Quilting: Easy double-fold bias tape

22 09 2008

I’m off to a Japanese Meshwork workshop this coming weekend and had to cut the fabrics and make double-fold bias strips from it. Bobbie lent me her 1/2″ bias tape maker, but I wasn’t happy with the results on my first few tries. I just couldn’t get the folds even, and on the lighter fabric, I got puckering in the centre, even when using spray starch to ‘crisp’ up the fabric.

So off to the internet to see if there was an easier way! I couldn’t find anything on YouTube but I did find an easy method here:
http://creativelittledaisy.typepad.com/creative_little_daisy/2007/11/diy-version-of.html

In case that blog post ever goes missing, here’s my variation on it (apologies for the blurriness of some of these photos).

Position a needle on the ironing board so that the gap between the ‘grabs’ of ironing board fabric is 1/2″.

Needle on ironing board with 1/2" gap

Needle on ironing board with 1/2″ gap

Clip one end of a 1 inch fabric strip to a point so that it can slip under the needle easily.

Snip the end and pull through gap

Snip the end and pull through gap

When you gently pull the fabric through, you may need to wiggle it a bit to get the folds even.

Wiggle the folds to make even, if necessary

Gently pull the fabric through, about an inch or two at a time. Watch that the folds remain even, and help guide the fabric through if necessary. I found that with some fabrics I had to use my left hand on the lower fold to keep it even—the upper fold sorted itself out when I did this.

Pull through gently

Pull through gently

Iron as you go. Press each inch or two as you pull it through the needle. Be careful you don’t burn you fingers—the fabric gets pretty hot with all that pressing.

Iron as you go

Iron as you go

End result—perfect 1/2 inch double-fold bias tape strips! Give the strips a squirt of spray starch and a final press, then, if you’re not using them straight away, roll them around a cardboard tube and pin until you need them. The folds will separate if you’re not using them immediately.

Perfect 1/2 inch double-fold bias tape

Perfect 1/2 inch double-fold bias tape


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8 responses

22 09 2008
Bobbie

How nifty is that? Very innovative.
I bet they are more accurate than mine.
Thanks for the info. I’ll give it a try.
Bobbie

22 09 2008
Flora

Very innovative, cheap and I am going to give it a go today.

27 09 2008
Japanese Meshwork « At Random

[...] Japanese Meshwork 27 09 2008 I spent part of today at a quilting workshop in town learning how to do Japanese Meshwork. Earlier in the week I spent a few hours making the bias strips I used in my ‘tumbling blocks’ piece. A word about these bias strips—they aren’t made from the bias of the fabric. They’re cut on the straight grain, then put through some type of bias tape maker to create the double-fold strips. [...]

6 10 2008
indiandress4u

Great idea. I love your innervative thinking.

21 11 2009
MimiRob

Great tip…I’ll have to try your method soon!

4 05 2013
Jill

Um… just so you know, what you made and described in the above post is actually 1/2″ SINGLE fold bias tape, not double fold. If you folded it again in half, it would then be 1/4″ double fold. The single or double refers to the times it was folded, not how many actual folds. Hope this helps…

4 05 2013
Rhonda

Thanks Jill. I had no idea what it was called as I use it so rarely.

4 05 2013
Jill

No problem — it’s not exactly self-evident. I can’t tell you how many times I got home with single fold when I’d meant to buy double fold, because to me bias tape is bias tape and I never use single fold. I’ve gotten into it more lately as a finish for clothing — double fold, of course — I actually would not know how to use single fold or even what to put it on. And of course googling “double fold” is what got me to your page, so it’s all good. :)

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