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How to Make Bias Tape

Learn how to make bias tape from designer Jennifer Wiese in this Howcast tutorial.


Hi. I'm Jennifer from Workerm Social.Today, I'm going to show you how to make bias tape. Before I show you how to make bias tape, let's just talk really quickly about what bias tape is.

Bias tape is a tape that you can make or buy pre-made in the store. It is cut on the bias of fabric. If you take a piece of fabric and you stretch it length grain, it stretches not that much and then cross grain, it stretches more, and bias, or diagonal stretches a ton.

We like to use bias tape for lots of different uses in sewing because it's easy to work with and does a lot of things because it stretches. Let's show you how to make it.

You're going to take a piece of fabric and you're going to cut on the diagonal, or on the bias. I'm just going to make a straight edge to work off of first. I'm cutting on the diagonal and I'm just going to make a straight line. To make bias tape, we're going to use what's called a bias tape maker, which are these tools. What this does is it folds the fabric for you to take the strips that we're cutting and make them the tape.

You should refer to whatever your instructions say for your bias tape maker for how wide to cut your strips. For me, I'm cutting 2-inch strips, a little less. I'm cutting about 1 7/8ths. I'm just going to line up my ruler to cut my strip.

I've cut my strip, which is going to turn into my bias tape. This corresponds with our bias tape maker. If you have diagonals on the ends, you can just cut them off to make them straight. Now it's time to take our strip and our bias tape maker to the iron.

We have our bias strips cut. Now it's time to make our bias tape. What you want to do is take your bias tape maker and feed your bias strip through the bias tape maker on the wide end. I'm just kind of going to tuck that in. Then you can grab some kind of tool, I'm using a seam ripper. There's a little slit right here down the middle. I'm just going to catch that with something pointy and help pull the fabric through until it comes out the top.

Now, once it comes out the top, I'm going to pull it. These little grooves that are on the narrow end that kind of hold the tape in a curved manner. I'm just going to reposition the fabric so that my fabric is tucked in those grooves. You can see now how the fabric is curling. If the fabric wasn't tucked in those grooves then it wouldn't curl. I just want to make sure that it's all set up.

Now what I want to do is just make sure that this is pretty centered. Then we're going to press this all flat. Right now it's really curvy, but we want to press it flat so that it's easy to work with. To do that, I'm just going to, I'm right handed, so I'm going to hold the iron with my right hand, which means I'm going to use my left hand to pull the tape maker very slowly towards the back. As I do that, the tape maker is going to roll the fabric as I iron.

I'm going to start just by pressing down this edge to get it steady. What you can do to kind of help is pin the top portion where you're starting to hold that down flat so that it's not jumping up on you. If you're doing this, make sure your iron is not getting anywhere near plastic head pins or else it might melt your pins.

I'm just going to use my iron. I'm going to pull my bias tape maker. Together, we're going to iron our bias tape flat. You can see here what the bias tape looks like when it's pressed. You'll just continue doing that on all bias tape that you need. The slower you go, the better your results will be. You also want to try and hold the iron close to the tape maker. That's going to help you get a really nice, flat, even press.

I've run to the end of my ironing board, so I'm just going to stop right there. Here you can see this is the right side of our bias tape. This is the wrong side of our bias tape. You can see how stretchy that is. That's how you make bias tape.

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