THE BASICS – SEWING BIAS TAPE
A bias tape is a stripe of fabric that runs at a 45° angle to the selvage, which brings it some stretch and which can be easily distorted. It is extremely useful when binding curved pieces, but also when finishing up garments.
MAKING BIAS TAPE
Bias tape can be found in haberdasheries. They usually are 4cm-wide once unfolded. However, bias tape can be easily made, from any fabric and in any width.
Using tailor’s chalk or erasable marker, draw parallel lines along the diagonal of your fabric. The spacing between your lines will depend on the final width you want for bias tape, knowing that the cut width is 4 times the final width. Cut your strips along the lines.
With right sides together, position two strips at a 90° angle to get a long bias tape. Stitch them at 5mm from the edge.
Press the seam open and cut the excess of fabric on either side of the seam.
If you want to sew your bias visibly, shape it by folding it lengthwise. On each side, turn under by 1cm then fold the strip in half lengthwise, the folds are then on the inside of the tape.
SEWING APPARENT BIAS TAPE
When sewing a visible bias tape over some edge, you must unfold the former first. Then, with right sides together, pin the tape to the fabric, matching the raw edges. Stitch onto the fold line i.e. at about 8mm from the edge. d.
Turn the bias tape over the edge and press the seam.
From the wrong side
From the right side
Turn the bias tape to the wrong side of the fabric, enclosing completely the edge of the fabric.
Pin in place, with the edge of the bias tape slightly over the seam.
Topstitch (or edgestitch) through all the layers (fabric and bias tape), stitching as close to the edge as possible.e.
OVERLAPPING APPARENT BIAS TAPE
If you want to sew bias tape continuously on the edge of a piece (such as around the bottom of a garment or around a piece of fabric), you will have to overlap both ends of the bias tape.
First, fold one end of the bias tape by 1cm on the wrong side. Place the tape along the edge of he fabric, with right sides together and putting the folded end first on the fabric.
Pin the bias tape around the fabric.
When getting back to the start, place the unfolded end over the folded end, slipping it under the top fold. Stitch on the fold line or at about 8mm from the edge.d.
Process as you would if you were sewing a visible bias tape i.e. Turn the bias tape to the wrong side of the fabric, enclosing completely the edge of the fabric.
Topstitch (or edgestitch) through all the layers.