Make your own bias tape

The definition of bias tape according to wikipedia

Bias tape or bias binding is a narrow strip of fabric, cut on the bias (UK cross-grain). The strip’s fibers, being at 45 degrees to the length of the strip, makes it stretchier as well as more fluid and more drapeable compared to a strip that is cut on the grain. Many strips can be pieced together into a long “tape.” The tape’s width varies from about 1/2″ to about 3″ depending on applications. Bias tape is used in making piping, binding seams, finishing raw edges, etc. It is often used on the edges of quilts, placemats, and bibs, around armhole and neckline edges instead of a facing, and as a simple strap or tie for casual bags or clothing.

I’ve always seen people use bias tapes (store bought/home made) but never really knew the correct method of making or attaching them. I was in the process of making a pavadai sattai for my little one when I badly needed matching bias tape. I was working on a tight schedule ( as usual ;)) and didn’t have the liberty to run to the store and buy one. Also, I wasn’t sure they’d have the color that matched. I was lucky I was able to dig out this scrap fabric from my basket in the color I was looking for.

Now came the task of making a bias tape. As always google came to my rescue. I came across this very informative video on making home made bias which I want to share with you today.

I followed her instructions to make one for myself. The most important thing in this process is to cut along the stretchiest part of the fabric i.e. diagonal to the straight grain of the fabric. One problem was I didn’t have a bias tape maker, so I had to manually fold and press the fabric which wasn’t perfect but worked out ok. Also, my fabric was silk cotton, hence slightly difficult to manipulate. Cotton should listen to you a lot better.

Making a bias tape without a tape maker: 

Step 1: After attaching the strips together, fold the tape in half and press along the center to create a fold line.


Step 2: Fold and press each side in half using the central fold line as a guide. This creates a single fold bias.


Step 3:  Fold along the center line and press again. This creates a double fold bias.



Step 4: Wrap the tape on a piece of cardboard and use it as you please.



Once I had the tape ready, I attached it around arm hole and the bottom edge of the shirt. I did learn a good lesson here. Following a tried and tested method does help get the cleaner finish 🙂


Until next time, happy making!



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