Handmade Bias Tape

Bias tape (or bias binding as we call it in the UK) added to the edge of projects is a fantastic way to finish raw edges. Use around the edge of quilts, tote bags or fabric baskets. When the choice of bias tape in the shops doesn’t match your project or you fancy something different, then making your own may take some additional time, but the results are worth it.

Finshed tape 2


Start by cutting out a rectangle of your selected fabric. The size will depend on the length and width of tape you need.

You’ll need 4 times the width for double fold tape; for example – for 1/2″ tape you’ll need a fabric strip of 2 inches.

Fold over one edge, crease and cut along this line.


Sew the cutoff section to the opposite side of the rectangle.

Join it to the opposite side Sewn  fabric

Now draw some lines on the back of the fabric that are 4 times wider than your finished tape. (I’m still assuming you’re doing double fold here.)

Draw lines

Wrap the fabric into a tunnel, aligning the the lines “offset” by one.

Match lines 1 over

Pin and sew this edge together. This is tricky than it sounds. Pin the edges together and check the drawn line alignment, keep adjusting until they match up. This will create that offset tube. Iron the seam flat.

sewed lines

Now starting at this first line, cut along the lines carefully. You’ll soon notice that the lines go around the tube in a long continuous line.

The bias tape at this stage is a little delicate. Be careful not to pull on it too much.

We now have to iron in the folds.  If you have a handy dandy bias tape maker, then go ahead and make away. However, if you haven’t, this is a very simple (and cheaper) alternative.

On the ironing board place a large enough needle to create a gap, double the tape size you’re after. Fold the tape edges to the middle and ease under the needle.

Alternative to tape maker

Now gently pull through, adjusting as you go and iron the tape as it comes through. You’ll find that wrapping the tape around something as you go helps control the tape. I use a piece of scrap cardboard. This will help set the tape as it cools.

wrap the tape as you go

Now just keep going until you reach the end. Giving the wound tape a quick press on the cardboard will also help set the folds.

Pin the tape at the end. You’re done. the tape is ready for to finish your project with your individually created tape.

Finshed tape 2

Here are some other tapes made for different projects, I made *this tape for this fabric bunting in this post, what will you use yours for?




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