Thursday, May 5, 2011

How to Make Bias Binding

We get quite a few people in the store looking for bias binding.  We used to carry it, but we always seemed to stock the wrong colors and I would end up either giving a quick demonstration on how to make your own binding, using the method below, or referring them to the 'big box' store that everyone seems to dread going to.

Making your own bias binding is not difficult and the benefits far outweigh the time it takes to make it.  It's less expensive AND there's no matching colors and settling for 'close enough' when what you really want is something with some 'cute' factor in it.

There are many ways to make bias binding, but this way seemed to be the easiest for me.  So without further ado, here is how I make bias binding:

Start with a piece of fabric, I used a fat quarter for demonstration purposes.

Lay your fabric out on your work surface.  

Take the upper left corner (A) and fold it down till it is even with bottom edge (B)

Now take the bottom left corner (C) and fold it up towards the top edge (D)

C & D will now become E

Take the left corner (F) to meet the top (E)

Fold down any extra fabric (wrapping it around the folded piece if necessary) till you have  a nice neat rectangle. 

View from the folded end.  All folds should line up one on top of the other.

You are now going to square up the fabric using your rotary cutter and ruler.   

Being sure to use your ruler so that the  cut will be on the true bias.

Once everything is squared up cut off just the folds. (about 1/4")

Now using your ruler line up your bias strips.  

I like mine 2 1/2" wide so this is were I'll make all my cuts.

I'll cut down the full length of fabric - I can always use the extra bias strips. 

Now we sew these all together.  I like to sew mine on the bias.  I've marked my stitch line.

Sometimes you luck out and the strips will line up.  Here I'll sew in  1/4".  Note the corners extending 1/4".  You'll want to be sure to have this so that when you open the strip everything lines up perfect. 

All the strips sewn together. 

Press the seam to one side. 

Make the binding by folding the strip in half lengthwise. 

When you sew your strips on the bias, you avoid the seam stacking, which reduces the bulk when sewing. 

You can now add your binding to any project.  


  1. I make my own bias tape too, but I've never folded it like you do to simplify the cutting-clever!

    P.S. I'll be stopping by the shop soon to pic up that pattern you ordered for me. THANKS again for doing that.

  2. Hi Jen,
    Be sure to bring that handsome baby of yours. :-)

  3. Very cool! Printing this one out!

  4. That folding trick is genius! Making your own binding is totally worth it, especially if you use it with a binding foot, which isn't necessary, but is SOOOOOO cool.

  5. Thanks so much for this! I didn't have a ruler or rotary cutter (or any sort of ruler, for that matter) so I used a bookmark to cut similar-sized strips from the scraps of my material. It worked surprisingly well, and now I have a few metres of binding for my dress.