Make Your Own Bias Tape

I use a lot of bias tape in the construction of my aprons.  Bias tape adds a nice decorative trim detail to arm and neck opening, hems and pockets, and can be used to bind raw edges inside your garment.

It is pretty simple to make your own single- or double-fold bias tape.  Well, not as simple as picking up a premade package at your local fabric store, but if you make your own it will coordinate perfectly with your project!

You start with a piece of fabric that you have squared off.  You can make sure the edge of your fabric is square by taking a T-square ruler and lining one of its edges with one of the selvage edges.  Then take a long ruler and line that up with the other edge of the T-square.  Mark a line following the long ruler across your fabric to the other selvage edge.  Your fabric edge is now square.

You now need to cut your fabric on the bias.  Take your newly squared edge and fold it diagonally to one of the selvage edges.  Press this diagonal fold, and this is your first bias edge.

Now use this first bias edge as your guide to make your other bias lines.  I am making 1/2 inch double-fold bias tape, so my bias strips need to be 4 times that, or 2 inches.  After measuring and cutting I have several 2 inch bias strips.  Each of these strips has unsquared ends.  Cut off these triangle-shaped end pieces.

Now you have several rectangular pieces of your fabric cut on a bias.  Let’s sew them into one long strip.  You sew the strips perpendicularly to each other with right sides together.

Here are two that have been sewed together.  When you open the fabric with right sides up, you get a strip with a diagonal seam.  Sew the rest of your strips to this one making sure you keep the seams going the same direction (i.e., don’t accidentally turn your strip around so that the diagonal seams run different ways).

After you have sewn all your strips into one long strip, cut off all of the triangular seam allowances.
Open up all the seams and press them flat.  Now you are ready to make your bias tape.  You can do this with just an iron and ironing board (and lots of steam).  Just fold the tape in half and press.  Fold the edges toward the center fold that you just made and press again.  This will give you double-fold bias tape.  For single fold, just press the center fold flat.
After making a few bias tapes this way, I invested in a neat little tool that really comes in handy if you make lots of bias tape.
Cut one of the ends of your strip to a point as shown so that it can be easily fed into the wide end of the tool.  Pull the strip through and follow the newly folded strip on the smaller end with your steamy iron.  This creates a perfect single fold bias tape.

Just fold this newly created tape in half and press for double-fold tape.
That is all there is to making your own bias tape that perfectly matches your project!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *