How to make bias binding

How to make bias binding

How to make bias binding

Maybe I’m a little “bias”…

You may have seen a few weeks ago I chatted about a detail called Hong Kong seams when making a jacket.  This is where you encase the raw edge of a joined seam with some bias binding, it gives a really smart finish to a garment. Even though it’s tucked away on the inside and maybe you’ll be the only one who knows it’s there, but it sure looks good.

Now it may seem like an unnecessary expense getting a few meters of bias binding to tidy up a seam, but you needn’t always raid your sewing piggy bank to do it.  You can always try making your own bias binding, if you’ve never tried doing it before I’d definitely recommend giving it ago.  Let me guide you through the steps to make bias binding.

Left over fabric is perfect for the job, alternatively you could reuse an old item of clothing that has seen better days.  I had a shirt that I loved the colour and pattern of which unfortunately tore, so rather than throw it away I set to making some bias binding out of it.

As you probably know, the bias is the diagonal movement across a woven piece of fabric. This gives a degree of stretch and flexibility, well this is exactly what bias binding is made from.

I use a handy little bias binding tool to help me with the making process, it was only a couple of pounds from a local haberdashery, but this isn’t essential. You can also do it with a bit of diligent folding and pressing.

Ok so lets see how you do it.

1. I firstly press the fabric panel and lay it out flat.

2. On a 45 degree angle (the bias) I cut long strips of fabric 1” (2.5cm) wide.

3. Taking these strips I neaten up the ends by cutting them in line with the grain.

4. Now I join the sections together by taking two strips, placing them at right angles to each other right sides together.

5. I pin together on this join and straight stitch at the point where they cross over, which is just about 1/4” (6mm) in from the edge.

6. I snip off the corners of the excess and press the seam open.

7. Now comes the handy little tool, basically you feed the fabric through it and press well as it comes out.

8. I begin by feeding the first couple of inches through and pressing.

9. I then pin the start of the binding to my canvas covered table (you can do this on the ironing board too).

10. Now all I have to do is draw the tool along the fabric a bit, press well and repeat.

So maybe not as easy as buying bias binding, but definitely cheaper and more satisfying and what could be a more personal way to finish a garment.

Go on, give it a go.

Matt Chapple, winner of the Great British Sewing BeeMatt x

The stitcher. A magnet for foolery & prankster at heart. Loves being creative, whether with some wood and a saw or with a needle and thread. Attempts to disguise his past time activities as manly pursuits, but is actually pretty handy at sewing!


  1. BeccaT 4 years ago

    I have always been nervous of making my own bias binding but your tutorial makes it look so simple! So I am going to take the plunge and give it a go. Thanks v. Much

    • Author
      Matt 4 years ago

      Becca I am so pleased that I can help. Nothing to be afraid of, give it a try and let me know how you get on…

  2. R 4 years ago

    Have you ever tried the continuous bias binding method?
    Personally I find cutting the strip this way ok, but whatever way i’ve cut my strips, when I try and put it though the bias binder tool I end up with a hot mess that looks like it was made by a toddler.
    Any extra tips on how to do that step?

    • Author
      Matt 4 years ago


      I love the Colette site, such a great source of inspiration. I for one haven’t tried the continuous method, the piece by piece method makes sense to me as I can cut nice straight lines rather than round a tube shape. I think that when you’re trying to make something that looks even it’s good to start with straight lines. But that is just my opinion.

      I know it takes a bit more time, but when I’m making binding I like to just pull a few inches through at a time and then press, then repeat. Any more and I begin to lose the fold.

      Happy making

Leave a reply