Make Bias binding and Piping March 16, 2021 17:09

What is bias binding and why make it?

So bias binding is a strip of fabric cut on a 45° angle to the grain so that when sewing, the binding can stretch to curve around corners if needed. The binding creates a nice edge finish to many sewing projects.

We often bind the armhole of garments like this example below.

DIY Bias Binding and Piping Freckles and Co Sewing tutorial

You can buy bias binding in the shops or online but when you want to match your binding to your fabrics, this is when you will most likely need to make your own.

There are 4 key steps to making bias binding.

Here’s how to get started:

1. CUT

If you can get your hands on a patchwork ruler or protractor that shows you a 45° angle this will make the whole process easier.

DIY Bias Binding and Piping Freckles and Co Sewing tutorial

Cut your fabric into a square keeping some selvedge if possible as this helps you find the straight grain. (selvedge is the funny edge strip along all fabric that usually has writing or colour codes and will show you the true straight of a fabric when it was manufactured/woven)

Fold your fabric in half on the cross (45° degree angle to the straight grain)

DIY Bias Binding and Piping Freckles and Co Sewing tutorial

Measure and mark by using a ruler as a guide for marking or cutting directly with a rotary cutter. If using a rotary cutter you will also need a self healing mat to protect your surface.

DIY Bias Binding and Piping Freckles and Co Sewing tutorial

The width measurement of your binding strips may differ from project to project but a standard size to cut is 35mm (1.5″) wide that will fold into a finished 25mm (1″) width, which will then fold in half again as it binds the edge of your project.

Cut and continue until you have enough length for your project.

DIY Bias Binding and Piping Freckles and Co Sewing tutorial

(If your first cut is on the folded edge, this piece will be double wide and will need to be cut in half long ways.)

DIY Bias Binding and Piping Freckles and Co Sewing tutorial

2. JOIN

Step 2 is to join short lengths of bias binding together to make longer pieces. Cutting on the bias can use a lot of fabric and leave you with weird shaped off cuts, so making smaller lengths and joining them together to make long strips is advisable.

This looks harder than it is and once you get the hang of the technique this will be very handy for future projects.

DIY Bias Binding and Piping Freckles and Co Sewing tutorial

Lay bias ends right sides together, sew across indent to indent.

Trim seam wastage

Be mindful of pattern and print when joining 2 pieces together

DIY Bias Binding and Piping Freckles and Co Sewing tutorial

Press your join with seam allowance open.

DIY Bias Binding and Piping Freckles and Co Sewing tutorial

3. PRE-FOLD

As the word binding would suggest you will use the bias strip to edge and bind the raw edges of garments, cushions and quilts. When making your own bias binding the strip will need to be folded ready to sew.

DIY Bias Binding and Piping Freckles and Co Sewing tutorial

You can buy a handy little ‘Bias tape maker‘ to help with this step that can help you do this accurately or you can do it carefully with an iron.

DIY Bias Binding and Piping Freckles and Co Sewing tutorial

Double folding provides a helpful guide when sewing.

Press open/ in half or double open fold as above

4. SEW

Attach binding by using folded guide

DIY Bias Binding and Piping Freckles and Co Sewing tutorial

You can also turn your bias strips into piping.

DIY Bias Binding and Piping Freckles and Co Sewing tutorial

Making your own piping is very handy when sewing cushions and upholstery where you want to choose a patterned fabric or matching/contrasting colours. See my Cheeky Monkey Bolster project. To make piping you will also need some piping cord of various thicknesses.

I hope that this tutorial was helpful. I would love to hear your comments if you have had success. Share your projects with me on Insta @frecklesandcocraft

Happy sewing

Linzi x

DIY Bias Binding and Piping Freckles and Co Sewing tutorial