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!


  1. Wow, great! Thank you for clarifying!!

  2. Thanks! That really helps! I've wanted to mess with making my own bias for quilting, but the off kilter way it always looked always intimidated me...I've only recently built enough confidence where I might have sat down to figure it out...thank you for saving me the trouble!!!!!!

  3. I'm glad this has taken the fear away. It's one of those things you just need to sit down and do it, like zippers (my personal nemesis!).


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