just making 40 yards of bias tape over here

Often I use store-bought bias tape for projects because it’s fast, easy, and perfect when I feel lazy. But really the color selection is pretty limited. And I needed (wanted) an icy blue tape for a baby gift. So I pulled out my tiny bias tape maker and went a little crazy.
Of course every time I do that I question whether driving to the store and paying for bias tape is any faster. This stuff really comes together quickly.
If you’ve never made bias tape check out my previous two tutorials: Understanding and Making Bias Tape and How to Sew on Bias Tape

This time around I made some 1/2 inch wide tape and went even smaller….1/4 inch wide double-fold tape.
Sometimes I can’t decide if I should simply leave the tape single-fold? But I really use double-fold more often so I ironed those 13 yards on up. I’m always surprised at how many yards I can make….and then I frown at paying $3 for only 3 yards of the cheap store stuff.
Bias Tape!
1/4 inch and 1/2 inch.
(and I had to try this again. I miss my old header…)
I also have a tutorial outlining how to use the Simplicity Bias Tape maker (which is a fun machine that folds and irons the tape for you). But I’m having second thoughts on that machine.
After making bias tape many, many times I’ve concluded this….

I’m not one for fancy machines.

I prefer a paint brush to my paint gun. I’d rather cut out a simple freezer paper design than get out a Silhouette cutter. Sometimes it’s just easier to use minimal tools and your own hands.
So.
While I do like the Simplicity cutter (works great and wonderful), I really prefer using my old Clover bias tape makers. They’re cheap and available at most fabric shops (the larger 2 inch tip I purchased online). Just remember when purchasing that if you’re making double-fold tape, the tip size should be double the size you’d like to make. For instance…. a 1-inch tip will make 1/2 inch wide double-fold tape (the size I use for most projects).
I love making extra tape so I have options on-hand when a project comes up.
And bias tape also makes a great gift for sewing friends!
To dress up your tape, cut a cute board from heavy cardstock. Or cut some paper and glue it to the old boards from your store-bought stuff (I always save mine).
Wind it on up.
Wouldn’t you love to receive that in the mail?

Okay.
I’m off to use my bias tape. Yards and yards of it.
Unless it’s being used for this (which often it is, with two droids in-tow).
Have a great day!

  1. love all the happy colors in this post! and I miss that old header too…yay bias tape!

  2. I never realized how easy it is to make bias tape. I usually shy away from it because I didn’t really know how to make it or use it. Now I am dreaming of all the cute ones I can make once I unpack all my fabric. Yay! And I love the old header too…LOVE!

  3. 3) Brianna

    You make bias tape seem so easy and effortless! I have to try this, it’s on my “must do” list! Thanks for the great pictures as always. I miss the old header too, you should totally make that last picture your new header!! Just sayin…

  4. 4) Rochelle

    You’re crazy! Making bias tape has never been fast for me. Easy, sure, but never fast enough that I can make 40 yards of it as fast as I could get some at the store. You must be like lightning!

    • Yes, I’m terribly slow and get frustrated with bias tape. I wonder if it’s because my bias tape maker is a Dritz one instead of Clover?

  5. I STILL need to try making bias tape. My mother has shown me a few times now, and I seriously avoid projects that have bias tape!

    This was a good kick in the pants to try again ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks!!

  6. Bless you for sharing this! If my sewing machine wasn’t on the fritz I’d be making this right now {haven’t been able to find the perfect quilt binding for a nautical theme toddler quilt}!

  7. 8) May

    You make it look easy! It would definitely mean more fun and exciting bias tape – I always wondered where you got such cool ones and now I know. I’m going to try it and use up fabric scraps that way. Thank you!!!

  8. 9) Candice

    I love making bias tape as well! A gift of bias tape is a great idea. Cute, and cost effective.

  9. 11) Andrea

    I have never heard of such a thing! Thanks Dana, I always learn sew much from you.

  10. So beautiful! I’ve been thinking about making my own bias tape, but wondering if it uses a lot of fabric to do so… Because you cut on the angle, does it take up a ton of fabric to make a few yards of bias tape???

    • It doesn’t if you have a piece of fabric that you are ONLY using for bias tape. If you need to use it for other things, too, then the bias tape seems ridiculous. But I made some last month, with no tools except an iron, and it was hugely time consuming. I’m definitely going to try some other ways ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. Ohhhhh it looks just perfect! I love bias! Someday I’ll have a bias tape maker, looks good!
    A tip: instead of first cutting all the clothe and then sewing them all together, you could first sew and then cut. That way with only 1 sewing you would have all pieces together. Here are 2 tutorials that explain it (they are in Spanish, but with the photos and google translator…):
    http://diariodenaii.blogspot.com.es/2012/05/bies-continuo.html
    http://lainglesita.blogspot.com.es/2011/12/como-cortar-kilometros-de-cinta-al-bies.html

  12. I always love your bias tape, Dana. ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. I’m pretty certain that NOTHING at the fabric store is as cute as that bias tape!

    I want to make some too…but I think I need to finish about 10 other things first. Darn.

  14. 18) bdaiss

    My first thought seeing that photo of you ironing was “Waitaminute…I know she has one of those fancy machines! Why is she doing that by hand?!?” Ha. I’ll trade you…I hate making bias tape by hand. : )

  15. 19) jodie

    hi Dana, thanks for the cool website. Cant wait for your new book so i have something new to try out, cheers jodie :O)

  16. 20) Natalie

    So…I’m not understanding which bias tape maker you don’t like??? You like the small ones you’ve pictured right? Maybe I’m just not getting because I’m on my phone? :). Also, is it worth the investment to you over making it by hand. Mine always comes out a hair uneven…

    • 21) Dana

      Yea, I like the little ones better than the fancy $100 machine.
      The key is cutting your strips with a rotary cutter so they’re super even.
      But mine is still a bit “off” here and there ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. I like bias tape. You can mail me some if you have too much and need to get rid of it. I have the hardest time cutting a straight line with a rotary cutter and a ruler even with the nifty cutting mat with lines, so making bias tape would probably reduce me to a puddle on the floor. One day I will try it though, just to prove myself wrong.

  18. the bias tape is fab!! but the best part of this post is the last two pics heee!

  19. 24) Angelique

    You inspired me to make my own tape last year when I made the beach robes for my girls. It was a bit frustrating because I had a hard time getting the bias tape maker to stay straight (which may speak more to my cutting technique). But the real issue is sewing it. I had to rip stitches frequently because the seam on the back wouldn’t catch the tape.

    • 25) Dana

      you need to make sure when you iron the tape in half that you make one side of it slightly wider than the other side (so when you sew it on, the wider part is on the underside of the fabric, ensuring that the stitching will go through to the back side). it’s explained a little more in the original tutorial:
      http://www.dana-made-it.com/2008/07/technique-understanding-bias-and-making.html
      hope that helps!

      • 26) Angelique

        Oooh! I did offset the fold so one side was wider than the other, but I may have put the wider side on the front! I guess I missed that tip. Thank you so much!

  20. 27) Fabi

    LOve the bias tape. Where did you get the yellow fabric and polka dot fabric The fabric district? Thanks

    • 28) Dana

      the fabrics are from Hobby Lobby!

  21. Wow!- I think you should be selling these- they look amazing.
    Love the spotty one.
    And your photos are beautiful, too.
    Xx
    BTW am TOTALLY loving your nail colour. X

  22. Super cute! Thanks for bringing it to the top of my to do list again! P.S. Glad to see my boys aren’t the only ones who think all my ribbons/craft items far more interesting than the multiplying toys argh! ๐Ÿ™‚

  23. Everything you make is so appealing! Even bias tape, something I never thought I’d consider making myself! I used to fine it boring.

  24. 32) Catherine

    Looks lovely! I was wondering since you talk about single and double fold bias tape, what can the single fold one be used for?

    • 33) Dana

      single fold tape can be used to sew on top of fabric, like a trim. I’m making a skirt with some right now ๐Ÿ™‚

      • 34) Amanda

        Ahhh! That’s what it’s used for!! Thankyou. Have been wondering what the difference was. Love your blog Dana. I’ve only been sewing for 6 months and love it!!

  25. 35) Missy

    That last picture cracked me up! My soon to be 4 year old is in love with his R2-D2 and C3PO Legos! So I was able to identify with that picture and the creative use of them!! Thanks for that!

  26. Thanks for the reminder on making my own as well as expressing the thought that sometimes “simpler is better”. I feel the same:)

    I have to admit, I miss your headers too. The purple bubbles aren’t doing it for me:(

  27. Wait, you cut and sew together each of the individual strips? Have you ever tried the continuous strip method? It’s my go-to method, but I’m wondering if you’ve compared the two in terms of speed and results.

  28. So pretty! And I love your bright, crisp pictures! I am just coming back from long time of no-sewing. Have to brush up on everything, even tools and new fabric. Seriously!
    Thank you so much for your blog and all you share with us.
    ~Iryna

  29. I totally love the picture with R2D2 being a total SciFi nerd. I want to thank you for the tutorial on the bias tape. I am definitely planning to make some when I get my craft room in order. I want to start making bags and custom bias tape is definitely needed. Oh, and I adore the cute cards you made to put them on. Would be perfect to give some bias tape as a gift to a friend who loves to sew.

  30. Oooh those bias tape pics are looking so yummy! like something to eat. I also make a lot of bias tape for my projects, and I also like to use my hands instead of fancy machines, but that tool you are using looks nifty, I might just buy that one.

  31. Thanks so much for this info. I thought making bias tape was going to be so much work but once I read this, I realized it would be very useful to make my own. I just ordered a little bias tape maker like the ones you have above.

    Thanks! ๐Ÿ™‚

  32. 43) Rachel Adair

    I loved your tutorials, especially the one regarding bias tape which I have to admit I also went a bit crazy on and I found a new appreciation for my iron. I have become quite smitten with your blog in general so thank you for some really great patterns and ideas and I look forward to my next e-mail telling me you posted so new blog.

    Thanks again!

  33. As a fellow bias tape addict-ahem-lover, I salute you. As usual.

  34. 45) themissymom

    I make my bias tape just like you!!! I love my Clover tools. They are the best. I seriously considered the machine…..but if I have to cut, sew, and then wind it on that spool to let it go through the machine and potentially have it be “off” or not straight or whatever…forget it.
    I often will do a huge batch just like you, too.
    It has been some time since I reviewed your tutorial on making it, but I use spray starch to stiffen it up a little. (just like the store bought)
    I also do the double fold just a hair off center, like the store bought, so I can be lazy and sew it on in one step instead of opening it out, sewing then turning, and sewing again.

  35. Huh, who would a ever thunk! Pretty clever, time consuming but clever! Maybe an activity for when I’m hibernating this winter:-)

  36. holy heck girl you can come make me bias tape anytime you’d like ๐Ÿ˜‰

    I hear ya, though. I would much rather make it myself than buy it at the store (soooo expensive when you use a lot of it!) And, thank you for this post. I just looked at the Clover bias tape maker at JoAnn’s the other day and thought to myself “I should have that!” but stopped from buying it. After seeing it in use here, I will take my 40% off coupon in and grab it next time ๐Ÿ˜‰
    Thank you for, yet another, wonderful post.

  37. You’re such a clever girl! Wished you lived near me. My homemade bias binding never look so good as I cut by hand and do not have that fantastic contraption that you own! Will have to look out for one and hope that it does not cost an arm and a leg locally.

    Happy sewing!

  38. I love the final “droids save Rapunzel” pictures. That is my house to a tee! Thanks for always being so inspiring!

  39. Dear Dana!
    By any chance – do you have a website who sell Biastape ‘makers’ because -Can’t find it here in Norway. Have a cosin living in USA so might get her to by some for me – where did you get yours?

    Have to say : Your kids – cutiepies!! And your so cool!

    Lots of love from Norway ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Ida

  40. 52) Jennifer

    Love the fabric choices! I go back and forth between the bias tape maker and the small ones that are hand held. I usually burn my fingers on the iron but the machine goes very fast especially when I am making it double fold. Thanks for the inspiration- I may just make some with the random fabrics I have and use it somewhere!

  41. Hi, because of your tutorial about making bias tape, I bought one my self. Thanks!

  42. 56) jenifer n

    Do you prewash your fabric before making the bias tape? Thanks

  43. 57) Vanessa Edwards

    So here’s a question. I didn’t fully understand the facts before I purchased my bias tape maker. I got the 1/2 inch one (that I’m now seeing will make 1/4 double fold). Is there any way to manipulate the fabric to make 1/2 double fold out of my mistake??? Please help!

  44. Hello, i believe that i saw you visited my
    web site thus i got here to return the favor?.I am attempting to find issues to enhance my website!I guess its ok to make
    use of a few of your ideas!!

  45. 59) Carolyn

    This was awesome help. i have been confused which size bias maker I needed to purchase but now I know. I have making my own with a lot of measuring and some guess work. Probably not the neatest way to do it. So I am really excited to get one. Thanks for your sharing of experience.

  46. Pingback: How to make + sew Piping! – MADE EVERYDAY

Leave a Comment