Originally posted on January 24, 2018 by Cheryl Sleboda
When you need bias tape or binding in a hurry, you can easily purchase prepackaged bias tapes, or you can make it yourself from your own fabrics for a more custom look. However, folding the edges to press them to make even bias tape can be very difficult, especially with the stretchy bias cut edges. Coming to our rescue is another long time sewing tool box friend: the bias tape maker.
Bias tape makers have been around for many years, so they are not new, but what is new are the variety of sizes you can get now. Your starting width of fabric should be twice as wide as you want your finished bias tape to be. If you need a 1/2 inch finished folded bias tape, your fabric should start off as a 1 inch wide strip of fabric (cut on the bias, or diagonal). You insert the strip into the bias tape maker and the fold is created for you by the metal curl inside the tool. Your cut edges are now matched evenly inside the fold and you can iron it for an even tape.
Typically you set your bias tape maker and your iron at your ironing board and as you pull the tape through the maker you can pass it directly under your iron. A word of caution is that if you have a very long strip of bias tape to make, ironing in the same spot constantly could start to scorch your ironing board. (We speak from experience!) . The trick is that you will pull the strip, iron a little, and repeat. It’s best to put a pin in the strip at one end and create your strip across your ironing board to prevent the scorch and also create a long strip quickly.
To see how Katherine Jones uses bias tape to make applique quilts, check out the January/February 2018 issue!