Reported by Susie Ziegler
Bias tape makers are very handy to have around when you want a decorative edge on your sewing project. They come in a variety of widths. I like the one inch width best because I usually fold it over the raw edge of a blank kitchen towel that I will later embroider, and one inch gives a nice glimpse of the fabric pattern. Today I’m showing you the 1″ Bias Tape Maker by Dritz.
Directions are on the back of the package. These instructions show how to get actual bias strips. Honestly, I usually cut my strips on the straight grain because I am thrifty and it is easier to cut strips across the selvage. If you need your bias tape to conquer curves, you’ll want to go to the trouble to make the cross-grain bias cuts pictured here. Bias also negotiates corners somewhat easier, but if you are generous with pins, you can get your straight-grain tape to work too.
Okay, so I need enough 2 inch strips to go all the way around the tea towel I’m using. My towel needed three strips.
You’ll have to sew your strips together. It is less bulky to use this method. Put right sides of fabric (wrong side out) together at a right angle. Sew across from one corner to the other.
Trim to 1/4 inch and press seam open. Trim off threads and tags that overhang.
Once you have your long strip, it’s time to thread it into the tape maker. This strip threaded super easily. I bet you could use this tape maker with thicker upholstery fabric successfully. It really does seem roomy.
Yipes! It’s roomy and slippery! The whole thing easily went all wrong. The fabric slipped and slided and wrinkled and… ugh!
I threaded the opposite side of my strip and tried again. I had to go really slowly and use the iron right against the tool. Doing it this way made the tool hot, so I was happy to have a handle to drag the bias tape maker along. Even slowly and carefully, I had some problems.
Above, it looks pretty good, but one side is folded up more than the other. I really was careful!
I’m going to make this into double fold binding. You can buy double fold binding at your sewing store, but it isn’t going to look as cute as patterned fabric. Fold it over so one side is just a little bit below the other. This shorter side is the side you will have up when you sew. Folding it this way helps make sure you will catch the bottom when you topstitch it all.
There are no bonus points in heaven for using very few pins. Go ahead and pin and pin to get it straight. More pins makes it go really quick around the sewing machine. Pay attention to mitering the corners. Be sure to pin there too.
Trim the binding so that you have a few generous inches overlapping. One side of the binding will tuck inside the other.
oops… I’m slipping into writing a binding tutorial and I’m not supposed to do that… Product review. Product review…
- Easy to find tool. At $6.50, it is reasonably priced
- Easy to thread. Can likely be used with thick fabrics
- Measurements are easy. Cut strips twice as wide as tool. (2-inch strips for 1-inch bias tape).
- Works if you use a steady hand and are very careful
- Very slick, fabric slipped and slided all over the place
- Needs a steady hand and care to work correctly.
- Once the fabric is messed up, it is hard to fix because it all just wants to fold up wonky again.
Up until recently, I could usually only find the Dritz tape maker, but Clover ones are turning up more and more. You can read my Craft Critique review of the Clover Brand Bias Tape maker HERE. At my local sewing retailer you can find both Dritz and Clover brand bias tape makers. Dritz makes the one-inch width and a smaller 1/4 inch style. Clover has five sizes, but you might have trouble finding the more unusual widths at a store near you. Today, at my store, the Clover tools were each $1 more than the Dritz. If you have the option and aren’t sewing denim or upholstery bias strips, spring for the Clover bias tape maker. I was much happier using that one.
Do you have a preference? Do you like the Dritz Bias Tape Maker or the Clover ones?
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