Bias tape binding used to scare me. Whenever I tried it, it always turned out looking so homemade, wonky, and often I’d miss the back of the binding, and would have to go over it.
In the midst of an alteration for a client (that’s a fancy word for friend who needed some sewing done) I discovered how “They” did it… you know them, the fancy manufacturers who have presser feet that make everything perfect, or some magic robot that sews everything exactly right.
So today I’m sharing my Aha moment with YOU!
I used this method to make the bias tape binding around the neck of the top I posted a few days ago.
First you have to make bias tape. I’m not sure why it took me so long, but about a year ago I bought this:
So I used the bias tape maker thing (official name I’m sure) and cut strips of my rayon challis on the bias (diagonal). The width of your strips will depend on the width of your bias tape. My strips were 1 1/4″.
As you feed your fabric into the fat end of the tool it comes out folded! (I use a large embroidery needle to guide my fabric into it initially) So you iron it at it feeds out of the tool which makes a beautiful bias tape.
I use double fold bias tape on this neckline, so I fold it over again, being sure to match the edges as precisely as I can, and press it.
You can also purchase bias tape, but for most projects I wouldn’t recommend it because its usually made from stiff cotton or cotton/poly blend. I generally try to use the same type of fabric as my garment.
Next, turn your top inside out, and place right side of bias tape to wrong side of your top. Line up the edges and stitch along your first fold. Can you see it? I should mention that before this I stitch together my bias tape to make a circle the size I need (slightly smaller than my neckline)
Now fold your bias tape over the raw edge of your neckline to match the pressed folds in it. You can pin all along the binding so that the white stitching is covered (but just barely). But remove your pins as you sew, if you stitch over your pins it will make your stitch look less even.
BUT….. I like to live on the edge so I just hold it with my thumb and index finger as I sew. I know. I’m a rebel. Stitch right along the edge, about 1/16″ away from the inside.
Because you already secured the back of your binding you don’t have to worry too much if you don’t catch the back with your stitches, that way you just have to focus on that perfect line along the front. You can see it in the photo below that I was off by just a tad, but it’s on the inside of the neckline, so it doesn’t show when you’re wearing the top.
And there you have it! I’ve actually been using this method a ton the past couple weeks because I drafted a new pattern for a top/dress for my girls with contrasting bias tape (my new favorite design detail… can you tell?)