There are many projects that will require bias binding or that you may even want to use binding instead of other alternatives. The bias is the diagonal line that runs across the grain of the fabric, this creates the loose stretch perfect for binding. This is how to make bias binding.
Bias binding can be used for finishing off a sleeveless shirt, to hemming a pillow edge or just to make a nice edging on a patchwork quilt. The bias binding is ideal to use on curved edges as the fabric stretches to rest around the curve and not create a pleat.
Equipment And Materials
- Tape Measure
- Fabric Scissors/ Rotary Cutter
- Quilting Ruler
- Tailors Chalk Pen
- Pack of Bias Mouse – These come as a variety pack of 4 different sizes and is great to change up for different projects.
- Fabric- make sure you have roughly measured out how much you need before cutting into the fabric.
Remember to always iron and press your fabric so you get a nice clean edge. It always helps me to get all my equipment out and next to me ready so you don’t have to stop halfway through to find your pins. I always leave the iron out, ready to flick on and use.
How To Make Bias Binding
To start to lay your fabric on your surface, either side down as this doesn’t matter right now. Fold over the corner from one side over on a diagonal to create a triangle.
Your fabric doesn’t have to be extremely neat on both sides but if you trim down at least one edge you can use that as a guide for making bias binding.
Following the edge of the fabric on the diagonal, measure your desired length of the bias. I wanted to create a finished bias of 1 inch so I cut bias strips of 2 inch wide.
You can alter your width depending on how thick you want to make your own bias binding. I chose 2 inches on how to make bias binding guide to show you in more detail the steps.
Measure along keeping your width at 2 inches, mark along with your chalk pen. Go over the lines joining up the lines with a ruler to create a solid line.
I found using a quilting ruler and lining up the edge of the fabric fold and using the 2-inch line on the ruler give you a really accurate and precise measurement. If you don’t have a quilting ruler measure along at intervals to create a line.
Cut along the line to create your strips of fabric. You will know that you have done this right as when you pull the fabric it will stretch and bounce back. You should end up with something very similar to the image below.
You can use scissors to cut the lines or you can use a rotary cutter with the quilting ruler to give you straight lines. The rotary cutter is also great for being easy to use creating fast and simple lines.
Now you have the individual strips you want to take the folded piece and cut it in half. You can do this the same way as you created the other strips using the chalk pen and scissors or with the rotary cutter and ruler.
Once you have all your strips, you need to join the strips together.
Lay your first piece down with the right side facing up. Lay your second piece over the top of the diagonal edge, when doing this make sure your fabric is right side down.
You want to create a right angle with the 2 pieces to look like an L-shape. You can pin this in place so you don’t loose the shape while you sew it into place.
Once all your strips are connected and pinned together. To know that your strips are going to line up you can simply pull the top piece to create a line. If the line doesn’t continue to create a smooth strip you can adjust the position and re-pin into place.
This will get easier each time you place the corner together. If you pin on the line you are going to sew you will get an accurate line.
Once all your strips are pinned into place, take to your sewing machine. Sew the strips together following the diagonal line of the pin and fabric edge.
This is the finished seam, I would say to always use 1/4 inch seam as to give you plenty of fabric to work with. This will also keep the seam from fraying or coming apart.
As the pieces are sewn together, take them to the ironing board. Press ope all the seams so that the bulk of the seam is spread out over the sides, this will help when using the bias mouse.
Another way to cut down the bulk on the seam is trimming the edges. In the image above you can see the overhand from the seam. Trim these down to create a continuous line on both sides.
Thread one end of the bias binding into the bias mouse and pull through to create a short end. Keep pulling the fabric through the bias mouse to create the folds. If you get a little stuck try using some tweezers or an unpicker.
Once the fabric is in place, slowly pull the mouse backward. Press the iron on to the fabric to hold the fold into place. Keep pulling along and follow with your iron. Once you are at the end you are done and have created your bias binding.
That is everything on my tutorial on how to make bias binding. Let me know in the comments below what you use your bias binding for and what your favourite width to use is. I would love to know the many ways you can use your bias binding.