Earlier this month we looked at making bias tape or bias binding (is there a difference?)
How to work out how much a square of fabric will make, or how to decide how big a square you need to start with for any given length – swanky calculator spreadsheet or handy table
Now it’s time to start using it. But oh dear, it’s not as easy as you might think when you start out. A straight line is fine, but corners – oh my! I just assumed because it was on the bias and stretchy, that I just would bend it slightly round the corners and that would be fine. You do not want to see my first attempt – its a sewing nightmare!
So after much research and trial and error, I am now much improved, although my accuracy could still improve to get the most neat finish. But take a look at these steps for how to turn a corner with your bias binding. If you go on to join me in some of the projects later this month, you’ll need to know how to do this.
Turning corners with bias binding
Sew along the fold in your bias tape, keeping the tape level with the raw edge of the project being bound. As you approach the corner, stop sewing but leave the needle in place and the presser foot down.
Fold the bias tape up at a 90 degree angle lining it up with the point of the approaching corner. This will give you a diagonal 45 degree angle at the corner. Finger-press to leave a small crease then open it back out again.
Now continue sewing until you get to that diagonal crease. Back stitch a few stitches and cut your thread.
Refold the tape on the diagonal. Then fold the tape back down at a 90 degree angle so that the free end is now laying flat along the direction you’ll be sewing next. Pop in a pin, or just hold it in place as you take it back to the machine.
Start stitching in the fold line right at the edge of the fabric and sew to nearly the next corner. Repeat the steps above to turn the next corner until you are completed.
This is how the corner will look when you turn it the right side out.
Phew – not so difficult when you know how. But what about the back I hear you ask. Let’s take a look at what happens when you turn it to the other side.
Smooth out the front side you just sewed and turn the remaining bias tape over to the back of your project. Turn under at the fold and pin neatly in place, making sure that you just cover the stitching line from the front side. When it comes to the corners, fold in one side, then the other and if the sides are nice and even, you should get a nice neat 45 degree corner, like this one. Pin in place.
Now its time to stitch around once more. I like to stitch again from the original side, just inside the edge I stitched before, and this should catch the bias tape folded over to the back. Just double check the fold on the corners as you get to it.
Here is the finished result, front and back.
And here is my finished over-sized mug rug, made from just a few scraps of fabric left-overs. Room for a big mug of creamy cappuccino and a Chocolate Hob-Nob! (That’s a favorite dunk-able cookie from the UK.)
Working with bias binding, and making nice neat edges, turns and corners has given me an even greater appreciation for the skills of all the quilters out there, where accuracy in sewing and seam allowances in so important.
Authored by: Deby at So Sew Easy