Friday, July 15, 2011

Mini-tutorial: Perfect bias binding seams, every time

Hello everybody! It's been a long absence. Summer is here, school's out, and I'm busier than ever trying to keep my kids entertained. September can't come fast enough! This means I haven't had that much time to sew or try new patterns, unfortunately.

So I thought about sharing some tidbits with you on how to achieve perfect bias binding seams. There are about a trillion tutorials on how to make bias binding (or bias tape), continuous binding binding, etc. so I am not going to reinvent the wheel and write another tutorial. Usually you're told to position two strips, right sides together, at a right angle, like this:

What most tutorials don't tell you, and this is where I always had the most trouble, is to where exactly position the top strip, so that when you sew both strips together you don't get this:

FAIL!! If you don't position the strips correctly, then the binding will get all distorted. Not good.

Here's how to avoid this. I am making a regular 2" wide, double fold bias tape. If you're going to use a 1/2" seam allowance, you need to position the top tape at the 3/4" mark, like this:

Sew it together, press open, trim the tips (and the allowance if you want), and... perfect results!

Here's a handy table:

1/2" seam allowance - 3/4" mark
3/8" seam allowance - 1/2" mark
1/4" seam allowance - 1/4" mark

Hope this helps!

By the way, did you know that just a fat quarter of fabric yields over 4 YARDS of 2-inch bias binding? That's impressive!