So let’s tackle the business of binding and bias tape. This is an area of sewing I am still learning to perfect. Bias tape can be purchased from local fabric stores, bought online or made. There are several helpful tools available to make bias tape. I’ve seen high-tech devices as well as low-tech devices. I’ll describe a couple devices below.
What Is Binding?
Binding is a process that allows you to finish raw edges and is commonly used in quilting. The Missouri Star Quilt Company offers a wonderful tutorial on binding.
What Is Bias Tape?
In order to understand bias tape, let’s break down the word bias. In the sewing world, bias refers to cutting fabric on a 45-degree angle. Bias tape adds extra detail to garments, such as neckbands, sleeve cuffs, pockets and more.
What Options Are Available?
Purchasing Bias Tape
If you’re looking for a fast way to get your bias tape, purchasing is a good option. Bias tape is sold pre-folded to a single fold or double fold. In a single fold, the ends of fabric closely touch the middle. In a double fold, the ends are folded again. Both single and double fold bias tape are suitable for quilting and use with garment construction. Dana of MADE Everyday has a wonderful YouTube video explaining single and double fold bias tape. In my experience, I would say the downside of purchasing pre-packaged bias tape is the limitation in fabric choices. Most of the pre-packaged bias tape I’ve seen sold in stores are solid color fabrics.
Simplicity Bias Tape Maker (Discontinued)
Although this item is currently discontinued, I’ve seen this product pop up on eBay, Amazon and Etsy. The Simplicity Bias Tape Maker is an electric machine that does all the work for you once you cut your fabric to size. It has a built-in conveyor system and ironing mechanism that feeds your fabric in the machine while ironing it smooth to either make single or double fold bias tape. I’ve seen the product price range online from $120-$350 online.
Manual Bias Tape Maker
This is how I make bias tape. There are many brands that sell bias tape maker kits. These kits usually come with a variety of bias guides in different sizes, awl, sewing pins, and a binding foot you can attach to your machine. I purchased my kit through Amazon for less than $13. You will also need an iron and ironing board to make your creases in the fabric when you push your bias strips through the guide. Below is a quick video of how bias tape makers are used.
Making bias tape is my preference because I have the freedom of choosing any fabric I’d like that coordinates best with the project I’m making. Do you prefer buying pre-packaged or making your own bias tape? Are there any other methods or tools you use when making bias tape?