Tag Archives: bias binding

How-to: One Step Bias Binding + Mitering Inside Corners

This is the last installment in the series for bias binding using the one-step method of attaching both ends of the bias at once (not the sew one side, flip over, then sew the other side as used most often now-a-days).  In this blog post we’ll learn to bind inside corners. After this you should be all set to sew the bias bound version of the 1940’s apron pattern!  Of course, all of these techniques can be applied to any sewing or craft project you are making that needs to have bias binding attached.

Mitering Inside Corners

We previously learned how to miter the outside corners, and attach bias on curves, so now we’re ready for the rest of the apron construction!  This method can be used for the scallops but should also be used for a sweetheart neckline.

Here you find me nearing my first scallop to be bound.  See the point on the outside? The area you will need to bind will actually be a bit more of a drastic point.  To help aid with getting this point right on my bias binding, so it lays flat and smooth, I have given myself a cross line to match (in yellow on the piece).  Of course, make sure your method of marking will come out of your finished garment!  To draw my cross marks I used a clear ruler and measured in 1/2″ from one edge, drew a line, then 1/2″ from the edge of the next scallop, and drew another line (if your bias binding is a different size, substitute that measurement for the 1/2″).  Where those two lines intersect you are going to make your point.  The excess will be folded in, so it rounds the corner nice and smoothly.  Here we go…

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How-To: One Step Bias Binding + Curves

This post is continuing on how to bind edges with one step bias binding.  If you missed the previous post, you can find it here.

Binding Curves

In the apron pattern these tutorials were made for, there are two somewhat more extreme curves for the heart pocket. In this tutorial I will show a method to make binding these curves easier.  Of course, all these tutorials can be applied to a variety of dressmaking or crafting circumstances. In fact, the first time I learned this technique was when I was being mentored by the milliner at the Opera where I worked.  She used this method both for bias binding and for shaping petersham ribbon for the inside of hat bands.  This method might take a few practices, but once you’ve got it down it’s so much easier than trying to ease in a lot of bias edge into a small space! The problem with pulling the bias tight to fit is that when it’s sewn down the piece will not lay flat. It will force the fabric to pull in and “pucker”.  You can use this same technique of pressing your curves to make sewing easier for bias binding, bias facings, and petersham ribbon.

For binding edges with curves, you want to make sure to fit the bias, without tension or pulling, to the largest curve.  In this case, the longest or outside edge of the curve to be bound is at the cut edge.  If you were binding an curve that goes inside a garment (like an armscye or a scooped neckline) your longer or outside part of the curve to be bound would be at the seam allowance line, where you attach your binding, so you’d do this process in the opposite way and make the curve in the opposite way.  But I’m getting ahead of myself. Hard to teach this without being in person, but here ‘goes ;)

First, take your bias tape, just like in the previous post, with the longer edge of the fold to be on the WRONG side of the fabric.  To ease around this curve we are going to first shape the bias tape with our iron and some steam.  I have the iron sitting on top here so you can see what sort of curve we’re going to try to get, with the outside edge of the curve being the fold (where it will snug into the outside of the pocket piece.)  If you were doing a neckline or armscyes, you’d do this the opposite way, with the outside end of the curve being the open end and the fold being the inside end of the curve (if you were to measure each side of the bias, you would find one is shorter in measurement than the other).

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How To: One Step Bias Binding + Mitered Outside Corners

Intro to the Bias Binding/Bias Facing Tutorial Posts

As promised in my post yesterday about the new 1940’s Apron pattern, here’s the first tutorial for attaching bias binding.

Pre-made bias fold is pretty darn old, and whoever came up with the idea of pre-packaging pre-folded bias tape was a genius.  I first started using bias tape with quilting- where you often make your own bias tape from fashion fabric. It doesn’t take a long time to make your own bias tape, but it is kind of a pain in the butt if you just want to get to sewing!

A lot of patterns from the 1920’s through the 1940s call for pre-made or self-made bias tape (often called bias facing or bias binding).  Bias tape was most often used to finish edges, though it could be decorative as well.  In the 1950’s it became more popular to face pieces with self fabric and patterns included separate pattern pieces for this purpose, but in the earlier pattern many times facings were not included and you were told to finish edges with bias tape or seam binding. Take a peek into a 1940’s dress if you have one in your closet and you may see this (or self fabric bias instead of tape).  This actually helped conserve fabric, as every little bit you could cut out of fabric usage was the mode of the day in the 1940s! Pattern companies had to stick to rigid codes of how much fabric their patterns took to make, just like ready to wear clothing makers. Just think of it- the Great Depression and called for ingenuity (lots of books were put out in the late 1920’s to early 1930’s of how to do fashions and home decor with bias tape as accents), and then WWII fabric rationing.  Bias tape totally makes sense!

Bias Binding

These days most people attach bias in two steps. First you attach one edge, then encase the seam you just made by turning the bias over to the other side and stitching it to place.  In earlier decades this was just one of the methods to be used.  The other was to attach the bias binding all in one step, which I’m going to show here, and what the pattern the 1940’s apron was based on called for.  It’s actually a quicker method and uses less thread- and since aprons were meant just as a handy household item, high sewing techniques were not always called for.  An apron was a useful item.  As long as it was sturdy and did the job, that was what was needed!


For bias binding we are using pre-packaged DOUBLE FOLD 1/2″ bias tape.  This is how the pre-made bias binding comes- notice that one side of the fold is longer than the other. You want the longer side to be on the WRONG side of the fabric. The shorter side should be on the RIGHT side of the fabric (the side of the fabric which your print is on, or the outside of the garment).

Here you can see pinning the bias to the fabric.  You want the inside fold of the bias to meet with the cut edge of the fabric so it sits in there snugly.  Sandwich your fabric between the bias tape.  Straight edges are super easy.  Just do this and pin it to place.

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