November 21, 2011

A year in scraps :: bias tape

A year in scraps :: biased

As I was cleaning out my crafts closet, one of the things I came across was tons and tons of fabric scraps. Such a pity to throw them out, but putting them in just another bag isn't a solution really, as soon I'll have more scrap bags than anything else in my closet. Instead, I decided to somehow 'structure' the mess - by making some bias tape. A nice opportunity to test the new bias tape maker I got last week.

A year in scraps :: bias tape

It took me no more than an hour from beginning to end. The result is a roll of - what? - six or seven yards of the most colorful and unique bias tape.
I have no idea yet what I'll use it for - a bag most likely or for binding a small quilt - but for now just looking at it makes me feel happy as every little piece of it reminds me of something else I made over the past year.

The crafts closet still looks like a mess but at least I made some good use of (a tiny bit of) my fabric scraps!

Interested in giving this a try?

You'll need:

- fabric scraps, preferably of same weight
- rotary cutter, ruler, cutting mat
- sewing machine
- iron and ironing board
- bias tape maker (don't bother about the fusing tape mentioned on the package - it works perfectly well without)
Note: As I was looking up 'bias tape maker' I came across this tutorial which shows how to do it without a store bought bias tape maker. Clever!

1. Cut your scraps on the bias in strips of 3.5 cm (or any other width to your liking/ corresponding to your bias tape maker) - I used 3.5cm as this is what my bias maker likes - this will result in 1.8cm wide bias tape.

A year in scraps :: bias tape

2. Joining the pieces: Once you have enough scraps, take everything to the sewing machine. Place two pieces, right sides facing, perpendicularly onto each other and stitch at a 45° angle. (Here are some very clear instructions as to how exactly to do this.) Make sure to have right sides facing, to avoid seams ending up at the front of your tape!

A year in scraps :: bias tape

3. When you're finished take everything to the ironing board. Press all seams open and trim any excess fabric and loose ends if you haven't done so already.

4. Now feed your bias tape through the bias tape maker and iron as you go. Do this from beginning to end while trying not to burn your fingers.

5. Roll the bias tape onto a piece of cardboard, a tube or something similar. And ready!

A year in scraps :: bias tape

A year in scraps :: bias tape


Tracy said...

Wow I love it what a great use of fabric.

Nina said...

That's gorgeous! Don't you use scraps for patchwork too, though?

Seaweed and Raine said...

It's so pretty! Could look great as the hem on a white summer skirt too... great use of scraps! :)

Pascale said...

I like the white skirt idea! Thanks!

Frances said...

I also like that idea of adding decorative bias to a white skirt's hem.

Isn't it fun to discover treasures loitering amongst our fabric leftovers?

Your photos of home made bias tape somehow punched a button in my ancient memory...way back in the last 1960's when I first tried to cut my own bias tape to add trim to a blouse I was making. Don't think that I was yet 20. So, your post has truly taken me back in time.


blue moss said...

love, love, love!!
just looking at your pretty tape makes me smile....i've always wanted to try making some. thanks for the directions :)

Sue Schlabach said...

This is a revelation! I have a bias tape maker and have used it a few times (burnt fingers as proof). But I love the pieced together styling and I have no fewer than 8 brimming baskets of scraps...perhaps more. I look forward to seeing where your bias tape is used in future posts.

tane said...

good for you! Must have been very satisfying.
The color combo is fantastic.

for me, it's one of those projects that I think of doing someday, forever. : )

Cindy said...

i love your patchwork bias tape. i made a denim skirt a while back and added some bias tape to the hem and pocket. totally changed it.

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful idea! I've been idly going through my scraps this week planning a destash in my easy shop, but now I know some of it is going to have to go into crazy bias binding!

poppyart said...

this does make me happy too! and i have used some bits for bunting in the past - looks really effective. (although i can be a bit lazy - i just did strips, not even cut on the bias!) i also use these for easy tags on the sides of bibs, instead of a label. lovely blog!

jennie said...

what a great idea! never saw this before.

Bossymamma said...

I have put a link to this tutorial on my blog at

Gillian Connelly said...

Excellent idea! I must try this as I've loads of fabric bits that need sorting.

dounette said...

I really love the idea!!!!! whhaa. Such a good way to use scraps...

Leslie Lim said...

Thanks to the writer of this article. I appreciate your effort in making this informational blogs. I know it's not easy to do this but you have done a really great job. Congrats. I'm pretty sure your readers enjoying it a lots.


Related Posts with Thumbnails