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Are you looking to add a professional finish to your garments? Bias binding is the perfect way to do it!
Whether you’re working with woven or knit fabrics, learning how to sew bias binding will give your projects an elevated look and feel.
In this article, we’ll show you step-by-step instructions on how to sew single fold and double fold bias binding – plus tips for joining ends seamlessly.
We’ll also guide you through making your own custom bias tape from fabric scraps so that every detail of your project can be tailored just for you!
So sharpen up those sewing skills and let’s get started mastering the art of sewing with bias binding.
Table Of Contents
- Key Takeaways
- What is Bias Binding?
- Types of Bias Binding
- How to Sew Single Fold Bias Binding
- How to Sew Double Fold Bias Binding
- How to Join Bias Binding Ends
- Tips for Sewing With Bias Binding
- Making Your Own Bias Tape
- Applying Bias Tape to Continuous Circles
- Practice Projects for Sewing Bias Binding
- Bias binding is a fabric strip cut at a 45-degree angle to the grain of the fabric.
- Because it can stretch, bias binding is perfect for finishing curved areas like necklines, armholes, and rounded hemlines.
- There are two common types of bias binding: double-fold and single-fold. Double-fold binding has one side folded over to encase the raw edge.
- Practicing sewing bias binding on areas like necklines and sleeve hems is a great way to improve your binding skills. Start on gentle curves and work up to more dramatic ones as you get comfortable with the technique.
What is Bias Binding?
You can conceal edges and add accents with this angled enclosure. Bias binding is a narrow strip of fabric cut at a 45 degree angle, or “on the bias.” It stretches to curve smoothly around edges. With the grain running diagonally, bias binding has more give than strips cut with the grain.
Double-fold bias binding has the raw edges folded inside, leaving a clean finish. It’s perfect for enclosing seams and hems. Use bias binding on necklines, armholes, sleeves, waistbands, or to add a pop of color.
Try cotton, linen, silk, or synthetics like rayon. Widths range from 1/4 inch for lightweight fabrics up to 1 inch for thicker materials.
Bias binding results in a tidy professional finish. It can transform the look of a garment while concealing imperfect edges. Mastering bias binding can elevate your sewing skills. This versatile technique opens up creative possibilities to make garments uniquely your own.
Types of Bias Binding
There are two ways to sew bias binding. With single fold bias binding, you sew along just one folded edge of the strip, leaving the other side open. Double fold bias binding encloses both raw edges inside, creating a finished look on both sides when properly stitched down.
Single Fold Bias Binding
Next, pin the narrow tape to the fabric’s raw edge. For best results with single fold bias tape, choose lightweight cottons like quilting fabric or shirting. Keep your stitch length short, around 1.5-2mm, and stitch close to the inside crease.
When nearing a corner, stop stitching 5mm away, clip into the fold, then stitch the turned corner. Coordinating or contrasting colors make decorative binding pop. While a sewing machine works fine, hand sewing allows more control around curves and corners.
Simply whipstitch or slip stitch along the inside crease to neatly finish any fabric edge with single fold tape. Whether encasing a quilt or decorating a skirt, single fold binding lends a tidy handmade touch.
Double Fold Bias Binding
Simply pin the bias binding to the fabric’s edge, trim any excess, then sew along that pre-creased sweet spot. Fold it in half, tuck in those raw edges, and press to crisp perfection. Now sew the binding’s edge to hide remaining ravels, and voila – you’ve got yourself a clean finish in no time.
When working with delicate or loosely woven fabrics, opt for a lighter touch and smaller stitches to avoid visible holes. Get creative with contrasting colors or prints for a fun pop of personality along edges and hems.
If binding seems too narrow, make your own wider custom tape. Or skip the binding altogether – facings, serged edges and lined seam allowances also banish fray.
How to Sew Single Fold Bias Binding
Get ready to learn how to sew single-fold bias binding to finish a fabric edge. First, mark the fabric about 6 mm from the raw edge for placement. Then, secure the bias binding with pins or clips before sewing along the crease with a straight stitch.
To attach single-fold bias binding, start by marking the fabric approximately 6 mm from the raw edge to indicate placement. Next, pin or clip the binding in place prior to sewing along the crease using a straight stitch.
Marking and Pinning
Before pinning, double-check your marks to ensure proper placement of the bias binding. Though it may seem tedious, taking the time to accurately measure and mark helps prevent having to rip out and re-sew later.
Use a fabric marker or chalk to mark 6mm from the raw edge for binding placement.
Consider using pins perpendicular to the binding’s edge. This helps prevent shifting.
Place pins no more than 5cm apart for stability when sewing. Closer pins prevent stretching.
When preparing to sew, precise marking and strategic pinning ensures properly aligned binding for a flawless finish. Take those extra moments upfront to guarantee smooth sailing on the sewing line.
Sewing and Pressing
After securing the binding, go ahead and stitch along that folded edge to attach it. Use a straight stitch and go slowly, following the crease neatly. Take care around curves and corners. Press the binding over the raw edges with a good quality iron. Use the tip to press right into tight spots and lift the iron as you go to avoid dragging.
For best results, press from the right side with a press cloth. This helps set the stitches and gives a crisp finish.
Practice on some samples first to get the feel of stitching and pressing bias binding.
How to Sew Double Fold Bias Binding
When sewing double fold bias binding, start by pinning the binding to the fabric’s edge and trimming any excess fabric. Next, sew along the inner creased fold of the binding before folding it over the raw edges.
Pinning and Trimming
Now go ahead and enthusiastically align the bias binding to the fabric’s edge, then vigorously trim any excess for a flawless fit.
- Gently pin bias binding to fabric using flathead pins spaced 1 inch apart.
- Ensure binding extends just beyond fabric edge before trimming.
- Use sharp fabric scissors when trimming binding for a clean cut.
- Leave at least a 1/4 inch seam allowance when trimming excess binding.
Pinning and trimming the bias binding prepares your project for sewing. Proper alignment and trimming creates a professional finish. Your excitement for this sewing technique motivates precise work. Mastering bias binding application requires practice on scrap fabric first.
Sewing and Folding
You’d be amazed to learn that over 70% of sewers prefer to use double fold bias binding for its clean finish. Next, gently fold the binding over the seam allowance and press to enclose the raw edges. When stitching, sew along the inner crease of the folded edge using a straight stitch.
This secures the binding and creates a professional finish. For curves, clip into the binding seam allowance so it lies flat. With the right techniques, you’ll achieve beautiful bound edges every time. Experiment with contrasting fabrics and colors for fun decorative effects on any project.
Pressing for a Neat Edge
Next, press the folded bias binding again to create a crisp, clean edge. Make sure your iron’s temperature matches the fabric recommendations. Use a pressing cloth to avoid any shiny marks. Focus the iron directly on the binding’s inner fold and press firmly.
Finger press first for crisper creases. Let it cool completely before moving. Consistent pressing gives your projects professional finishes. For intricate areas like convex curves, press in small sections while easing fullness.
Sharp creases take practice; be patient. With care, pressing gives your projects flawless folds that complement the sewing. Your projects will have neat, crisp edges wrapped in perfectly pressed bias binding.
How to Join Bias Binding Ends
When joining bias binding ends, cut the binding slightly longer than needed. This allows you to overlap the ends and secure them together by stitching into the crease a few times before folding the excess down to hide it.
Cutting and Securing Ends
To join bias binding ends, simply trim the ends at an angle and stitch together right sides facing before pressing open.
- Cut both ends on a 45-degree angle so they lay flat when overlapped.
- Secure the ends with pins or clips so they don’t shift.
- Sew a few short stitches into the crease to join the angled ends.
- Fold excess bias binding under to hide raw edges.
With precision cutting and creative fastening techniques, you can achieve clean, secure joins between store-bought or homemade single fold bias tape. Mastering simple end joining elevates your sewing skills for flawless finishing.
Folding to Hide Excess Binding
Did you know over 80% of sewing projects need some form of bias binding? After securing the ends together, simply fold down extra bias binding to effortlessly hide it.
To fold excess binding, first secure the ends with sturdy stitches into the crease. Then fold the extended binding in half lengthwise to cover the raw edges. Pin the folded excess to keep it in place. Now the extra binding’s folded away, you can keep applying binding for neat edges on your project.
With practice folding to hide extra bias binding, you’ll master clean binding finishes for a flawless look.
Tips for Sewing With Bias Binding
Take your sewing skills to the next level by mastering bias binding application. Whether finishing a neckline, encasing raw edges, or adding a pop of color, properly sewn bias binding gives any garment or craft project a polished, professional look.
Carefully select the right width binding for your project. Grip fabric and binding together with pins, not clips, for best control. Press folds as you sew for crisp, defined edges that beautifully frame your fabric.
With practice, you’ll love showcasing clean bias binding finishes that elevate the look of any project.
Recommended Width and Material
With care, ensure the pre-made bias binding you select hugs the edges just right for a flawless finish. For common projects, opt for bias binding measuring 10-13mm (3/8-1/2in) wide. Lightweight cottons work well, offering flexibility to manipulate around curves.
For creative flair, experiment with silks in coordinating or contrasting colors. When binding seems too snug or loose, adjust your seam allowance rather than the bias width. Thoughtful fabric choices and precise sewing empower your skills for any application.
Starting and Clipping Curves
Your delicate heart races as those tricky curves challenge your nimble fingers, yet ever so gently you start at the shoulder and clip where the fabric bunches. With practice, clipping curves becomes second nature. Simply snip into the seam allowance, stopping just shy of your stitching line.
This allows the binding to spread around curves without puckering. Go slowly, clipping bit by bit until the fabric lies flat. Soon you’ll be gliding effortlessly around collars and cuffs, your trusty scissors an extension of your hand.
Under-stitching for a Neat Look
Hide those edges by under-stitching everything neatly, giving your project a professional finish. Under-stitch after applying your bias binding, catching the seam allowance to the binding. This keeps the binding tight to the fabric edge for a durable, flat binding that appears neatly integrated.
Your precise under-stitching secures the binding, preventing shifting or rolling for a clean look with professional polish. With practice, under-stitching bias tape creates flawless finishes to showcase your mastery.
Making Your Own Bias Tape
Whether on a rack or custom cut, working with bias tape begins by gathering your supplies and fabric. Using a bias tape maker for accurate folds, cut strips at a 45-degree angle, join the ends, feed through the tool, then wrap the completed tape around cardboard for storage until your next project.
Gathering Supplies and Fabric
Gather some basic notions for the natural night ahead. Select a lightweight cotton fabric with a bit of stretch for creating your own bias tape. Cut strips on the bias at a 45 degree angle for maximum stretch. Choose a fabric with a tight weave in a solid color.
Gather an 18mm bias tape maker, pins, fabric scissors, a rotary cutter and self healing mat for precise cutting. Mark the fabric’s straight grain with tailor’s chalk before cutting angled bias strips.
With the right supplies, you’ll be ready to sew custom bias binding and add neat finishes.
Using a Bias Tape Maker
Slide the joined bias strips through the bias tape maker for perfectly folded tape.
- Ensure the tape maker is the right width for your project.
- Feed the bias strips with the right side up.
- Pull the strips through gently and evenly.
- Check that the folds are crisp.
- Allow the bias tape to relax before using.
Using a quality bias tape maker guarantees straight binding each time. Try different widths and fabrics for unique creations.
Cutting and Joining Strips
Snip the fabric into 1 1⁄2-inch wide strips at a 45-degree angle before meticulously joining the bias pieces at 90-degree angles with care, being extra cautious not to stretch or distort the fabric. Trace a gentle curve with your rotary cutter as you slice through the material. Align the edges precisely, pinning at intervals.
Feed the fabric through the sewing machine slowly, backstitching at the start for durability.
Press open the seam with an iron on low heat. When joining bias tape strips, focus on accuracy and allow extra fabric to avoid gaps. With practice, you’ll perfect precise bias tape preparation for creative applications in sewing projects.
Storing Bias Tape
Wrap your freshly made bias tape around cardstock or cardboard to keep it organized until you’re ready to use it. Storing bias tape this way prevents tangling and wrinkling. Simply wind the bias tape around the cardstock, securing the end with a pin, then store it in a drawer or craft box.
Well-organized bias tape ensures your fabric projects turn out perfectly every time.
Applying Bias Tape to Continuous Circles
When applying bias tape to continuous circles, first measure the circumference and add your bias tape width. Then join the bias tape edges together at 90 degree angles, sew them, and press the seams. Next, pin the bias tape to the fabric edge with right sides together. Sew along the first fold of the tape.
Press the seam allowance toward the tape without removing any folds. Refold the bias to wrap the raw fabric edge before pinning again.
Measuring and Joining Bias Tape
Secure your measuring tape along the curved edge as you mentally picture its snug fit once bound.
- Double-check measurements with a seam gauge.
- Join tape ends precisely at 90-degree angles.
- First, test fabric compatibility with scrap pieces.
- Use a disappearing ink fabric pen for making markings.
- On sample seams, practice precision stitching.
With a keen eye and steady hand, you’ll achieve a smooth, flawless finish.
Pinning and Sewing the Tape
After measuring and joining the bias tape, carefully pin it to the fabric’s edge with the right sides together. Align the inner crease of the binding along the raw edge, placing pins perpendicular to the seam for maximum control.
Take care not to stretch the bias tape or fabric when stitching. Sew right along the inner fold with a straight stitch for full coverage.
Pressing and Refolding
Fold the seam allowance toward the bias tape without flattening the folds, then crease and turn the binding to enclose the raw edges. Using steam and gently pressing with a quality iron gives the best results when pressing bias tape and seam allowance together.
Refold the bias tape neatly over the seam to fully encase the fabric’s raw edge. The right iron temperature and a pressing cloth prevent scorching lightweight or delicate fabrics when working with bias tape.
Edgestitching for a Finished Look
Feel the threads gently glide under the presser foot as you edgestitch along the inner edge of the bias tape through all the layers for that neat, polished look. Take your time to focus on precision; edgestitching takes practice to master the finishing touches that make your project truly shine.
Play with different edgestitching techniques to add decorative accents – varying stitch length and thread colors opens up creative possibilities.
Practice Projects for Sewing Bias Binding
Let’s begin practice with necklines like York or adding contrast to Kennedy’s neckline and sleeve hem. Start by gathering your pattern and notions to get hands-on experience sewing bias tape to common areas like necklines and hemlines for a clean finish.
Focus on precision by pinning or clipping bias tape in place before stitching, and maintain tidiness by pressing at each step. Soon your bias binding skills will become second nature when finishing off your sewing projects.
Neckline Practice – York
Hide the raw neck’s edge under a fold, creasing the bias tape snugly. The York neckline is perfect for showing off contrasting bias binding. Use lightweight fabrics like cotton lawn or voile. Go bold with contrasting colors or prints.
Try chevron binding on the straight front and scalloped binding on the shoulder line. Use different stitching techniques like topstitching the front and blind hemming the shoulders.
For pattern variations, play with the depth and width of the neckline. Make it modest or plunging.
Finish the arm openings the same as the neckline for a polished look. Binding transforms an ordinary garment into something special.
Adding Contrast – Kenedy’s Neckline and Sleeve Hem
Clip it around Kenedy’s neckline and sleeve hem for a stylish contrast.
Consider complementary or contrasting colors like blue with orange or red with green to make the bias binding pop.
Choose a lightweight, crisp fabric like cotton lawn for the binding to get nice defined edges.
Try a narrow double-fold binding in a darker color on lighter fabric for subtle contrast.
Play with different stitches like a zigzag or decorative stitch to make the binding stand out.
Get creative and add beads, pearls or other embellishments along the binding seam for extra style.
With the right color and fabric choices, creative stitches and embellishments, you can make a simple binding into a real design detail.
With a little practice, you can master the art of sewing bias binding and create beautiful, professional-looking garments. Whether you purchase premade bias tape or make your own for a unique, custom look, this ancient technique will add a touch of elegance and finesse to any project.
From adding a contrast to Kenedy’s neckline and sleeve hem to creating a York neckline, bias binding is an invaluable tool for anyone looking to take their sewing to the next level.
As you embark on your journey, remember that the key to success is to take your time and carefully follow each step.