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.