I have always wanted to make my own bias binding but it just seemed so difficult to get it straight. Then I discovered that you use a bias making tool for that!
I bought mine online from fishpond.
Monkeybrother Fabric Sewing Quilting Bias Binding Maker Tape Maker Tool Set – 4 Different Sizes. Updated 8 October 2016 – These are no longer available but they now have Estone Set of 4 Bias Makers which are the same,
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Now for making the bias!
What you will need,
Fabric (woven fabric) I am using an off cut but fat quarters work well too
Bias Maker Tool
Roller Cutter, Ruler & Cutting Mat. You can use scissors but it will be a little more time consuming to get the pieces even.
Regular Sewing machine.
Step 1 – Cut Your Strips
I find it easier to use a square piece of fabric so have cut my piece into a square. Then I folded it into a triangle, taking care to make sure it was folded accurately. The ruler shows the grainline of the fabric.
The black grid shows the direction of the woven fabric (grainline & weft). The bias is the red line and is cut at a 45° angle.
By folding your square in half into a triangle you have a crease marking the bias line!
Cut down the fold line to make it into two triangles. Work out how wide you want your bias to be. I am doing 1” (2.5cm) and cut your strips on a 45° angle from the grain line. You will need to check what size your bias makers are! I am going to make my strips 2” wide, this will make a 1” single fold bias or a 1/2” double fold bias.
Cut your strips parallel to the cut you made on the crease earlier. Measure the first one carefully and cut it.
Do a quick test to make sure it is the right size for your bias maker!
You can then use your strip as a pattern piece for all the rest. Saves you measuring it out every time. If you have a special fabric ruler (on my wish list!) then you can just use the measurement guides on that!
Cut as many strips as you can fit. You can see I have left the top triangle out as it is getting pretty narrow and would mean a lot of joins in a small area. Carry on with the other half of your fabric until it is all cut.
Step 2 – Joining your strips
Pin your strips with the right sides facing, overlap the points as shown in the photo. Check out the next photo to see where you sew!
Sew from where that two layers meet in the corner to the same place on the other side.
Check that when folded out it looks like this!
Press the fold open from the wrong side of the fabric. If you fold them both over in one direction it will create a small piece that is 3 layers thick which won’t sit as nicely. By folding it open it will only ever by 2 layers thick in one place. Once the bias is folded the angle of the join will stop the seam folding up on top of itself, and also retains the ‘give’ the bias has. This give is what allows it to go around corners.
Trim off the pointy edges and you are done! Now to join all the other pieces. I find it much quicker to sew all the joins then press.
There you have a long flat pieces of soon to be bias binding!
Step 3 – Bias Maker Tool
Time to use the bias maker tool. Feed the corner into the widest end of your bias maker, and pull through. If you are having trouble there is a hole on the top that you can use a pin in to help pull it through.
Here you have it pulled through a bit.
Head over to your iron and press the iron down onto the little end you pulled through. Then slowly slide the bias maker down the length of your fabric strip, following it with your iron. To keep it even make sure you stay the same distance from the bias maker tool with the iron.
Keep going until the bias maker comes off the end of the strip. The joins in your strip shouldn’t effect the way it folds, but can sometimes need a little extra pressing to make them sit flat.
And there you have it single fold bias!
It always amazes me how much you get out of such a small square of fabric!
Step 4 – Double Fold Bias
To turn your single fold into double fold bias binding you need exactly that…another fold!
So back to the iron we go. Fold your bias in half so that the raw edges are hidden inside. Press and carry on till it is all folded.
And now we have piles of double fold bias!
And a close up just in case!
Step 5 – Storing Your Bias
I like to keep the pieces of cardboard from store bought bias and re-use those. You could use any card you like (cut up a cereal box etc) to fit where ever you store your bias.
I also like to trim the pointed ends straight before winding it onto the card. You can always do this before you use it but I like it to be ready when I want it later!
Just wrap it around and around your card. This will keep the folds in place so it will store well and be ready for use when you need it.
Get ready for a whole new world of decorative bias!