The Ins and Outs of Bias Tape

Do you find yourself staring down the rows and rows of bias tape at the craft store? Not sure what to do with all those colorful packages but nonetheless drawn to them? There’s no need to hesitate when considering bias tape as an embellishment or seam finish. It’s a great way to add a personal touch or professional finish to any project.

The Ins and Outs of Bias Tape

What is Bias Tape?

Bias tape is a strip of fabric often folded and pressed in a variety of ways. To create bias tape, the strip must be cut on the bias, or at a 45 degree angle to the selvage. This gives the strip stretch to make encasing curves fun and easy. As it is cut on the bias, this keeps the strip’s edges from unraveling.

Where to Use Bias Tape

Bias tape most often encases raw edges to create a clean finish. It’s frequently used as an embellishment because it adds a touch of color to the final product. It may also be used as a seam finish for any style of encased seam.

Different Types of Bias Tape

There are a multitude of sizes and types of bias tape. The two main types commercially available include single fold and double fold.

Single Fold: The long edges of the strip are folded in and pressed toward the center.

Double Fold: The long edges of the strip are folded in and pressed toward the center, then the entire strip is folded in half along the center.

Pick up tips for applying bias tape with Stacy Grissom: Using Bias Tape for a Professional Finish
Learn how to make your own bias tape with Aurora Sisneros: How to Make Bias Tape
Want more beginner sewing tips? Check out this article: Essential Sewing Tools and Supplies

Have something to add? Leave a comment or email editor@nationalsewingcircle.com.

10 Sewing Tips from the Experts
Comments
  • (will not be published)

7 Responses to “The Ins and Outs of Bias Tape”
  1. Wanda Salcedo
    Wanda Salcedo

    When Iam little girl, my grandmother doing me a pretty dress with to many tape in cross one to another; I remember it was Beaty! At this moment I want to do something like this …I want to try

    Reply
  2. Norma Bates
    Norma Bates

    I absolutely love double fold bias tape. I use it to finish the utility pockets on my pillow sacks! It adds a colorful, playful, bold touch!👍

    Reply
  3. Barbara Becker
    Barbara Becker

    I can’t remember how to fold the bias tape to make a corner to edge a blanket. Been a long time since my children were babies.

    Reply
  4. Robin White-Underwood
    Robin White-Underwood

    Ticket 38064 When joining strips to make my own bias tape, what is the secret to getting the joins straight? I know to make an “L” shape with right sides together, but after stitching, when I open up the “tape”, the joins do not line up. Sometimes I have ripped out the stitches 6 times trying to get a straight piece of bias tape.

    Reply
    • Customer Service
      Customer Service

      Hi Robin! Here is what our experts had to say:

      Hi,

      It is important to mark the stitching line accurately to begin with. Do this by using the 45 degree line on any small ruler.

      Another tip that can help is to align the fabric that is on the top (the strip of the ‘L’ that is perpendicular with you when you lay them out) about an 1/8″ of an inch “higher” than the other leg. Doing this means you will need to adjust where you draw your line (moving it down an 1/8″ of an inch), but it allows you a little bit of wiggle room in the seam, and for some it helps to get the strips to line up when they open up the pieces.

      Cheers,
      Ashley

      Reply