just making 40 yards of bias tape over here

by Dana on August 15, 2012

Often I use store-bought bias tape for projects because it’s fast, easy, and perfect when I feel lazy. But really the color selection is pretty limited. And I needed (wanted) an icy blue tape for a baby gift. So I pulled out my tiny bias tape maker and went a little crazy.
Of course every time I do that I question whether driving to the store and paying for bias tape is any faster. This stuff really comes together quickly.
If you’ve never made bias tape check out my previous two tutorials: Understanding and Making Bias Tape and How to Sew on Bias Tape

This time around I made some 1/2 inch wide tape and went even smaller….1/4 inch wide double-fold tape.
Sometimes I can’t decide if I should simply leave the tape single-fold? But I really use double-fold more often so I ironed those 13 yards on up. I’m always surprised at how many yards I can make….and then I frown at paying $3 for only 3 yards of the cheap store stuff.
Bias Tape!
1/4 inch and 1/2 inch.
(and I had to try this again. I miss my old header…)
I also have a tutorial outlining how to use the Simplicity Bias Tape maker (which is a fun machine that folds and irons the tape for you). But I’m having second thoughts on that machine.
After making bias tape many, many times I’ve concluded this….

I’m not one for fancy machines.

I prefer a paint brush to my paint gun. I’d rather cut out a simple freezer paper design than get out a Silhouette cutter. Sometimes it’s just easier to use minimal tools and your own hands.
While I do like the Simplicity cutter (works great and wonderful), I really prefer using my old Clover bias tape makers. They’re cheap and available at most fabric shops (the larger 2 inch tip I purchased online). Just remember when purchasing that if you’re making double-fold tape, the tip size should be double the size you’d like to make. For instance…. a 1-inch tip will make 1/2 inch wide double-fold tape (the size I use for most projects).
I love making extra tape so I have options on-hand when a project comes up.
And bias tape also makes a great gift for sewing friends!
To dress up your tape, cut a cute board from heavy cardstock. Or cut some paper and glue it to the old boards from your store-bought stuff (I always save mine).
Wind it on up.
Wouldn’t you love to receive that in the mail?

I’m off to use my bias tape. Yards and yards of it.
Unless it’s being used for this (which often it is, with two droids in-tow).
Have a great day!

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{ 59 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Hannah Elise August 15, 2012 at 1:25 pm

love all the happy colors in this post! and I miss that old header too…yay bias tape!


2 Suzanne August 15, 2012 at 1:35 pm

I never realized how easy it is to make bias tape. I usually shy away from it because I didn’t really know how to make it or use it. Now I am dreaming of all the cute ones I can make once I unpack all my fabric. Yay! And I love the old header too…LOVE!


3 Brianna August 15, 2012 at 1:40 pm

You make bias tape seem so easy and effortless! I have to try this, it’s on my “must do” list! Thanks for the great pictures as always. I miss the old header too, you should totally make that last picture your new header!! Just sayin…


4 Rochelle August 15, 2012 at 1:46 pm

You’re crazy! Making bias tape has never been fast for me. Easy, sure, but never fast enough that I can make 40 yards of it as fast as I could get some at the store. You must be like lightning!


5 Palak August 15, 2012 at 1:49 pm

Yes, I’m terribly slow and get frustrated with bias tape. I wonder if it’s because my bias tape maker is a Dritz one instead of Clover?


6 Meagan Briggs August 15, 2012 at 1:48 pm

I STILL need to try making bias tape. My mother has shown me a few times now, and I seriously avoid projects that have bias tape!

This was a good kick in the pants to try again :-) Thanks!!


7 Sam M. | Atkinson Drive August 15, 2012 at 1:57 pm

Bless you for sharing this! If my sewing machine wasn’t on the fritz I’d be making this right now {haven’t been able to find the perfect quilt binding for a nautical theme toddler quilt}!


8 May August 15, 2012 at 2:03 pm

You make it look easy! It would definitely mean more fun and exciting bias tape – I always wondered where you got such cool ones and now I know. I’m going to try it and use up fabric scraps that way. Thank you!!!


9 Candice August 15, 2012 at 2:05 pm

I love making bias tape as well! A gift of bias tape is a great idea. Cute, and cost effective.


10 LiEr August 15, 2012 at 2:24 pm

Delicious colors, Dana! I swear by this bias-tape maker:

I’ve permanently retired my metal and store-bought makers because of it. And I sometimes secretly want to make bias tape for no reason other than to use it and watch it work its magic.


11 Andrea August 15, 2012 at 2:32 pm

I have never heard of such a thing! Thanks Dana, I always learn sew much from you.


12 Jenni August 15, 2012 at 3:13 pm

So beautiful! I’ve been thinking about making my own bias tape, but wondering if it uses a lot of fabric to do so… Because you cut on the angle, does it take up a ton of fabric to make a few yards of bias tape???


13 Megan August 15, 2012 at 5:14 pm

It doesn’t if you have a piece of fabric that you are ONLY using for bias tape. If you need to use it for other things, too, then the bias tape seems ridiculous. But I made some last month, with no tools except an iron, and it was hugely time consuming. I’m definitely going to try some other ways :)


14 dawn August 15, 2012 at 3:42 pm

Ohhhhh it looks just perfect! I love bias! Someday I’ll have a bias tape maker, looks good!
A tip: instead of first cutting all the clothe and then sewing them all together, you could first sew and then cut. That way with only 1 sewing you would have all pieces together. Here are 2 tutorials that explain it (they are in Spanish, but with the photos and google translator…):


15 Talina August 15, 2012 at 3:51 pm

I used to hate making bias tape – until I found this tutorial for cutting it in one continuous strip – no more sewing each piece!!!
(she learned about it on prettyjanebackstage)
If cutting small strips and sewing them one by one is frustrating you check out her tutorial!!!
Happy Bias Tape Making!


16 Katie August 15, 2012 at 3:56 pm

I always love your bias tape, Dana. :)


17 Annalia August 15, 2012 at 5:04 pm

I’m pretty certain that NOTHING at the fabric store is as cute as that bias tape!

I want to make some too…but I think I need to finish about 10 other things first. Darn.


18 bdaiss August 15, 2012 at 5:13 pm

My first thought seeing that photo of you ironing was “Waitaminute…I know she has one of those fancy machines! Why is she doing that by hand?!?” Ha. I’ll trade you…I hate making bias tape by hand. : )


19 jodie August 15, 2012 at 7:25 pm

hi Dana, thanks for the cool website. Cant wait for your new book so i have something new to try out, cheers jodie :O)


20 Natalie August 15, 2012 at 7:41 pm

So…I’m not understanding which bias tape maker you don’t like??? You like the small ones you’ve pictured right? Maybe I’m just not getting because I’m on my phone? :). Also, is it worth the investment to you over making it by hand. Mine always comes out a hair uneven…


21 Dana August 15, 2012 at 7:50 pm

Yea, I like the little ones better than the fancy $100 machine.
The key is cutting your strips with a rotary cutter so they’re super even.
But mine is still a bit “off” here and there :)


22 Jackie August 15, 2012 at 9:46 pm

I like bias tape. You can mail me some if you have too much and need to get rid of it. I have the hardest time cutting a straight line with a rotary cutter and a ruler even with the nifty cutting mat with lines, so making bias tape would probably reduce me to a puddle on the floor. One day I will try it though, just to prove myself wrong.


23 Rae August 15, 2012 at 11:03 pm

the bias tape is fab!! but the best part of this post is the last two pics heee!


24 Angelique August 15, 2012 at 11:39 pm

You inspired me to make my own tape last year when I made the beach robes for my girls. It was a bit frustrating because I had a hard time getting the bias tape maker to stay straight (which may speak more to my cutting technique). But the real issue is sewing it. I had to rip stitches frequently because the seam on the back wouldn’t catch the tape.


25 Dana August 16, 2012 at 12:43 am

you need to make sure when you iron the tape in half that you make one side of it slightly wider than the other side (so when you sew it on, the wider part is on the underside of the fabric, ensuring that the stitching will go through to the back side). it’s explained a little more in the original tutorial:
hope that helps!


26 Angelique August 31, 2012 at 1:16 pm

Oooh! I did offset the fold so one side was wider than the other, but I may have put the wider side on the front! I guess I missed that tip. Thank you so much!


27 Fabi August 15, 2012 at 11:59 pm

LOve the bias tape. Where did you get the yellow fabric and polka dot fabric The fabric district? Thanks


28 Dana August 16, 2012 at 12:44 am

the fabrics are from Hobby Lobby!


29 Annaboo August 16, 2012 at 2:35 am

Wow!- I think you should be selling these- they look amazing.
Love the spotty one.
And your photos are beautiful, too.
BTW am TOTALLY loving your nail colour. X


30 Fiona @ Imogen's Angels August 16, 2012 at 6:26 am

Super cute! Thanks for bringing it to the top of my to do list again! P.S. Glad to see my boys aren’t the only ones who think all my ribbons/craft items far more interesting than the multiplying toys argh! :-)


31 Jennifer August 16, 2012 at 8:36 am

Everything you make is so appealing! Even bias tape, something I never thought I’d consider making myself! I used to fine it boring.


32 Catherine August 16, 2012 at 9:45 am

Looks lovely! I was wondering since you talk about single and double fold bias tape, what can the single fold one be used for?


33 Dana August 16, 2012 at 12:30 pm

single fold tape can be used to sew on top of fabric, like a trim. I’m making a skirt with some right now :)


34 Amanda August 16, 2012 at 7:23 pm

Ahhh! That’s what it’s used for!! Thankyou. Have been wondering what the difference was. Love your blog Dana. I’ve only been sewing for 6 months and love it!!


35 Missy August 16, 2012 at 1:19 pm

That last picture cracked me up! My soon to be 4 year old is in love with his R2-D2 and C3PO Legos! So I was able to identify with that picture and the creative use of them!! Thanks for that!


36 Rachel Smith August 16, 2012 at 1:21 pm

Thanks for the reminder on making my own as well as expressing the thought that sometimes “simpler is better”. I feel the same:)

I have to admit, I miss your headers too. The purple bubbles aren’t doing it for me:(


37 Felicity @ Our Little Beehive August 16, 2012 at 1:26 pm

Wait, you cut and sew together each of the individual strips? Have you ever tried the continuous strip method? It’s my go-to method, but I’m wondering if you’ve compared the two in terms of speed and results.


38 Julie August 16, 2012 at 1:55 pm

I just did a post on how to make bias tape – I love yours! I would be honored if you checked it out and tell me what you think: http://loveitsewmuch.blogspot.com/2012/07/sewing-tip-making-continuous-bias.html

Love your blog!!!!


39 Iryna B. August 16, 2012 at 1:56 pm

So pretty! And I love your bright, crisp pictures! I am just coming back from long time of no-sewing. Have to brush up on everything, even tools and new fabric. Seriously!
Thank you so much for your blog and all you share with us.


40 Melissa Shultz August 16, 2012 at 1:57 pm

I totally love the picture with R2D2 being a total SciFi nerd. I want to thank you for the tutorial on the bias tape. I am definitely planning to make some when I get my craft room in order. I want to start making bags and custom bias tape is definitely needed. Oh, and I adore the cute cards you made to put them on. Would be perfect to give some bias tape as a gift to a friend who loves to sew.


41 Anshu August 16, 2012 at 2:25 pm

Oooh those bias tape pics are looking so yummy! like something to eat. I also make a lot of bias tape for my projects, and I also like to use my hands instead of fancy machines, but that tool you are using looks nifty, I might just buy that one.


42 Jennifer August 16, 2012 at 4:00 pm

Thanks so much for this info. I thought making bias tape was going to be so much work but once I read this, I realized it would be very useful to make my own. I just ordered a little bias tape maker like the ones you have above.

Thanks! :)


43 Rachel Adair August 16, 2012 at 4:30 pm

I loved your tutorials, especially the one regarding bias tape which I have to admit I also went a bit crazy on and I found a new appreciation for my iron. I have become quite smitten with your blog in general so thank you for some really great patterns and ideas and I look forward to my next e-mail telling me you posted so new blog.

Thanks again!


44 Deborah August 16, 2012 at 6:59 pm

As a fellow bias tape addict-ahem-lover, I salute you. As usual.


45 themissymom August 16, 2012 at 7:55 pm

I make my bias tape just like you!!! I love my Clover tools. They are the best. I seriously considered the machine…..but if I have to cut, sew, and then wind it on that spool to let it go through the machine and potentially have it be “off” or not straight or whatever…forget it.
I often will do a huge batch just like you, too.
It has been some time since I reviewed your tutorial on making it, but I use spray starch to stiffen it up a little. (just like the store bought)
I also do the double fold just a hair off center, like the store bought, so I can be lazy and sew it on in one step instead of opening it out, sewing then turning, and sewing again.


46 kimberley bischof August 16, 2012 at 8:30 pm

Huh, who would a ever thunk! Pretty clever, time consuming but clever! Maybe an activity for when I’m hibernating this winter:-)


47 mauri August 17, 2012 at 12:52 am

holy heck girl you can come make me bias tape anytime you’d like ;)

I hear ya, though. I would much rather make it myself than buy it at the store (soooo expensive when you use a lot of it!) And, thank you for this post. I just looked at the Clover bias tape maker at JoAnn’s the other day and thought to myself “I should have that!” but stopped from buying it. After seeing it in use here, I will take my 40% off coupon in and grab it next time ;)
Thank you for, yet another, wonderful post.


48 Marlene marl on the move blogspot August 17, 2012 at 6:10 am

You’re such a clever girl! Wished you lived near me. My homemade bias binding never look so good as I cut by hand and do not have that fantastic contraption that you own! Will have to look out for one and hope that it does not cost an arm and a leg locally.

Happy sewing!


49 Anne-Laure R August 18, 2012 at 3:57 pm
50 Emily August 20, 2012 at 2:40 pm

I love the final “droids save Rapunzel” pictures. That is my house to a tee! Thanks for always being so inspiring!


51 Ida August 20, 2012 at 4:08 pm

Dear Dana!
By any chance – do you have a website who sell Biastape ‘makers’ because -Can’t find it here in Norway. Have a cosin living in USA so might get her to by some for me – where did you get yours?

Have to say : Your kids – cutiepies!! And your so cool!

Lots of love from Norway ;)



52 Jennifer August 23, 2012 at 2:23 pm

Love the fabric choices! I go back and forth between the bias tape maker and the small ones that are hand held. I usually burn my fingers on the iron but the machine goes very fast especially when I am making it double fold. Thanks for the inspiration- I may just make some with the random fabrics I have and use it somewhere!


53 Kristina August 24, 2012 at 7:50 am

Hi, because of your tutorial about making bias tape, I bought one my self. Thanks!


54 Renee - the Creative Orchard August 29, 2012 at 3:48 pm

Great idea! Never thought of making my own bias tape. You should link this up to my Tutorial Link Party also!!!



55 emilia May 16, 2013 at 5:44 am
56 jenifer n June 2, 2013 at 11:39 pm

Do you prewash your fabric before making the bias tape? Thanks


57 Vanessa Edwards November 23, 2013 at 5:33 pm

So here’s a question. I didn’t fully understand the facts before I purchased my bias tape maker. I got the 1/2 inch one (that I’m now seeing will make 1/4 double fold). Is there any way to manipulate the fabric to make 1/2 double fold out of my mistake??? Please help!


58 Online Fabric Store Coupon December 29, 2013 at 6:58 am

Hello, i believe that i saw you visited my
web site thus i got here to return the favor?.I am attempting to find issues to enhance my website!I guess its ok to make
use of a few of your ideas!!


59 Carolyn January 6, 2015 at 1:29 pm

This was awesome help. i have been confused which size bias maker I needed to purchase but now I know. I have making my own with a lot of measuring and some guess work. Probably not the neatest way to do it. So I am really excited to get one. Thanks for your sharing of experience.


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