Monday 12 October 2015

How To Make Your Own Bias Binding

Do you follow the Village Haberdashery's blog 'The Daily Stitch'? If not, maybe you should, it's very pretty. They've recently released some super exciting plans over there about their new premises and how you can own a little piece of the business. Well, anyway, if you do already follow The Daily Stitch, you will probably have already seen this post that is to follow as I've been doing a spot of guest-blogging over there. However, Annie has be insanely generous and allowed me to re-post my guest posts on my own blog for those who may not have already seen it. 

This is a simple how-to/tutorial for making your own bias binding. It’s such a fun thing to do, and really helps give your sewing projects extra personality and swankiness! The variety of pre-made bias binding available is pretty limited, plus I find that the usual stuff can be pretty stiff, which is not great for garment sewing in particular. Whether you choose to make binding that perfectly coordinates with your project, or that creates a bold or pretty contrast, your garment making and quilting projects can be elevated to something even more unique!

What You Will Need:

Selecting Fabric:

First you’ll need to select your fabric. If you plan to make coordinating binding, then you will just need to harvest some scraps left over from your cutting out. If you intend to make coordinating binding, then light-to-medium weight cotton (like quilting cotton or shirting) is ideal. There are a couple of things to consider if selecting printed fabric. Keep in mind the scale of the print; it has to be a small design to show up well on a narrow strip of binding. Striped fabric can be fun when made into binding, but it can create an extra challenge if you attempt to make the joins unnoticeable.

In terms of quantity, we’ll be making the binding from diagonal strips of your fabric, so try to find some scraps that can be cut into decent length strips to save you from having to make lots of joins. If you are buying fabric specifically for making bias binding, a fat quarter should be ample.

How to Make Bias Binding:

Give your fabric a press and lay it flat. Position your set square, pattern master or ruler so one edge is at a 45 degree angle to the selvedge or your fabric (see picture above). Many set squares and pattern masters have a 45 degree angle line printed on them or are a triangle shape (like the one I’ve used here), so it is easy to find. However, if you do not have a set square or pattern master, no problem! Eye-balling a 45 degree angle will be fine, or if you prefer to be more accurate and still have the edge cut across the width of your fabric, bring the cut edge so that it lays on top of the selvedge, then press down on the fold you have made. When you open it out again a crease should have formed at the 45 degree angle required.

Use a marking tool to draw along the 45 degree line, then cut along it. If you have a rotary cutter and cutting mat then you can use these straight away and eliminate the need to draw a line on your fabric.

Time to decide how wide you want your finished bias binding to be. Think about what width you want the binding to be when it has been sewn round the edge or your project, then times that by four (X 4) to figure out how wide the bias strips will need to be cut. In the example photographed, I wanted the bias binding to be 1cm wide when sewn, so I made the bias strips 4cm wide.

Use a ruler and marking tool to draw another line that runs parallel to your bias cut edge, at the width that you just calculated. If you have a set square or pattern master that has lines printed along one edge, this can help you mark the correct strip width quickly. Cut with scissors or a rotary cutter.

Continue cutting strips until you feel you have more than enough to bind the edges of your sewing project. It may sound obvious, but it’s better to make too much bias binding than end up with not quite enough, so if you can, cut a couple of extra strips than you feel would be sufficient.

Now you need to join the strips to form one continuous length. Start by laying the ends of the strips on top of each other perpendicular with right sides together (see above).  The strips will be stitched together at a 45 degree angle (more 45 degree angles!) so pin the strips accordingly and mark the stitching line if you wish (see above). Stitch the joins.

All your strips should now be attached to each other with joins resembling the picture above.

Trim away the excess seam allowance at each join leaving about 1cm.

With your iron set at a temperature suitable for your fabric (test on a scrap first!), press the seam allowances open at each join. Trim away the little triangles of seam allowance that extend beyond the edges of your strip.  

Give each join another press from the right side to make the long strip extra flat.

Fold and press your strip in half lengthways. 

Open the strip again so you can see the crease that has been formed along the centre. Bring the top edge to meet the centre crease and press.

Bring the bottom edge to meet the centre crease and press.

Give your bias strip one more press from the right side and you’re done. TA DA! You have made your own beautiful bias binding!!!!!


Rebecca Pattydoo said...

Ooh great - thanks for such clear pictures of how to sew the join between strips! :)

Eluned said...

I love making my own bias binding, it's so easy and pretty, and really finishes my seams of gorgeously!

I had a tutorial like this down for my blog schedule - I might let it sit for a little while now that you've done yours so I don't look like I'm copying you! Haha! xx

Anonymous said...

You could treat yourself to a wide bias binding gadget which is loads of fun to use and just cuts short the ironing phase. It's magic and well worth the initial outlay!

Mother of Reinvention said...

This is a great post. I love making bias binding and have the little gadgets in all sizes. Old ties are perfect for this. They have a surprisingly large amount of fabric in them and they are already cut on the bias. I use them for lots of things and am always picking up nice colours when I see them. Also a lot of them are silk so can be dyed or painted. Oh, that has just give me a post idea. :) Xx

Heather Haynes said...

I love the fabric that is suitable for the binding. But the process is hard and requires many careful details.


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