Ever wanted to learn how to make DIY bias binding (also called bias tape)? It’s incredibly useful for professional finishes on such a variety of clothing, especially kids clothing! Well here’s a step by step guide…
First off… TERMINOLOGY
“Bias Binding” vs “Bias Tape” – These are the same thing, however in some parts of the world people call it bias binding (eg UK & NZ), whereas in other parts of the world people call it bias tape (eg USA and parts of Europe). I grew up in NZ and live in the UK so from here on I’ll refer to it as bias binding.
Single fold bias binding – Single-fold bias binding is strips of fabric which are cut on the bias, with each raw edge folded in toward the center (wrong sides together) and pressed.
Single fold bias binding has lots of uses. For example you’ll often find it on professionally stitched garments to cover up raw edges on the inside of armholes and waistbands.
Double fold bias binding – Double-fold bias binding is single fold bias binding that has been folded in half along its centreline.
Most of my patterns that use bias binding call for double fold bias binding.
My favourite use for double fold bias binding in children’s clothing is around any edge of the garment. For example around a hem or around an armhole. It’s fold goes over the raw edge of the garment so it’s totally enclosed once you stitch it on.
Let’s get going… CONSTRUCTION
STEP 1 – Cutting out
Wash & iron your fabric. Then lay the fabric so the raw edges are horizontal, and the selvedge is vertical.TIP – the raw edges are the edges that will fray if you pick at them. The selvedge edge is the one that won’t fray. It often looks a bit different and sometimes has writing or markings on it. You’ll see in the top right corner of this photo the selvedge for this fabric has the fabric companies logo on it.
Fold the selvedge edge down to meet the raw edge so it forms a diagonal fold.
Using a ruler, measure how wide you want the strip and cut it out.When you buy bias binding in stores or online, the width is usually talked about as if it was single fold bias binding. So 1 inch wide bias binding would be 1 inch if it was single fold, or ½ inch if it’s double fold.When you’re cutting out, measure double the finished width you want.EG
– for 1 inch wide single bias binding (or ½ inch wide double fold) cut your strip 2 inches wide.
– for 1 ½ inch wide single bias binding (or ¾ inch wide double fold) cut your strip 3 inches wide.
Unfold the strip and check you’ve cut your strip the right width.If you are happy with the length of your strip of bias binding, move step 3.1.If you want a longer piece then continue on to step 1.5.
(photo a – keep fabric flat)
(photo b – cutting lines)
Next use the strip you have just cut as a template for more.Keep your fabric flat (photo a) and lay the strip you’ve just cut on the fabric directly next to the diagonal edge and cut again.Keep moving the strip along and cut as many more as you need. See photo b for how you keep cutting more strips next to each other.
STEP 2 – Stitching several strips together
(photo c – before the cut)
(photo d – after the cut)
Fold the bottom edge of each of your strips on a 45 degree angle and cut.See photo c for before, and photo d for after the 45 degree cut.
Fold the top edge of each of your strips down at a 45 degree angle and cut.The top edges should now be cut exactly opposite to the bottom edges.
Place one strip right side up vertically. Place another strip right side down horizontally. Make sure the pointy edges stick out slightly over the sides like in the photo (by approx ¼ inch each). Pin together.
Stitch along the straight edge approx ¼ inch from the edge. Your stitching should run from the join of two strips of fabric on one side, to the join on the other side.
Open the strips out and press the seam allowance to one side. Your strips should now be in a long straight line.If the two strips don’t align in one long straight strip of fabric, close the fabric back up how it was in step 2.4, cut the seam allowance off, realign your fabric and stitch it again.
Snip the raw edge off that’s sticking out at the bottom of the diagonal.
STEP 3 – Pressing
With wrong sides together, fold the strip in half lengthwise and press.
Open the strip back out. Then fold each of the raw edges in to meet the centre fold that you just pressed in step 3.1. Press your new folds.For Single Fold Bias Binding – Press across the whole strip so you press out the fold you made in 3.1. You’ll be left with just the folds you made in this step. It’s now finished.For Double Fold Bias Binding – Continue on to step 3.3
Fold the bias binding in half again down the centreline you made in step 3.1. Press. Your double fold bias binding is now finished.
Congratulations, your bias binding is finished and ready to use! Enjoy.
Hi, I'm Rebecca Page! Mum, wife, owner of rebecca-page.com, and all round general happy person 🙂 I love sewing and making all kinds of crafty things. Hope you enjoy the website and our patterns! Do pop by on our Facebook group or Instagram and show us what you're making! x