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DIY Bias Binding Tutorial

A great way to use up some of your odd shaped scraps is to make your own bias binding, I particularly love to do this with stunning printed fabrics as this can provide such a pretty detail to my garments and often gives a little pop of personality too! Quite often I will use bias binding to finish hems and necklines so it is great to have some ready made and waiting to go! By making your bias binding yourself, you also have more control on the width of your binding, quality of the fabric and the colours you wear a lot, you can also often make it for free from your scraps instead of spending money buying ready made! 

DIY BIAS BINDING TUTORIAL

Bias binding can be made up in a variety of woven fabrics such as cotton, viscose and linen however, light/ medium weight, crisp fabrics will be easiest to work with such as cotton poplin or lawn. These are light enough to not be bulky and hold enough shape for it to not be too fiddly however fabrics like viscose challis, twill or crepe will also work well they will just be slightly trickier to work with. You can work with any reasonable size scraps, it doesn't matter if they are odd shapes, as long as you can see the grainline. The bigger the scraps the longer strips you can get out of it meaning you will have less joins in your bias tape but that does not stop you being able to use smaller pieces too!

Making your own bias binding is a fairly quick process and there are a few different ways to do it, I'm going to show you the way I find the easiest after years of trialing different techniques. 

 

You will need:

  • Fabric scraps
  • Pattern master or set square
  • Fabric marker
  • Fabric Scissors
  • Pins
  • Sewing Machine
  • Iron
  • Bias tape maker (optional)
BIAS BINDING SUPPLIES

Step 1

Start off by ironing your scraps so they are nice and flat. Find either the grainline or the selvedge. You want to mark your first cut at 45 degrees from the selvedge. Most pattern masters or set squares will have a line on to help you with this. 

 BIAS BINDING 45 DEGREE LINE BIAS BINDING 45 DEGREE

Step 2

Mark your first cut line using your fabric marker, if you are working on a larger scrap, work your way along ensuring that your pattern master is following the same line at 45 degrees that you started. I do this by only moving half way along each time. Once you have marked your first line, cut with your fabric scissors.

 BIAS BINDING 45 DEGREE MARK MAKING BIAS BINDING 45 DEGREE CUT

Step 3

You should now have a straight cut in your fabric at a diagonal line from the selvedge. Rotate your fabric so you have the newly cut line closest to you and the rest of the fabric away from you. 

Step 4

At this point, you need to make a decision on the size of bias binding you want to achieve. You usually want to cut double the width stated on your bias tape maker, or double the width you would like to achieve. If you have a 12mm bias tape maker (usually a medium size) you will want to cut approx 3cm strips. I always use the CM markers on the long edge of my pattern master to mark my strips, ensuring they are the same width all the way along and avoiding any wobbly lines.

BIAS BINDING BIAS BINDING

Step 5

Once I have marked a few strips I cut them out and keep on going until I have used as much of the fabric as I feel suitable. I usually stop when I get down to about 35cm strip lengths as this could become quite bulky on my garments. 

BIAS BINDING DIY

Step 6

Pin your strips, right sides together with the ends overlapping. You will be sewing a line at 45 degrees to secure the two pieces together. It is quite important to start and finish exactly where the pieces cross over. Make sure to back tack at the start and finish.

DIY BIAS BINDING TUTORIAL DIY BIAS BINDING

Step 7

Trim down the seam allowances to 0.5cm and press open. Continue to add on your strips until you are happy with the length of your piece of bias binding. I usually add all mine together so I have one huge piece for whenever I need it!

DIY BIAS BINDING TUTORIAL DIY BIAS BINDING TUTORIAL

Step 8

Folding Method:

Fold your bias binding in half lengthways and press. Next, fold in one side so it meets the centre fold line you have just made and press. Then fold in the other side so they meet in the middle and press again. 

DIY BIAS BINDING TUTORIAL DIY BIAS BINDING TUTORIAL DIY BIAS BINDING TUTORIAL

Bias Tape Maker:

At your ironing board, begin to ease your strip of bias binding into your bias tape maker and have your iron at the nozzle end ready to start pressing as soon as the folded bias binding starts to come out. Use the weight of the iron on the bias binding to create resistance so you can pull the tape maker along and continue to iron. Continue this process until you have folded and pressed your full length of bias binding. 

 DIY BIAS BINDING TUTORIAL DIY BIAS BINDING TUTORIAL

Storage

If you do not intend to use your bias binding right away, you may want to think about how you are going to store it. One easy way is to use old postcards or compliment slips to wrap your bias binding around or you can wrap around your hand and secure with string like a little bow. 

DIY BIAS BINDING ON BOBBIN CARD

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