How to Sew with Bias Tape

So we showed you How to Make your own Bias Tape, and you were psyched, but y’all asked for a primer on how to actually sew with it. So here you are, my friends. It’s quite simple and once you start you will end up using it all the time.

Bias Tape finishes edges and keeps curves stabilized. In this post I’ll show you how to start and finish, how to sew it on, and how to make a mitered corner. So read up on it and practice, because in our next newsletter we are going to give you the scoop on our upcoming contest, and the winner will receive a Simplicity Bias Tape Making Kit, including a Bias Tape Maker machine, 8″ Dressmaker shears, and an awesome Bias Ruler. Subscribe here so you get the full scoop.

Get the basics on How to Sew With Bias Tape after the jump…

And remember, any comment you leave this week could win you some Alexander Henry fabric and mod podge to get crafty with!

How to Sew With Bias Tape

First off, this is single fold bias tape:

And this is double fold:

Double fold bias tape is just single fold bias tape folded in half and ironed. Learn How to Make Bias Tape here.

I made the bias tape used in this tutorial using Tina Givens Opal Owl Grain in Ivory from Fabricworm. The other fabric you see is Tina Givens Opal Owl Bark in Ivory.

Single fold bias tape can be used instead of facing to create a finished edge, especially around a curve. On a sleeve opening for example.  To see how this is done, check out the tutorial for the One Shoulder Dressy Dress, which explains it in detail with pics.

So we are going to focus on double fold bias tape today. You can sew with double fold bias tape two ways. The first way is called single step binding. This means you are not going to unfold it. You are just going to slip it around an edge and sew it on.  The second way is called two step binding. In this case you are going to unfold the bias tape, sew one side on, then fold it back up and sew the other on.

I’m going to walk you through it. Here goes.

To start, buy some pre-made bias tape from the sewing store. Take it out of the package and iron the kinks out of it (from being wrapped around the cardboard). Now look at it. You’ll notice one side is slightly shorter than the other:

The shorter side is the side you want on top, for both single step binding and two step binding. If you are doing single step binding, just slip your bias tape around the edge you are finishing with the narrower side on top, and sew it on next to the edge. Because the narrower edge is on top you are sure to catch both sides of the bias tape as you sew. Now let’s do a detailed tute on two step binding, as it is a little more complicated.  I’m making a project-to-be-revealed-later that has corner, so I can show you how to sew a mitered corner with double fold bias tape.

So, open up your bias tape and find the narrower edge. Align that edge to the edge of your fabric, right sides facing. Start in the middle of one side of your item. At the beginning fold the bias tape down into a triangle like this:

Pin the bias tape all the way around your item, edges aligned, right sides facing:

If your item has curves instead of sharp corners, just curve the bias tape and pin the edges. If your item has corners, pin almost to the corner like so:

Then lift your bias tape, fold it around the other edge and pin again. You will have a little triangle of fabric, just push it to the side, like this:

When you get back to your starting point, pin the bias tape over the point you made to start, overlapping a few inches:

Now we sew the bias tape in place along the fold. Start on one edge and sew in place until just before the corner, then cut your threads and remove your item:

Push the corner triangle of fabric to the other side and pin it out of your way:

Then sew the next edge in place along the fold in the bias tape.

You will see you have a triangle at the corner like this:

Continue this process around all four corners until your bias tape is attached to your project:

Now, fold your bias tape back up and flip it over to encase the unfinished edge. Pin it in place. It should just barely cover your previous stitch line, like this:

At the corners, check that it is folded into a nice diagonal and pinned well.

Here is what it looks like from the other side:

So pin all the way around your item:

Now go ahead and sew it in place about 1/8″ from the edge on the opposite side from the one you sewed before.

Here is what it should look like from the top:

You’re done! I wish I could do a big reveal but stay tuned, I’ll be posting the full tute for my project soon!

Thank you, bias tape, my sweet love, for all that you do.

So – was this helpful?




Thank you! I wish I saw this before last night when I ruined an apron completely because of those corners…


Hi there!

I am brand new to sewing. Brand new. I am making my daughter’s birthday dress for her 2nd birthday. I am attempting to sew the bias tape along the arm holes and my Singer Simple keeps “eating” the fabric. I am beyond frustrated with it at this point.

Can anyone offer any pointers?

Please & thank you!!

Wipeable Tablecloth | READY CAT GO

[…] The conventional way of bias binding is unfolding the narrower side of the tape (if you’re not sure what I mean, take a look at the photo below: one side of the bias tape is narrower than the other), and attaching it to the edge of the fabric along the crease, followed by folding the tape over the edge of the fabric and sewing again, along the other side. Here’s a good tutorial for how it’s done: […]


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