How To Make Bias Binding
Finishing your beautiful garments with a custom bias binding will elevate your creations to the next level. It is easy to learn how to make bias binding, follow along with the instructions below or watch my video; you will be sewing coordinating bias binding in no time. And loving the way your finished pieces look.
This simple technique will take your garments from good to great, giving them a polished and sophisticated, high end look. There are several finishing techniques available, but for knit garments bias binding is the best option. Bias binding is also a great choice for finishing raw edges on woven fabric too. Quilters love finishing their quilt edges with a hefty bias binding.
More than just a neck binding, bias binding works for sleeveless arm holes, finishing seams with a Hong Kong covered seam allowance, and many other creative uses. It is one of those techniques you need to have in your sewing toolbox.
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How To Cut Fabric To Make Bias Binding
With the help of a cutting mat, rotary cutter, and rule that has a 45 degree mark, cutting bias binding is super easy. (There instructions in the video below)
Lay your ruler with the 45 degree angle flush with the selvage edge of the fabric and the ruler extended across the fabric. Cut along the ruler edge with your rotary cutter. This will lop off a triangle and create a 45 degree cutting angle.
Then cut your bias binding strips at the desired angle using this angle as the baseline. Set your ruler on the fabric strip to be cut at the desired width and have at it!
Watch the video for a visual demonstration.
The Folding Process
Once you have cut your bias strips you can fold them into beautiful bias binding strips. The folding process for a four-fold bias binding — my favorite because the seams are hidden — is outlined below.
Fold your bias strip wrong sides together and press a seam down the middle.
Next, open the bias binding strip up and fold the raw edges (on each side) to the center seam that you just pressed. You can pin the strips right into the ironing board and then press. This helps save me from burnt fingers.
Finally, repress the center seam encasing the raw edges. Voila, you have beautiful bias binding in a jiffy.
YouTube Video Instructions
Options For Bias Binding Fabric
There are lots of great fabric options for making bias binding. Please don’t use the pre-made option, you will not like the way it finishes the edges of your garments.
Fold Over Elastic
One of the simplest options is to use fold over elastic. It does take a bit of practice to get the hang of stitching in on to the neck edge, it looks very retail high end when applied correctly.
You can find fold over elastic at Minerva.
Matching Fashion Fabric
When you use the same fashion fabric as your garment, you create a seamless and professional look. Purchase an extra half yard of fashion fabric to use for cutting your binding. The same fabric will blend into your overall look, making this option perfect for a first effort. Since there is no contrast, any wobbles will not be as obvious as with a contrasting fabric.
Contrasting Fashion Fabric
When you select a contrasting fabric to create your binded edge it can make a personal fashion statement. This binding on the inside of my lined jacket is only visible if I take the jacket off. However, I know it is there, and it makes me smile when I put the jacket on. That is why I love sewing!
This type of finish is called a Hong Kong finish. You essentially wrap the raw edges of the seam allowances in binding. This process not only keeps the seam allowance from fraying, it also looks very tailored.
Tools You Will Need
- Cutting Mat Kit, shop for your mat at Minerva
- Marking chalk, shop for your fabric marker at Minerva
- Scissors, shop for your scissors at Minerva
Patterns Used In The Video
Style Arc Teddy Designer Top
Learn how to make this cute top in the Style Arc Teddy Designer Top Sew Along.
This top uses facings to finish the seams. However, I was wearing it in the video — I love this top — so I wanted to mention it here.
Rio Ringer T-Shirt & Dress
I love this classic tee, it is my go-to tee pattern. So cute, right? The Rio Ringer T-Shirt & Dress is a perfect pattern to practice your new bias binding skills.
Types Of Bias Tape
There are basically two types of tape.
Single Fold Bias Tape
Single fold bias binding (tape) is folded and pressed – wrong sides together. It is the product of the first step in making double fold bias tape.
Double Fold Bias Tape
We have been covering double fold bias binding (tape) in this how to sew post. This is also the most popular type of continuous bias binding used in quilt finishes.
Using A Bias Tape Maker
You can use a bias tape maker, to press your bias strips. I have a few floating around in my studio, but I can never find them when I need them. For me, it is easier to simply press the tape without feeding the strips through the tape maker.
A Beautiful Finish
I hope you will go out and make your own fashion fabric trim now that you understand how to make bias binding. The simple technique of cutting your fabric on a 45 degree angle and applying the stretchy bias strips to finish your edges will elevate your garments to the next level.