Bias binding is essential when you are binding anything that has a curve. This tutorial will show you how to make your own!
Bias binding is cut diagonally, meaning at a 45 degree angle from the selvage edge, from a piece of fabric. It has the most stretch compared to the lengthwise and crosswise grain. The lengthwise grain runs parallel to the selvage and has no stretch (making it perfect for sashing and borders). The crosswise grain runs across the fabric (perpendicular to the selvages) from one selvage to the other and has a small amount of stretch.
Start with a square cut to the size stated in one of my patterns. I figure out the size needed for the length and width of the binding specifed. If you choose to make a wider binding be aware that you will need to start with a larger square.
Cut the square in half diagonally.
Place the two triangles right sides together, offsetting them as shown.
When you place the two triangles right sides together there will be a tiny triangle sticking out at each end. The distance from the edge of the fabric to the notch where the triangle ends should be exactly 1/4″. The 1/4″ line on the ruler is along the raw edge and the edge of the ruler shows exactly where the triangle of fabric ends.
The seam intersects the edges of the large triangles exactly where the small triangles stick out.
Press this seam open. You now have a parallelogram with a seam down the middle as shown. The edges of the parallelogram that are perpendicular to the seam (the top and bottom edges in the photo) are cut on the straight grain of the fabric. The other two edges are cut on the bias. You want to cut your strips parallel to the bias edges.
Align the 2.5″ line on your ruler with the edge of the fabric. Note that the 45 degree line on my ruler is running parallel to the seam. If your ruler doesn’t have a 45 degree line that’s fine, just make sure the seam is at an angle compared to the edge of the fabric as show. If you line your ruler up with the straight of grain edges the seam will be at a right angle to the edge of the fabric. So basically, make sure your fabric, ruler and the seam look like my picture!
When you start with a large square (roughly larger than 15″) the long edge of your parallelogram may be longer than your ruler. Simply fold the fabric as shown, lining up the side edges. Then place the 2.5″ line on your ruler along the edge of your fabric and cut your strips.
The end of each strip will have an angle as shown. The angles on your strips should be angled in the same direction like the ones in the photo. If your angles are all going the other way, that’s fine, as long as they are all going the same way. That’s the key for sewing the strips together.
Two of your strips will have a seam right at, or very close to, the end. I don’t sew a strip to these ends. I don’t want two seams meeting up at one point.
Place two strips, right sides together, as shown. Just like when the two large triangles were joined, these strips need to be offset. The distance from the edge of the fabric to the notch where the fabrics are offset needs to be exactly 1/4″. Sew this seam with a 1/4″ seam allowance.
Press the seam open. If you offset the strips properly, and sewed with an exact 1/4″ seam allowance, the edges of the two strips will be a perfect, straight line. Join all strips in this manner to form one long strip of bias binding. The little ears sticking out should all be trimmed off before you sew your binding to your project.
I hope this tutorial is helpful for you. My next tutorial will be on sewing your binding to your project and joining the edges.
If you have any questions please leave them in the comments and I will try my best to answer them!
Thanks for stopping by today!
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