Making Your Own Bias Tape
This is simple if you have the right tools: a two-inch wide see-through ruler and rotary cutter or scissors.
First: Do the Math!
For Single Bias Binding
Bias tape needs to be at least four times the desired finished width of the binding. Add ¼” (6mm) to 3/8” (9mm) total to help with the stretching and easing you may have to accommodate when binding curves.
For Double Bias Binding
Bias tape needs to be at least six times the desired finished width of the binding. Add ¼” (6mm) to 3/8” (9mm) total to help with the stretching and easing you may have to accommodate when binding curves.
- Decide on the width of bias tape you want. This depends on your seam allowance at top and bottom, what kind of effect you want, and which method of binding you choose, either single or double. Assuming the seam allowance is ½” (13mm) and you’re using the single bias method, then you’ll need bias tape that is at least 2” (50mm) wide plus 1/4” (6mm) for a total width of 2 ¼” or 56mm.
- Spread your fabric out on the table. It should be pressed and wrinkle free. Your see-through ruler should have small squares on it and you can line these squares up with the selvedge so it is running diagonally through the squares.
- Use disappearing ink or chalk to draw the lines on both sides of the ruler for the first strip and use one of these lines to line up your ruler for the next strip. Repeat to get the number of strips you require.
Note: You may want to measure the lengths of the top and bottom edges to see what lengths you’ll need. If the lengths are longer than what you can get in one piece of bias tape, then you’ll need to piece the bias tape before sewing it onto your corset.
- Cut the bias strips along the lines you have drawn
- If you need to piece them together do so by using the angles already found at either end. Don’t cut these angles off as you need to sew the pieces together on the bias to keep the stretch characteristic.
Applying Bias Tape
There are two basic methods of applying bias tape to a garment; single and double binding. Double binding is sometimes known as French binding.
- With right sides together and raw edges aligned stitch the bias tape to the edge of the corset, having folded back the end of the tape so that it will be encased within the bias binding when finished. You’re stitching along the seam line.
- Flip the bias tape over the seam allowance.
- Press the bias tape seam.
- Fold the raw edge of the bias tape toward the raw edge of the corset.
- Roll the folded bias tape over the seam allowance so that the folded edge is on your stitching line that attached the bias tape to the corset.
- Hand stitch the folded edge into place.
- Fold the bias tape down the center lengthwise, wrong sides together, raw edges together.
- Place the bias tape on the edge of the corset (right sides together) with the raw edges of the bias tape lined up with the raw edge of the corset. Fold back the front and back ends so they will be encased in the bias tape once it’s sewn into place. Stitch the bias tape to the corset along the seam line, stitching through both layers of bias tape and the corset.
- Flip the bias tape toward the raw edges and roll it over the edge to the inside of the corset. The folded edge should come to the stitching line you have just sewn.
- Hand stitch the folded edge of the bias tape in place.
Both methods have been illustrated using 2” wide bias tape, a common size available for purchase at most retail stores.