How to Make + Sew Bias Tape: Tutorial

on May 20 | in Sewing Tutorials + Patterns | by | with 7 Comments

Charise Randell from Charise Creates shows you how easy it is to make and sew your own bias tape! Make bias tape to work with any project, and use your favorite fabrics.

Charise was one of our Super Online Sewing Match contestants, and has stopped by many times since with her pretty Sketch Book Cover, Spring Kaleidoscope Pillow and the Spring Blossom Quilt Block. She designs and sells paper piecing patterns and more, like the Anna Blouse featured in the tutorial below.

This tutorial features beautiful nani IRO fabric from Miss Matatabi. Miss Matatabi has a full selection of nani IRO fabrics, including 100% cotton double gauze from the 2015 Spring nani IRO collection!


Bias binding has many applications and is a wonderful seam finish. It is a lovely finish for garments on necklines, cuffs and armholes.

It is also a lovely finish for small sewn goods such as hot pads, placemats and totes and hand bags.

It can be purchased pre-made and can also be made with bias strips of fabric.

I will show you how to make your own bias binding and apply if the easy way!

Cut the Bias Strips
The first step in making binding is cutting bias fabric strips.

Place the ruler on the selvage edge of the fabric at a 45 degree angle. Transparent rulers will often have a 45 degree angle marking on the ruler. Cut the bias strips with a rotary cutter.

The width is typically 4x the width of the finished binding.
Example = 3/8” finished binding requires 4 x 3/8” or 1 1/2”.

Finished Width : Binding Strip Width
1/4” : 1”
3/8” : 1 1/2”
1/2” : 2”

Join the Bias Strips
If you need a long strip of binding you may need to join bias strips. Here is how to do it:

1. Cut the binding edges you will be joining at a 45 degree angle.

2. Place the bias strips right sides together. Stitch together with a 1/4” seam allowance.

3. Press seam open.

Make the Binding
There are two ways to make bias strips into binding. You can use a bias tape maker or fold and press.

Use a Bias Tape Maker
Bias tape makers come in many sizes. The size of the bias tape maker refers to the width of the binding before pressing it in half.

For example, if you want to make 1/2” binding then you would purchase a 1” Bias tape maker.

Cut one end of your binding to a point. This will make it easier to thread into the binding maker.

With the wrong side of the binding facing you, thread the bias strip though the bias tape maker.

As the bias tape comes out the other end folded, press the folds in place with an iron.

All you need to do is fold it in half and press and you are ready to sew!

Fold + Press
If you don’t have a bias tape maker you can use the fold and press method. Fold the bias strip in half wrong sides together. Press.

Unfold the strip. Fold the long edge to meet the creased line. Press.

Repeat for the other side.

Press in half and you are ready to sew!

Apply the Binding
My secret to creating beautifully finished binding is to edgestitch the binding in place on the right side of the item you are making.

1. Place the binding, right side, to the wrong side of the item. Match raw edges and pin in place. Stitch in place.

2. Wrap the binding around the seam to the right side. Edgestitch in place.


This post is sponsored by Miss Matatabi, specializing in gorgeous, modern Japanese textiles sourced in Japan. They have a carefully chosen selection of not only the most popular brands such as nani IRO, Kokka, Hokkoh, Yuwa, Kei and Cotton + Steel, but also unique and hard to find fabrics of the highest quality.

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7 Responses to How to Make + Sew Bias Tape: Tutorial

  1. Gerda says:

    Thanks for this good tutorial.

    Gerda

  2. Mary says:

    This is a different (and better) way to attach the binding to my quilt than I’ve been doing. Thank you!
    I’ve been holding off on getting a bias tape maker but am going to get one today. 🙂 Love your tutorials. They are my fav.

  3. Kay A. says:

    Well, that was totally confusing. Do you unfold the yardage before cutting it into strips? Or do you fold it or leave it folded the way it is on the bolt?

  4. mindi says:

    Making my own bias tape is the best way to get just what I want/ need for a project. Thanks for a clear, detailed, well done tutorial. Your pictures are great. Love the use of the wooden spool.

  5. mindi says:

    Making my own bias tape is the only way to get just what I want/ need for a project. Thanks for a clear, detailed, well done tutorial. Your pictures are great.

  6. linda says:

    Just a note about cutting binding – I have found over the 35+ years I’ve been quilting that it is a good idea to add a bit extra width to your calculated cut size for binding to account for the amount of fabric that is taken up by the folds. This is especially true when you are making the now-traditional double fold French style binding. I usually add 1/4″ of width when I cut binding. Thus, if I want a 3/8″ finished binding, I multiply 3/8″ by 6 (the number of layers in French double fold binding) and add 1/4″ for the take up in the folds – giving a cut width for my binding strips of 2 1/2″.

    In your example where you are cutting for single layer binding, you would multiply the desired finished width of 3/8″ by 4 and then add an additional 1/4″ for a cut width of 1 3/4″.

    This additional little bit of width allows for the folding of the binding fabric and yields enough finished width to make sewing the binding by hand or machine much easier.

    🙂 Linda

  7. Rochelle says:

    I love my bias tape makers. It’s so much nicer to make your own than to depend on the limited (and pricey) selection at the store. Thanks for a good tutorial.

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