Thursday, 14 June 2012

how to make bias binding

I was at my local fabric shop today looking for tartan material to make some bias binding. Did they have any? Of course not! Why would anyone expect a fabric shop in Scotland to sell tartan material?? They did have bias binding in tartan but there was no way I was paying £1.95 for 2 metres of 1½" wide tartan when I only paid something like £3.50 for a metre of 115cm wide (45" wide in old money).

So home I came and decided to try and remember how to make my own bias binding. I'd done this myself many, many years ago so it was really only a matter of trying to remember how to do it. I was so chuffed that I did remember. Go me!

So, to save myself having to figure it all out again some time in the future, I decided to take photos of what I did. Next time I decide I want to make my own bias, I can just come and look at these photos.

Cut fabric into a square - mine is 15" square but that's only because that was as big as I could get out of the fabric I had. I called the corners A, B, C and D. Come on, I was a Maths teacher so we always have to name our corners! :oD

Cut along the diagonal AC.

Put the DC and AB edges together.

Sew with a ¼" seam. Press the seam open.

Place your fabric on your table with the long edges at the left and right. Starting at the left edge, draw lines the width of the bias you want to make. I made mine 1¼" wide so my lines are drawn 1¼" apart.

Continue all along the width of your fabric.

Bring the 2 short edges together and, starting at the left side, pin the first line of the front edge to the second line of the back fabric. There has to be a lug at both ends to give you a continuous line later to cut along. Also, the lines need to match ¼" down from the edge - not right at the edge. I pushed my pin in the top fabric ¼" down from the edge and then matched the line on the back to that pin.

Here are the lugs - or overhang as I called it in the second photo.

Sew that seam and press it open.

Go to the lug/overhang at the left side and start cutting all the way along the line.

You end up with a long length of fabric cut on the bias.

If you have more than one strip to join, make sure you overlap them properly to join them together.

Sew together then cut off those lugs:

And here is my bias binding - nearly 8 metres of the stuff from 2 15" squares.

Not too shabby! :o)


  1. Congrats on figuring out the solution to the problem! I always feel super pleased when I determine a way to do something at home for less (which isn't often, since my brain doesn't like to work and wants the easy way out, hee hee).

  2. I needed some bias strips to cover some iron-on piping to trim a pillow this evening. I wish I had seen your tutorial before I cut my fabric--I like your way much better than mine. I will have enough brown bias print fabric to last for years. LOL I will have to save your method for future use.


Thanks for taking the time to comment on my blethers. I really appreciate it. I do try to reply to everyone but sometimes life just gets in the way of that happening! :o)