Smashed Peas and Carrots

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

How to Sew Bias Tape {A Tutorial}

So, it occurred to me...after receiving several emails from you lovelies...that maybe I should give you a run down of how to sew with bias tape after I posted the Double Oven Mitt Tutorial here last year (umm, did I really just type LAST year!)  This project uses quite a bit of bias tape and I didn't even think that maybe some of you might not sew with it often or even ever to really know how to put it on.  Sorry about that, my bad!

Here is a picture of what bias tape looks like...

You will usually find it near the zippers and quilt binding in most fabric stores.  It always comes pre-packaged like this and Wright's is usually the brand you will see on the label.  

Bias tape comes in single fold and double fold as well as in a variety of widths.  I tend to use more of the double fold and I like extra wide for most of my projects although smaller widths tend to work better for children/baby clothing as seen in the going home kimono I made here.  

For this tutorial I'm going to show you how to use the extra wide double fold as seen in the picture above!

**Edit**  Click HERE to see the Tutorial for How to Sew Bias Tape Around Corners!!

Okay, so here is the bias tape out of the package.  If you look closely there is a crease down the middle and two folds on each side of it.  Yuppers, that is where the double fold name comes from!!

Now, if you look at your bias tape from the side you will see that one side is ever so slightly narrower than the other.  You see it there in the picture?  The side closest to us is just a teensy bit shorter than the farther side.

Okay, so what you are going to do is open your bias tape back up again and so that the narrower side is unfolded and laying against the raw edge on the right side of your fabric.  Check out the picture above for the details!  If you are new at this you may want to use lots of pins so that you get your bias tape to lay nice and smooth.  

If you are covering all edges in bias tape (like for a potholder or the Double Oven Mitt) you can lay one end of your bias tape anywhere before you start sewing it down.  I always choose the middle of a side verses a corner.  Since bias tape is basically fabric cut on the bias it shouldn't really fray so you don't really have to worry about the ends of it at all :-) 

Now if you are just bias tape-ing one raw edge of a project you may want to fold in the ends (like the picture above) which will essentially tuck them under.  This will give your project a cleaner edge and therefore a more professional look once finished.  

Alright, so once you are all pinned up you are going to stitch down the fold crease.  

Just like so.  

See how I tucked in both my ends since I'm just bias tape-ing one side of this project?

And now you are going to fold the bias tape over the raw edge and back down the other side of your fabric.  Make sure that you have the bias tape folded under on the back (wrong) side!

Now just pin the bias tape in place, again pins will help you go faster and make it much easier to keep things lined up, although wanna know a little secret?  I don't always use pins, most of the time I just wing it, yeah I'm a sewing rebel ;-)  So, what's the moral of this story?   Do what's most comfy for you!

Then just sew very close to the edge of the bias tape on the right side of your fabric. I usually sew about 1/8 inch form the edge of my bias tape, basically I'm top stitching the bias tape on the right side of my fabric.  This way you will be sure to catch the back (wider side) of the bias tape every time!!  

Well, that's it!  You did it!!

Woo Hoooooo!

Bias tape-ing accomplished in 2011 :-)

Now you can bias tape anything...

{what will you do with your new found skillz?

Happy Project Making To You!!

Labels: ,


Blogger Kiana said...

Thank you so much for posting this! I have been trying to figure this out for awhile! Now that i see your picture tutorial I am kinda like duh!! LOL!

January 4, 2011 at 9:14 AM  
Blogger Kelly said...

I wish I had read this a few months ago! It would have made some Christmas projects turn out a lot nicer!

January 4, 2011 at 1:40 PM  
Blogger Katie said...

This is a fabulous tutorial! I can't wait to try it out and make an oven mit! :)

January 4, 2011 at 2:48 PM  
Blogger Katie said...

This is a fabulous tutorial! I can't wait to try it out and make an oven mit! :)

January 4, 2011 at 2:48 PM  
Blogger truckermomma said...

I have never been able to make my bias tape look good, That is a neat idea on how to sew it. I think I am going to use this method from now on! Thanks for the tutorial.

January 4, 2011 at 2:50 PM  
Blogger Rachael said...

Thanks for the tut! I realize that I've been sewing bias tape incorrectly for quite some time now. This is a great way to get a nice look. Thanks!

January 4, 2011 at 5:44 PM  
Blogger Caroline @ Atelier Caroline said...

I knew i was doing this wrong - Thanks for the awesome tut.. i have it bookmarked now

January 4, 2011 at 6:46 PM  
Blogger Patricia said...

Thank you so much for this great tutorial! I just received a bias tape maker for Christmas and did not have a clue how to sew the tape to my projects. In the past, I have folded it over the raw edge and hoped for the best. THANK YOU!

January 4, 2011 at 8:00 PM  
Blogger Jill-O said...

Lovely! But, I have one question--what do you do if you are using bias tape around the corners of something? i.e. putting bias tape around the outside of a table runner. Help please?! :) Thanks for all your cute stuff!

January 5, 2011 at 10:46 AM  
Blogger Simple. Inspired. Homemade said...

Thank you for this great tut! I always have a problem with it!

January 5, 2011 at 1:38 PM  
Blogger Amanda said...

Love it!! I featured you today on Today's Top 20!


January 5, 2011 at 1:43 PM  
Blogger Jessie said...

Thank you for posting this! Great tutorial! What about putting bias tape that goes completely around a project?

January 5, 2011 at 7:30 PM  
Blogger Toughie said...

Thank you so much! This is a great tutorial, now I just want to put bias tape on EVERYTHING. Or at least try to! ;D

January 6, 2011 at 9:13 AM  
Blogger Michelle said...

Awesome! I love to sew and have gotten pretty good at it, but bias tape has always seemed to be my undoing. Thank you for helping unravel this mystery for me.

January 6, 2011 at 10:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the tutorial!

Could you show how to do
the same thing on a curve.

I usually have a problem
doing it on a curve for
some reason.

God Bless You and Yours!!!

January 6, 2011 at 12:23 PM  
Blogger Sunlight and Soil said...

Thank you Thank you Thank you! I've been using bias tape only b/c I know it'll make my projects better but I could never find a tutorial online! You are the most best for posting this...and yes, after seeing the pictures I said to myself, Duh.

January 6, 2011 at 11:55 PM  
Blogger Maggie said...

Hurrah! I'm so glad so many of you found this tutorial useful! I will try to do another post this week about how to sew bias tape around corners for those that have asked!

January 8, 2011 at 10:35 AM  
Blogger Sabrina said...

That is rediculously easy!! I guess I've been thinking it's much harder to do than it is! Thank you for sharing.

Sabrina from

January 9, 2011 at 6:53 AM  
Blogger Christy said...

I've used bias tape for a ton of projects, but never realized there was a narrower side!! This could explain some of the 'why does that look different than the last time?' moments. Thanks for the revelation!!

January 9, 2011 at 12:58 PM  
Blogger Itty Bitty said...

Thank you very much! I have overlooked so many patterns because I just didn't know how to do bias tape and it looked so difficult. You make it seem so easy! Thanks Again!

January 9, 2011 at 3:04 PM  
Blogger Obsession With Online Tutorials said...

Acckkk if I had only known when I tried the oven mit...thanks...could you show us if you are doing all the way around a hot-pad/blanket? PWEASE...

January 9, 2011 at 4:54 PM  
Blogger Tiffany said...

Great tute! I'm so glad I've been doing it right! I just wanted to mention, there's a $3 doo-dad called a "bias tape maker" in the notions section, and you can cut your own fabric strips (prettier than the standard offerings) and feed them through the doo-dad and follow with your iron, and it makes the niftiest pretty bias tape ever, and totally easy.

January 9, 2011 at 8:53 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

Such a great tutorial. I've added it to my Sewing 101 Round-up page.

Sewing 101 @ Pickup Some Creativity

January 9, 2011 at 8:56 PM  
Blogger Abby said...

Great tutorial! I've never used bias tape before. I'm curious if it would work as binding for a small quilted wall hanging - approximately 12" x 18"?? I'm looking forward to your "bias tape corners" tutorial for that :)

January 10, 2011 at 10:26 PM  
Blogger Cynthia said...

This is cool. I too would like to see a tutorial on using bias tape for binding a quilt. I wonder if that would be easier than doing regular binding. Thanks for the information.

January 11, 2011 at 11:41 AM  
Blogger jamie said...

Thanks to you, I accomplished my first project with binding tape...and it's not all bad! I credited you for your tutorial:
Thanks again. Love your blog.

January 16, 2011 at 8:16 PM  
Blogger Country Girl in the City said...

I used this tutorial yesterday. WOW, that was so much easier. I have worked with bias tape before, but I was always doing something wrong. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

January 23, 2011 at 9:03 AM  
Blogger lilyzmama said...

Thank you thank you thank you ! I was looking everywhere for a good explanation on who to sew bias tape. The "Wrights" website was not very clear on how to properly sew bias tape, BUT your tut is clear and easy to follow w/ excellent pictures !!! you rock =0)

January 29, 2011 at 2:07 AM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Thank you thank you!! I have tried to use bias tape before and it has never turned out well - this makes so much sense now. Thanks!

May 3, 2011 at 7:59 PM  
Anonymous Lindsay said...

I made some baby clothes for my daughter with bias tape and it didn't catch in some places and in others it did catch but the first time I washed them it came a bit loose. I see now where I went wrong and this is a fantastic tutorial with great pictures. So many others I've found don't have such clear pictures. I am making a dress for my older daughter and I feel a lot more confident in finishing it now. :)

May 24, 2011 at 4:19 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Just posted about how great this tutorial is and what I was able to create using your fabulous tutorial. Thanks again!!

June 21, 2011 at 9:08 PM  
Blogger Rie said...

Thank you so much for this! This is first tutorial that truly made sense to me!

And I think we have the same machine!

July 27, 2011 at 5:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you! my mom always helped me with this stuff but shes 160 miles away now.

September 29, 2011 at 6:30 PM  
Blogger Diane said...

I agree with the others, your tute made a lot of sense. I appreciate the time you put into this. Thanks! New follower! I'd appreciate a follow back.

September 29, 2011 at 9:21 PM  
Anonymous Dawn Castro/wolfmom2ac said...

Thank you Thank you for posting this!! I have a blanket that needs double fold binding and I could not for the life of me guess how to make the binding turn out nice. Thanks again for making my life easier!!

February 9, 2012 at 9:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow! As I was reading this I was thinking...Man, how did I not figure this out? I've been doing it SO wrong all this time! (I am obviously not a sew-er). Anyway, then I read the comments and thought, ok, now I don't feel so bad. LOL

March 13, 2012 at 8:43 PM  
Blogger Suzi Wollman said...

Thank you so much for this tutorial! I'm wondering if I could use this on my sewing blog to follow up a guest post on making your own bias tape? I mean, exposure works for both of us, huh? Thanks for considering. ~Suzi

March 14, 2012 at 1:46 PM  
Anonymous Leslie said...

I just made the cutest blanket but the bias tape wasn't I feel like I should redo it all...Thanks for the tutorial :)

March 21, 2012 at 5:44 PM  
Anonymous Eva said...

OK, I did it quiet wrong until now. Thanks fot this nice tutorial!

April 16, 2012 at 2:53 AM  
Blogger Shelley Davis said...

I have sewn for many years now. Never have I seen such a great tutorial and one done the right way!

Thank you, thank you!

July 1, 2012 at 6:08 PM  
Blogger Abigayle Conner said...

Thank you SO much for posting this tutorial. I have always, ALWAYS done it wrong and it ends up look like poop! Now I can finish my high chair re-covered padding, and make it look amazing! You're awesome!!

Eli & ELlie

July 2, 2012 at 2:14 PM  
Blogger Kristin Leamy said...

Oh my word, you saved my sewing life!! I can't believe how simple this is...yet the frustration I've had with trying to get the tape to enclose my raw edges and sew straight AND stay put...I had written it off for good. Now, I can try it again without fear! THANK YOU

July 20, 2012 at 2:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thankyou so much for the wonderful way to sew Bias Tape on! I have tried it before but not like that! I was doing it all wrong! Now I can sew and not be stressed out getting it to look right! Thanks again!! Yvonne

July 22, 2012 at 1:37 PM  
Blogger Jennifer from The Craft Patch said...

Very nice tutorial. Thanks!

July 24, 2012 at 3:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just curious; why did you turn under the ends, when the raw edges would be encased in the bias tape going around the outside? Also, if you "schootch" the longer edge under a bit more, you can stitch-in-the-ditch, and have an even pretter edge.

August 12, 2012 at 10:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow I like this...

September 7, 2012 at 8:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Like the others stated, I've been doing it all wrong for way too long. :-)

October 9, 2012 at 12:40 PM  
Anonymous Liv said...

Wow- awesome. I have also been doing it so wrong for too long. thanks for the tut and awesome pics :)

October 31, 2012 at 7:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i've done this for years but i stitch in the ditch which "hides" the stitching.

November 6, 2012 at 11:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I....I love you!

I finally get it! Can't wait to get my sewing machine back from its tune up later this week. THANKS!

November 11, 2012 at 3:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been sewing for years and never knew this! Thanks for posting!

December 6, 2012 at 1:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OMG. I made about 25 table runners at Christmas with bias tape. I can't believe I never knew this. Thank you.

January 4, 2013 at 7:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perfect timing.... making new ballet bags and now they will look nicer... THANKS

January 6, 2013 at 6:41 PM  
Anonymous Natalie said...

I hate bias tape..I even bought a bias tape foot and still couldn't figure the damn thing out. At christmas when I was making a bunch of gifts, I ended up skipping using it at all and figuring out other ways to finish the item(s).

THANK YOU for showing me how to use bias tape. Now when I use it I won't want to sob and throw my sewing machine out the window (haha, kidding I'd never do something crazy like that..though bias tape does make me go a little hulk haha)

February 15, 2013 at 8:36 PM  
Blogger Kristina said...

I've found that when I pin bias tape it shifts it ever so slightly so the stitches aren't quite as straight on the back side as this perfectionist would like. If it's a short stretch I just hold it in place, for longer stretches, I use binder or other kinds of clips to hold it in place. That way it's held right where I want to stitch it with no little shifts that come when I pin.

March 23, 2013 at 4:38 PM  
Blogger Deedra Hickman said...

I mentioned this post on my blog today:
You saved my project :)

May 13, 2013 at 9:21 AM  
Anonymous Miss Pixie said...

I also mentioned this post on my blog! I was writing a post with tips and tricks for people that just started sewing :)

Miss Pixie

October 28, 2013 at 12:13 PM  

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