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Quick Tip: Bias Tape Cheat Sheet

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There you stand in the fabric store, that giant display of bias tapes and bindings in front of you, its shiny cellophane packages glinting in their neat, color coordinated rows. Single fold, double fold, blanket, quilt. Geeze! What's what? Do you just throw a dart and hope for the best? No! You bring your Sew4Home Cheat Sheet with you and get exactly what you really need.

Here are the basic facts for the six most common types of bindings.

Single fold bias tape

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This is the flat bias trim with both edges folded in. It finishes at ½" and requires stitching along both edges... similar to applying ribbon. It's normally used for trim, casings and narrow facings.

Extra wide single fold bias tape

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Just like the single fold above, but this bias trim finishes at 1". Like its skinny cousin, it requires stitching along both edges and is most often used for trim, casings, facings and hems.

Double fold bias binding

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This is basically our friend the single fold bias tape from above, folded in half. It's almost always used as an edge finish or to create ties. It finishes at ¼".

Extra wide double fold bias binding

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You're noticing a pattern by now, I'll bet. The extra wide double fold, is the extra wide single fold, folded in half. It finishes at ½" and as above, is most often used as an edge finish or for ties.

Quilt binding

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I like to think of this as extra-extra wide double fold bias binding. Quilt binding finishes at 7/8". Use it to finish the edges of fabrics with bulk, like fleece blankets or, as the name implies, quilts.

Blanket binding

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The type of binding is simply folded once, in half, finishing at approximately 2".  Most folks choose this for finishing fleece blankets or replacing worn blanket binding. It's almost always satin so it creates that wonderfully smooth bound edge that kids the world over rub on their noses when they suck their thumbs.

There you have it. Now step up to that tape display with confidence!

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Comments (12)

Karen Kelleher said:
Karen Kelleher's picture

Hi there.  when I click on your link above:  :.../344-bias-tape-how-..."  it says "page not found".

thanks you.  I "surf" around your site and see if I can find it that way.

thanks for this site.  It has helped me very much.  I have been sewing for years, but I just "wing" it.  I finally came to my senses and propelled myself into the 21st century by coming to the internet and finding my answers about how to REALLY sew, not just MAKE IT UP AS I GO ALONG!  ;D

Nicola Lowrie UK said:
Nicola Lowrie UK's picture
that is a brilliant guide to applying bias binding and especially how to mitre corners.I have avoided bias binding but your guide has really given me the confidence to give it a go - I've bookmarked your site to explore further!!!
SkitzoLeezraStudio said:
SkitzoLeezraStudio's picture
Your guide is most appreciated and helpful.
Wonder why Wright\'s doesn\'t include a helpful diagram for ease of selection?
Back in the day, sewing instructions were included in their packages; I\'ve a few in my vintage notions stash.
And yes, I\'ve a few Wright rants on my blog.
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture
Hi Lynn ... well, nothing is foolproof, and satin is pretty slippery. You might try using a specialty presser foot, such as a roller foot or walking foot to help with the shifting layers. There are a lot of binding techniques and we've shown several here at sew4home. You might try the technique we used on our recent Thanksgiving Table Runner. It's a little different than the normal corner you might see on a blanket, but it is one of the more "foolproof" methods. Also check out our tutorial on faux mitered corners and take a look at how we did a bulky binding on a wool blanket. All good ideas:

http://sew4home.com/projects/table-linens/722-thanksgiving-elegance-anti...

http://sew4home.com/tips-resources/sewing-tips-tricks/470-how-to-make-fa...

http://sew4home.com/tips-resources/sewing-tips-tricks/470-how-to-make-fa...
Lynn said:
Lynn's picture
I have used several of the tapes and have had problems getting them straight on both sides. When I bind a blanket with satin binding, I pin it and then baste it carefully, which takes forever, before maching stitching it on. Is there an easier, faster, and foolproof way to do this? I sell the blankets so it has to be done well. Thanks.
Annie Fitz said:
Annie Fitz's picture
THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This is so helpful!
Kathy Marrone, McCall's Patterns said:
Kathy Marrone, McCall's Patterns's picture
Just wanted to let you know that we really liked your post and have added a link from our McCall's Patterns facebook page.
Carla Vega said:
Carla Vega's picture
Bias tape has saved my life several times. It helps when you want to finish up a quilt but don't have enough fabric to make binding. smilies/wink.gif
bkinyorkton said:
bkinyorkton's picture
Great info, I'll use it as a reference for sure!. Thanks.

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