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I LOOOOVE bias tape. Sure, there are lots of types of bias tape that you can buy in a shop, but making your own is so cool because you can use perfectly matching fabrics with the exact width that you prefer. You have total control over your project. But cutting out a gazillion diagonal strips can waste a lot of fabric and it can take a while to sew them all together. Luckily, your bias making experience is about to get a whole lot better because I’m going to show you how to make continuous bias tape easily with just two seams without wasting fabric!
I’ve already shown how to make bias tape with a bias tape maker as part of my Bias Tape Series, however today’s trick makes it a whole lot easier to make a LOT of bias tape so much more quickly. Basically we are going to sew the fabric into a sort of skewed tube so that we can cut around in a spiral while still getting perfect bias. It’s sort of magical!
Enough talk– let me show you how to make continuous bias tape in a flash!
- cut of cotton woven fabric, preferably a square, but not necessarily
- rotary cutter*
- cutting mat*
- quilting ruler*
- 25mm (1″) bias tape maker* for 25mm (1″) single fold bias tape or 12.5mm (½”) double fold bias tape, the size I use the most (or get a great deal on this 5-size set of bias tape makers*!)
- Collapsible sleeve ironing board* (optional but recommended)
- regular pen
Preparing the fabric:
It’s possible to use this technique with a rectangle of fabric, but let me show you with a square, just to keep it simple. Let’s first make a perfect square cut on the grain.
1. Iron the fabric. Then use the lines on the cutting mat to lay it out straight and cut one edge with the cutter and ruler.
2. Pull up the cut edge up by the corner so that the folded edge is along a 45° angle line on the cutting mat (top).
3. Cut the other sides of the triangle with the cutter and ruler along the 0° and 90° lines (bottom).
When you unfold the triangle again, you will find a perfect square! Remove the other fabric.
4. Cut the square from corner to corner, using the lines as a guide (above at left).
5. Line up the edges of the two triangles as shown in the picture above at right, right sides facing. Notice that one tip of each triangle sticks out a little bit at the top. (Look at the picture below for a closer look.)
We are using a 1 cm seam allowance, so make sure that the amount of fabric sticking out at the top is 1 cm as measured perpendicular to the diagonal edge, as you can see in the picture above.
6. Pin the lined up edge and sew with a 1 cm (3/8″) seam allowance.
7. Open up the triangles so that you get a parallelogram and iron open the seam. Then lay out the fabric, wrong side up, along the bottom line of the cutting mat.
Now we’ll start tracing the cutting lines!
10 thoughts on “How to make continuous bias tape in one long strip”
Great explanation! I just used this exact technique for a recent project requiring bias tape and was going to post about the “how to” later. (Yeah, you beat me to it.) It is a timesaver compared to cutting and sewing strips, isn’t it?
Oh YES, Rochelle! Once I learned this technique, I just don’t have the patience to cut and sew every single strip anymore! And there’s something that’s just so satisfying about cutting out along that tube that one massively long strip, don’t you find?! Haha! Thanks for stopping by! 🙂
Would be great if there is a video for this cos i don’t quite get it actually. But it was a nice explanation.
I know, Jewl, I would like to start making more videos, and if I do, I’ll definitely make one for this to help show how to fold the fabric!
Jewl I don’t quite get it either. But I’m new to sewing and I never took geometry!! Can you believe that??!! But I’m sure a video would help tremendously.! Thanks for the information!!
Jill, I’ll get around to making a video! I have started making more videos, so eventually I’ll do it and add it on here! 🙂
I like to think of myself as unbiased!
Haha! Sometimes, though, as in the case of fabric, it’s a good thing to be biased!