Sunday, June 29, 2014

Adventures in: Bias Tape, Level 2: Make Your Own!

When I think of all the things about sewing that seem designed to frustrate me the most, bias tape always seems to top the list. I don't know why. It's easy to use, finishes edges neatly, and makes great decorative touches. I always seemed to be limited to what was in the store, none of which, of course, ever matched whatever project I was working on.

Well, no more! Learning to make bias tape was a great experience, and it's about as easy to do as it is to use. I first looked up these techniques in 2011, when I started working on an Elizabethan farthingale. I'm working on it again, for the next HSF challenge, even though a lot of things are conspiring against me! 

As always, I turn to the internet for guidance. When I first started looking at it, it was many, many moons ago. Almost in the dark ages of the internet. At least it seemed that way. Honestly I don't really remember, it was a good 6 years ago now. I found (and still use) Coletterie's fab tutorial, though I don't square off the ends, and instead just line up the straight- or cross-grain sides and sew with a narrow seam (much like this tutorial, which also has an amazing folding technique to get the strips cut. I'm gonna have to try that!) It's very important to make sure, if you're not using fabric with an easily-indentifiable right side, that your strip will end up being, well, a strip, and not a square. Not speaking from experience, or anything (ahem).

I made mine, this time, in a vaguely complicated manner. I have a cardboard cutting board with bias lines marked upon it, so I lined up a selvedge with the bias line and then made a bunch of straight marks (some of which weren't so straight), and cut them out. I started in a corner of the fabric and followed its bias to the selvedge, which was approximately 2 yards long. With 2" spacing, for a 1" finished width, I ended up with about 13 yards of tape! Wowee!

So now I had a very, very, very long strip of fabric. I don't have a bias tape maker. Luckily for me, I found this tutorial on making tape without one. It's probably even easier than using a thingamabobber.

All that's left is to pull 13 yards of bias tape through the pin and press it...

In the space of about 2 hours from when I laid out fabric to when I finished pressing, I had 13 yards of perfect bias tape. It's ready to go on my project!

1 comment:

  1. Really nice trick with the pins! Sadly, both my ironing boards (I mean, ironing board and sleeve board) have teflon-coated covers, so pinning into them is not such a feasible option; but one of those covers does rather wish to be changed... :D
    I do it without the pins and without a maker. Just pressing it carefully. It takes time (and a bit of hot fingers at times), but it does the job - bias tape is worth it!


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