Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Bias Binding Tutorial - Version 1

Bias binding is a nice, clean way to finish an edge.  You can use matching fabric or contrasting for a different look.  There's three major ways to do it, so in the next few days I'll be showing you all three versions.  The first is a quick, easy way to do bias tape that requires some precision with the machine but saves a lot of handwork.

Version 1: Stitch in the Ditch

Start by cutting a bias strip of fabric 4x the width you want the final binding to be.  For instance, I like 1/2" binding on my corsets so I cut 2" strips.  My favorite way of doing this is with a rotary cutter, but employ your own favorite way of cutting continuous bias, there are a ton of ways out there.  If your bias is not long enough for your edge piece strips together to get one long enough.

Take your bias tape and pin one edge flush with the edge of the fabric you're binding.  I know it looks ripply here, I'm not sure why that is, but make it flat and smooth on the face of the fabric.

Sew down the strip.  The width of your seam allowance will be the width of your final bias binding (in this case 1/2").

Fold the bias tape over the edge of the fabric to the back.  Then fold the seam allowance in to the fabric, leaving a smooth fold on the back of the fabric that is longer than the seam from the other side (this is key.  Back must be minutely longer than front for this method to work).  Press and pin in place.

Using your machine, sew the front of the fabric along the line where the bias tape folds.  Don't stitch on the bias tape, stitch the fabric right where the bias tape ends (that's why this is called "stitch in the ditch").  If you did it right when you are finished the bias tape on the back will be barely caught by the second seam, and the seam in the front will sink into the shadow created by the bias tape and be virtually invisible.

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