As you guys know, I sew a lot. That doesn’t mean I’m immune to the issues less prolific sewers face. I can’t stand zippers (it’s an irrational, emotional hatred, I know how to put them in fairly easily), projects inevitably stall when sleeves need to put in and, until now, the idea of making coordinating bias tape to work with a project brought on fits of swearing that would make a Marine blush.
But that was before I discovered this blog post.
At first I was skeptical. I’d purchased one of the metal bias tape makers a few years ago and found that it was essentially a waste of $4. It didn’t keep the fold centered, and if I was going to have to be folding it all down with my fingers anyhow, why bother with the tool?
But, I couldn’t sleep this weekend…and being up at 5 am will make a girl do crazy things. Like try random card stock printables you’ve found online. I have to say, I am SO glad I did.
I’ll walk you through how it works, then you should try it for yourself!
First, cut your strips on the bias. The instructions that print out with the tape maker have the measurement for what size strip you want. I screwed up and didn’t scale mine properly, so it makes slightly smaller tape than it’s supposed to (give me a little bit of slack, it was really, really early and I was incredibly tired).
…For anybody who is looking at that picture and doesn’t already have a cutting mat, rotary cutter and clear ruler and is thinking they can get away with just buying the rotary cutter and using a metal ruler and a plastic cutting board….I’m not going to tell you you can’t. But I am going to mention that I had the exact same thought a little less than 10 years ago. Now I have a “cute” scar on my index finger to remind me how close I came to cutting the tip of my finger off, and that skimping on the proper materials only saves you money if you don’t wind up in the ER.
If you want an especially long strip of bias tape, cross two strips like this, with tails that are as long as your seam allowance is deep. (My seam allowance is .25″ so I have .25″ of fabric hanging off each end)
Once your strips are joined, press the seam allowances flat and trim off the tails.
To get started, you actually have to manually fold a small portion of the tape by yourself. …I know, I know, I grumbled too, but you can’t get it into the tape maker properly without doing it.
Please ignore my notes, they’re in regards to the mistakes in scaling.
Push the point of your fabric strip down through the tape maker using the point of a pin. Now you’re ready to start ironing.
Make sure you’re ironing up in the middle of the template. If you’re working with cotton, the bias tape will usually hold together even if you do the ironing at the bottom off of the template, but with synthetic fabrics (this is rayon), it will unfold as it cools. The card stock strips below this center channel hold the folds together while it cools so you wind up with nice, crisply folded bias tape.
When you’re done, you simply fold the whole thing in half and iron it down the middle to create double folded bias tape.
As I finished my first strip, I found myself thinking that the only thing that would be better, would be if she had a template for half inch, double folded bias tape too. I always find myself wanting it for waist ties and what not.
What do you like to use bias tape for?
Will you be using it more now that you have an easy way to make it? I certainly will!
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