How to Make Bias Binding

Bias binding is an alternative way to give a hem, sleeves or neckline a lovely neat finish and also introduce a contrasting colour or design to your garment for that added wow factor. Here we'll tell you how to create your own enabling you to choose exactly the colour or design you would like if you are unable to find something suitable from the ready made bias binding options available. Here's how to do it in a few simple steps:

Start with a piece of fabric 50cm x 50cm square, which will give you a finished length of bias binding about 70cm long. If you need a longer length than this adjust the size of your fabric piece accordingly.

Fold the fabric in half diagonally, right sides together, and cut down the fold.

Bias Binding - Making the first cut

If you have a quilters ruler and rotary cutter position the ruler edge so it runs 2.5cm away from the edge of the longest side of the fabric and cut along this line.

Bias Binding - Cutting the strips

If you don't have a quilters ruler and rotary cutter measure 2.5cm from the edge of the longest side of the fabric and continue working your way down the length of fabric marking points 2.5cm away from the edge. Use your dressmaking scissors to cut along your markings taking care to keep the fabric lying as flat as possible.

The width of fabric you have created will allow for a 0.5cm seam both sides of the binding and a 0.75cm strip of bias binding visible on each side of your garment.

You will now have two strips of fabric 2.5cm wide. Position them as displayed in the image below:

Bias Binding - Positioning the strips

Lay one strip on top of the other as demonstrated below:

Bias Binding - Sewing the end together

Pin the strips right sides together, open them out and check the edges of the fabric marry up correctly. If they don't unpin, adjust and re-pin until you're happy.

Once you are happy with the positioning machine stitch across the overlapped edges 0.5cm down from the top.

You will now have one continuous strip of fabric to work with, give it a press before attaching it to your garment.

Bias Binding - the join

Lining the bias binding up with the edge of your garment, right sides together, pin them together taking care to stretch the binding slightly as you pin. This is because the binding is cut on the bias and will look slightly wavy if you miss out this step.

Bias Binding - Pinning to the garment

Machine stitch 0.5cm from the edge all the way around the garment.

Bias Binding - Attaching to the garment

Press the binding away from the blouse from the right side of the garment.

Fold a 0.5cm seam on the remaining edge of the binding then bring it back onto the wrong side of the garment ready for hand stitching. This stage can feel a little fiddly at first, but once you have your first few stitches in place you will find it easy to manoeuvre as you work your way around.

If you have an overlocker you can avoid the hand stitching by overlocking the edge of the binding, folding it over and sewing a stitch in the ditch from the right side.

One last press and hey presto you've got a hand made lovely trimming for your latest masterpiece!

Bias Binding - the finished garment

Have fun sewing!

Lucy and Angela

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