Make Your Own Adorable Bias Tape Binding the Easy Way

diy bias tape binding
how to make your own bias tape binding

Bias tape binding is used in a lot of sewing projects, and I love working with it. But did you know that you can make your own?

Why would you want to make your own bias tape when you can go to the fabric store and buy a package of bias tape already made?

bias tape at the store

If you’ve ever gone to the fabric store to buy bias tape, you’ll notice that they only come in a selective amount of solid colors, and that’s boring!

You’ll find the color to match your sewing project fabric if you’re lucky.

What you’re not going to see is bias tape that is made from cute colored prints.

FAT QUARTER BIAS TAPE binding

In this post, I’m going to show you how you can get five yards of bias tape binding by using just ONE fat quarter of fabric. Making bias tape is quite simple.

It only takes about 30 minutes to make five yards.

I’ll show you how to make a single fold bias tape, a double fold bias tape, and bias strips for binding a quilt.

Be sure to watch the video tutorial at the end of the post because I show you throughout the video several different tips that maybe you haven’t seen before, and I show you how I store and organize my bias tape.

I do have a previous post where I showed how to make bias tape using a different method and in that tutorial, I go over in more detail about what bias tape is, what it’s used for, so you might want to check that out.

Watch the video tutorial at the end of the post because I show you several different tips throughout the video that you haven’t seen before, and I show you how I store and organize my bias tape.

In a previous post, I showed how to make bias tape using a different method, and in that tutorial, I went over in more detail what bias tape is and what it’s used for, so you should check that out.

 

bias tape binding supplies

Bias Tape Binding Materials and Items Needed

Bias Tape Instructions

1 -Fabric Prep

The first thing that you’ll do is press the fabric to get the wrinkles out.

If using a FAT QUARTER, which usually measures around 21×18 inches, you’ll need to cut it into a square. (18×18 inches).

bias tape binding

FAT QUARTER INSTRUCTIONS

***If you’ve cut your fabric 18x 18, you’ll, you’ll skip this part.

Place the fabric with the RIGHT SIDE FACING UP.

Square up the fabric by bringing the short edge to the long edge.

Line up the edges so it makes a perfect triangle. (You may need to straighten off the edges because they don’t always cut it straight at the fabric store).

Cut off the excess. So that you have a piece of fabric 18×18 inches. It can be bigger or smaller, it just needs to be square.

cutter blad tipIf it’s been a while since you’ve changed your rotary cutter blade, you may want to do that. I have a post showing you all about rotary cutters, including changing the blade.

It makes a big difference if you have a sharp blade.

You can READ THIS POST for more details about “how to change the blade”.

bias tape binding folded triangle

2 -Cutting Two Triangles

Before you open the triangle up, cut the fabric into two separate triangles.

Cut it along the fold of the triangle.

Take your scissors, lay them flat like this, and push them out onto the fold.

Cut down all the way with the flat edge of your scissors on the table.

bias tape binding

Flip both layers of fabric to the right.

Take the top layer and flip it to the right

Line the top edges up. Leave an ¼ inch tail on that side where indicated in the photo.

Pin it in place.

bias tape binding seam allowance guide

3 -Sewing the bias tape binding fabric.

You can put a quarter-inch presser foot on your sewing machine, but if your sewing machine doesn’t come with a quarter-inch presser foot, you can take a piece of masking tape, washi tape, or painter’s tape and put it down on that quarter inch seam marking on your sewing machine plate.

bias tape binding top seam

Sew the top edge using a quarter-inch seam allowance.

Change the stitch length to a 2 instead of a 2.5. This will keep the stitches just a little bit more secure.

***Check out the video for a great tip on starting a seam without the fabric bunching up.

bias tape pressing

4 -Press the seam allowance open.

bias trape binding drawing lines

5 -Marking the bias tape strips

Place the wrong side facing up and mark two-inch strips starting at the bottom of the fabric and work your way up until you’ve filled the fabric with 2-inch increments.

Cut off the remaining fabric.

bias tape binding excess

These two-inch strips will make a double-fold bias tape that measures 1/2 inch or one-inch single-fold bias tape.

Of course, you can make bigger strips of bias tape if you want.

The lines must be accurate.

6 -Sewing the bias tape fabric

DO NOT CUT STRIPS YET!

bias tape lining up linesFlip the right side facing up. Bring the ends towards the center. (You think you would just line up the lines straight across, right? But you don’t.

You’re going to shift the lines up one row, then line up the lines.

This is where the magic happens!

quarter inch ext bias tapeFind the point on the left piece of fabric. That point needs to extend past the line underneath by ¼ inch.

Pin the edges in place, careful not to pull the top or bottom fabric tighter than the other.

Go to the sewing machine and sew down that side using an ¼ inch seam allowance. No need to backstitch.

It will seem a little awkward, and it won’t lay flat; it will look like the photo above.

press bias tape seamPress the seam open.

***If you’ve ever made bias tape binding where you cut a bunch of strips sewn them together individually, and then pressed each individual strip seam allowance open, then you know how tedious it can be.

It also takes a lot more time. This way you have such nice, neatly pressed seam allowances.

It’s the easiest way to make bias tape!

***If you’ve ever made bias tape where you cut a bunch of strips sewn them together individually, and then pressed each individual strip seam allowance open, then you know how tedious it can be.

It also takes a lot more time. This way you have such nice, neatly pressed seam allowances.

It’s the easiest way to make bias tape!

butting bias tape strips

7 -Cutting bias tape binding strips

Start cutting the strips by following the lines.

Continue cutting until you have five yards of bias tape.

Ta-da!

bias tape binding types

There are three types of bias tape, bias strips for binding without a fold, single fold and double fold bias tape.

8 -Unpressed bias strips

Simply leave it unpressed or just fold it in half, then place it on mini bolts ready for use.

bias tape binding folding

9 -Making single-fold bias tape (manually without bias tape maker)

Fold the bias tape strip in half. Then bring the edges together in the center and press the outer folds.

Continue that process until you have pressed the whole strip.

bias tape binding maker

10-Double fold tape using the bias tape maker

This little tool is so handy!

They come in several sizes, and for this project, I am using the “blue tool”.

Slide the point of one of the points into the tool. Sometimes, it’s a little challenging to get it to come out.

Just take a pin and kind of cinch that up through that slit that’s on top of the tool.

Gently start pulling the fabric through the tool, and it will start folding the fabric sides in.

bias tape binding single fold

Start pressing it as you pull.

When you go over the seams, you may have to fuss with it just a little bit, and it can be a little annoying, but stick with it because, in the long run, it’s so worth it.

Continue to do that until the whole strip is folded.

I like to leave my strips wide because I don’t want that fold in some projects when I’m using a double, especially if I’m going around corners or things.

11- Double fold bias tape binding without the tool

To make double-fold bias tape, fold it in half again and press it in place. That’s it.

storing bias tape

How to store and organize your bias tape strips

I use comic boards to store my small pieces of fabric, as I’ve shown in this post.

These comic boards work well to also store bias tape.

1 – Making bias tape bolts.

Cut the boards. 5 X 2.5 inches. (This is the same size board that come with your store bought bias tape.)

bias tape binding mini bold

2 – Folding bias tape on boards

Take your bias tape strip and start wrapping it around the board. You don’t want to pull it too tight.

Tuck the end under the already wrapped tape.

I found the perfect box matching the bins I used to put my small fabric bolts on.

YOU CAN GET THEM HERE

They fit in these boxes perfectly!

BIAS TAPE binding CABINET

They have adhesive strips on the back so you can hang them on your sewing wall or inside a cabinet door like mine.

It’s eye candy for my sewing room.

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Jan Howell

Whether it’s a new recipe, a fun craft, or some handy tips for your garden and home, I hope to empower and inspire you with skills that you can use to create joy, improved health, and to do it in a simple way.

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How To Apply and Use Kam Snaps the Easy Way

kam snaps

When you have a sewing or craft project that requires a snap, these Kam snaps are the best! They are durable, easy to apply and come in so many fun colors. In this tutorial, I show you how easy they are to apply and some ways that you can use them.

kam snaps kit

Snap application can be a little intimidating for some, but there really is nothing to it, especially when you use this Kam snaps kit. Over the years I’ve used different snaps and different application methods, and this is by far my favorite so far.

You do need the little pliers, but the kit is very reasonably priced and the kit I recommend comes with some snaps as well.

How to Use Kam Snaps

Here are a few ideas and ways to use these snaps.

  • Baby bibs
  • Hats
  • Homemade cloth diapers
  • Shirts
  • Homemade wallets
  • Jackets
  • Baby pajamas
  • and really anywhere else where you need two pieces of fabric to connect

I find the Kam snap application is a lot easier than sewing around Velcro. I will admit, however, there are times when Velcro is more appropriate for certain applications.

Kam Snap Parts & Tools Needed

Kam snaps come with three different pieces: a thumbtack-looking piece, and a male & female piece.

For each snap you’ll need:

  • 2 cap pieces
  • 1 male piece
  • 1 female
  • Kam snap pliers & awl

How to Apply Kam Snaps

1- Locate the spot where you need to apply a snap.

Take the sharp awl that the kit comes with and poke it through both layers of fabric. Wiggle the awl around a bit to make the hole more distinct.

2- Take one of the THUMBTACK pieces and poke it through the fabric from the RIGHT SIDE to the WRONG SIDE.

3- Place MALE PIECE on top of the thumbtack with the HAT-LOOKING side facing away from the fabric.

4- Hold these items together and place them inside the pliers with the back of the THUMBTACK piece set into the little black holder on the pliers.

Make sure it is in place before squeezing the pliers. (If you listen, most times you can hear a little click when the tack is in place).

5- To apply the other snap, take a THUMBTACK piece and insert it into the other hole from the BACKSIDE of the fabric to the front.

6- Take the FEMALE PIECE and place it on top of the fabric and proceed as you did before using the pliers.

That’s it. So simple and so quick.

kam snaps

I hope this was helpful and that you’ll feel comfortable and inspired to give snaps a whirl in some of your next projects.

CHECK OUT MY SEWING PATTERNS HERE

Have fun creating!

Here are some project tutorials you may be interested in:

DIY Baby Bib Tutorial | Reversible

DIY Fleece Earflap Hat | Simple Sewing Tutorial

 

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Jan Howell

Whether it’s a new recipe, a fun craft, or some handy tips for your garden and home, I hope to empower and inspire you with skills that you can use to create joy, improved health, and to do it in a simple way.

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A Beginners Guide to Rotary Cutting / Helpful Tips and Tricks

rotary cutting

When it comes to sewing and crafting, rotary cutting makes the task on hand so much easier and quicker. Here are some helpful tips and tricks you might want to know.

In this post I am going to go over:

  • Different types and sizes of rotary blades
  • Rotary blades
  • Changing the blade
  • Cutting mats
  • Rulers
  • Cutting curves
  • Cutting on knit fabrics
  • How to square off fabric pieces with the ruler and rotary cutter
  • Safety tips and useful accessories

Benefits of Using a Rotary Cutting Device

  • Get a clean straight cut
  • Quick cutting
  • Easily cuts multiple layers of fabric
  • Makes cutting shear and delicate fabric much easier
  • Cuts precise fabric for quilting cuts
rotary cutting cutters

Rotary Cutters

There are many different types and brands of rotary cutters out there. I’ve acquired and tried several different types of cutters over the years. Some have been great and some, not so much. Alternative cutting edges include blades for pinking or scalloping, which are interchangeable and less expensive than buying a special pair of shears.

Rotary cutters come in several different sizes. The most common sizes are 28mm, 45mm, and 60mm.

  • 28mm: cutting strips, squaring fabric, cutting curves and intricate pieces
  • 45mm: straight cutting, strip cutting, squaring blocks, can cut through multiple layers at once(up to 8 layers at once), cuts a variety of fabric types including thicker/heavyweight fabrics
  • 60mm: straight cutting, strip cutting, can cut through multiple layers at once(up to 12 layers at once), cuts thicker/heavyweight fabrics with ease

The 45mm cutter is the one I use most frequently and would recommend for your first rotary cutter.

Rotary Cutting Safety

Before I go any further, I want to emphasize how important it is to be cautious when using a rotary cutter. These blades are VERY, VERY SHARP!

You’ll want to make sure your fingers are out of the way of the blade.

Always cut away from your body. You may be tempted, when in a hurry to cut toward you, instead of flipping the fabric, but DON’T DO IT!

Apply the blade cover when not using the cutter. (I will admit, and my viewers catch it), that I don’t always follow this rule. It has come back to bite/cut me, a few times.

I really, really like this rotary cutter because it has an automatic retractable blade. When you cut, you’ll squeeze the handle and when you’re finished cutting and release it, the blade retracts. Its ergonomic handle is very comfortable to use and is one of my favorites!

 

How Do You Know When to Change the Blade?

Rotary cutting blades need to be changed occasionally. It just depends on how much you use it. You can tell if after cutting it leaves uncut sections or just doesn’t cut well. Don’t hesitate in changing it for a new one, because a new blade will make your cutting experience so much better, and safer.

How to Change the Rotary Cutting Blade

Each rotary cutting device will be a little different, but they’re all pretty similar. If you have an Olfa cutter, you can go on their website and find the different types of cutters and see how to change the blade. BE VERY CAUTIOUS when handling the blade.rotary cutting changing blade order

  1. Disassemble the cutter by first unscrewing the nut. ****Very important! As you remove each component, set them down in the order you remove them.
  2. Remove the metal washer and the plastic washer next.
  3. Pull the handle off the stem that holds the blade and set it aside. (I will go over what to do with the old blade in a bit).
  4. Carefully remove the old blade from the stem and replace it with a new blade.rotary cutting blade change
  5. Place the handle back onto the stem followed by the metal washer with the curve FACING UP like a cup.
  6. Next, place the nut back onto the stem and tighten until the front disk begins to spin. DO NOT OVER TIGHTEN!
rotary cutting used blades

What to Do With the Used Rotary Cutting Blades?

As I have mentioned a few times, these blades are super sharp and you don’t want to just throw these babies in the trash. I recommend writing on the blade with a sharpie pen “USED” and placing it back into the case it came in. This way when you fill the case with used blades, you can just throw the case away.

The used blades come in handy when you want to make cuts on paper, cardboard, or other material that you wouldn’t want to use a nice new blade on.

Another tip: Write the date on the new blade, so you can have a reference for how long the blade has been on there.

Rotary Cutting Mats

Let’s go over the mats now. Using a rotary cutter requires a special mat underneath the fabric to protect your table and a special blade. (Don’t try using a rotary cutter without a cutting mat)!

Just like the cutters and rulers, there are A LOT of different kinds, brands and colors of mats out there. There are plastic mats, self-healing mats, and PVC mats. The most popular and known mats are the self-healing mats.

What is a Self-Healing Mat?

Self-healing cutting mats work by ‘absorbing’ the cut from a blade. The mat is made from many tiny particles that are pressed to create a solid surface: one that is not rigid like glass or hard plastic so that the ‘cut’ of the blade can be absorbed amongst those particles.

When you run a blade over and over in the same place on a self-healing mat, you’ll see that the damage becomes more pronounced as the cut makes more of an impact each time. Little fibers get stuck down in the cuts and eventually, you’ll have to replace the mat.

I have found a new kind of mat that I love! It’s called the BIG ROTARY CUTTING MAT. It’s made of PVC and is NOT self-healing.

rotary cutting mats

What is the Advantage of a PVC Mat?

  • Although it isn’t self-healing, it is quite durable and comes in all kinds of sizes up to 40” x 72”.
  • This mat is not supposed to warp and comes with a 5-year guarantee.
  • The company is a family business and is based in the USA. I like supporting local businesses.
  • Your rotary cutting blades will stay sharp longer.
  • You don’t have to put as much pressure on the blade.
  • It’s reversible and can be flipped to an all-white mat.

I have several sizes of these mats, but I LOVE my 36” x 60” mat. It fits really nicely on my sewing table where I sit my sewing machines.  When you cut on this mat, it will make little raised surfaces, but no worries. They send a little plastic scraper that you simply scrape over the surface to smooth it out, good as new.

Rotary Cutting Rulers

If you want to make straight cuts, which I’m sure you’ll want to do, you’ll need a ruler. This ruler needs to be made of durable plastic and there are a lot of different styles, widths, and colors out there.

They range in different widths and lengths. I would recommend getting a basic size to start with. I like this one. It’s 6.5 inches x 24 inches. 

rotary cutting ruler

Rotary Cutting Tips

Rotary cutters are great to square off a piece of fabric if you’re making a quilt or something that needs a square edge. (Watch the video tutorial where I demo exactly how to do this).

There is nothing more frustrating than to make a straight cut and have the ends not cut through all the way. TO AVOID THIS ISSUE, start cutting before the edge of the fabric and cut a few inches off the end of the fabric.

You can buy little accessories that make cutting a little easier. This BIG Mat Company has several different items.

I really like the ruler stabilizer. It is a little plastic rectangle that you can apply to the end of your ruler to act like a T-square or you can apply it anywhere on the mat as a straight edge. It’s really quite helpful.

***When cutting a straight strip, press firmly on the ruler and KEEP YOUR FINGERS OUT OF THE WAY!

I hope this was helpful and that you have fun cutting and creating.

Let me know in the comments below if you have any great rotary cutting tips to share with us.

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Jan Howell

Whether it’s a new recipe, a fun craft, or some handy tips for your garden and home, I hope to empower and inspire you with skills that you can use to create joy, improved health, and to do it in a simple way.

Read More