittleboys » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2011 03:21:20 PM »

Thanks for the tute!

As a sewing newb, I'm a bit confused as to why you cut the fabric into triangles just to sew them together again differently. Does this allow you to make a longer strip than if you were to just make a strip out of the starting shape?

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« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2011 03:29:51 PM »

This is awesome, thanks for posting!

« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2011 03:31:18 PM »

Thank you! I've always wanted to know how to do this!

I also want to use this method of ironing to make some continuous strips of fabric for crocheted rag rugs. However, for making rugs, I will not cut the fabric on the bias because it stretches out of shape in the finished rug. I have a book on rug making that strongly recommends that the strips of fabric have folded over edges to make a neater and more durable rug. I will need giant balls of them for rugs!  I was wondering how I could iron all those strips. Now I know!  Smiley

« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2011 03:55:59 PM »

Thanks for the tute!

As a sewing newb, I'm a bit confused as to why you cut the fabric into triangles just to sew them together again differently. Does this allow you to make a longer strip than if you were to just make a strip out of the starting shape?

taking your rectangle and turning it into a parallelogram accomplishes 2 things.  it defines the bias of the fabric and it prevents wastage.  you could start with a rectangle of fabric, cut off a triangle at a 45 degree angle (toss the triangle), then cut 2 inch wide strips off the remaining piece starting at the cut you just made (until you get another triangle to toss), then join all the little strips together, then proceed to make the bias tape. 

The way I showed is a little less straight forward, but way easier in the long run.
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« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2011 03:59:11 PM »

awesome!  thanks!

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« Reply #7 on: January 03, 2011 06:26:55 PM »

Brilliant!  Thanks so much!  that's much easier then I've ever tried!  I bet you don't get steamed finger tips either.

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« Reply #8 on: January 03, 2011 07:30:24 PM »

Awesome!  Thanks for this tutorial!  I'll add it to our stickied list so people can find it easily.

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« Reply #9 on: January 03, 2011 07:46:59 PM »

holy smokes! thanks for sharing

« Reply #10 on: January 04, 2011 06:30:32 AM »

Amazing tutorial!!  Definitely bookmarked.  Thanks! 
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« Reply #11 on: January 04, 2011 08:06:28 PM »

bows to your awesomeness!
Bias is so expensive here!
Thanks so much!

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« Reply #12 on: January 06, 2011 05:14:14 AM »

bows to your awesomeness!
Bias is so expensive here!
Thanks so much!

pricey here too.  everything is it seems. My hubsters and I call this kind of simple but tedious work 'practical zen'.  You're welcome!  I love to share these kind of innovative solutions.
« Reply #13 on: February 02, 2011 07:07:53 PM »

Just did this with a scrap of fabric.  Now I have 10 ft of home made bias tape, and nothing like it in the stores!  Thanks for your magic tutorial. 

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« Reply #14 on: February 13, 2011 06:45:47 AM »

In another thread, someone had mentioned a tutorial about using a needle and your ironing board to make the bias tape. I couldn't puzzle out how that would be done. Then, in another thread, someone posted the link to your tutorial, so now it's perfectly clear (and brilliant!).

Thanks for such a clear tutorial!

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« Reply #15 on: February 22, 2011 04:13:42 PM »

This is fantastic! I still need to wrap my head around the process, but I really appreciate the tutorial! I've learned to absolutely love bias tape, especially the home-made variety, and this is much better than cutting out individual strips like I've been doing!

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« Reply #16 on: February 24, 2011 11:37:48 AM »

Excellent and bookmarked!

A lot of apron patterns include a piece that is to be used to make the bias trim around the apron the the ties...I have to admit, that if I had not used a pattern first, the sewing to make a continuous piece would have flabbergasted me!  But once you get it, the light bulb goes off and it all makes sense!

I now have a great gift idea for all of my sewing friends! Cheesy

« Reply #17 on: August 04, 2011 08:13:59 PM »

it's a great idea, i'll try...Thanks for sharing
« Reply #18 on: August 09, 2011 05:31:29 AM »

I use those little Clover bias tape makers..  the ones you get for a couple bucks that are like just the tip of a Simplicity bias tape machine, so you cut the strip, and then feed it through, following the gizmo with your iron. 
So I still use a gadget, but a nice cheap unfancy one that makes it easier. 

« Reply #19 on: September 16, 2012 05:14:39 PM »

This is so incredible. makes it sooo much easier than what I was doing to make my own without a niffty doodad Smiley

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« Reply #20 on: September 17, 2012 04:23:18 AM »

Thank you for sharing this! It will be so useful! Cheesy

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« Reply #21 on: September 18, 2012 10:10:14 PM »

Very ingenuous
« Reply #22 on: May 12, 2014 03:16:18 AM »

Great tutorial!!  Thank you!
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