Friday, February 22, 2013

Picture Tutorial: Making Continuous Bias

Making continuous bias is an important technique to learn because it has such a wide array of applications.  I learned this process many years ago from my Auntie Ann when she was learning to bind a quilt.  There are so many uses for bias in general and it's easy once you learn this trick.  You can make bias for binding, piping, welting, ruffles and even spaghetti straps.  I'm sure you can think of tons of other things it can be used for as well.  I've seen many ready to wear styles using bias as trimming sewn in free form shapes on a garment.  The best part is that it doesn't fray in the traditional way, it sort of "blooms" with wear and laundering.
 
Step 1:  Cut a square of fabric.  It must be a perfect square so get out a ruler.
 
 
Step 2:  Mark your lengthwise edges with a single hash mark and mark your crosswise edges with a double hash mark.
 
Step 3:  Draw a line diagonally from corner to corner.  Doesn't matter which way you decide to draw the line.  Cut the square on this diagonal line making 2 triangles.
 

Step 4:  Match the edges with the single hash mark together and stitch at 1/4".  Press open.  Now you have a parallelogram.  Remember that from Geometry Class??  Well NOW it's finally useful!!

 
Right sides together, 1/4" seam
 

Step 5:  Decide how wide you want your bias to be and mark lines across your piece.  I chose 1 1/4" wide for my bias.  At this point I figured that I wouldn't have enough bias for my project so I modified my plans a bit. 


Step 6:  If you realize this BEFORE you move on, you won't have to repeat this entire process again and make a separate tube of continuous bias.  Follow Steps 1-4 again and make another parallelogram exactly the same size as the first one.  IT MUST BE THE SAME SIZE.  I was using a piece of left over fabric and it was only 12" in length.  You can cut your square of fabric as large as you like to accommodate your needs.

Step 7:  Join the 2 parallelograms on the edge with the double hash marks.  Now continue your lines across the joined section of fabric.
Joined parallelograms
 
Line continuation.

Step 8:  Join the edges with the double hash marks.  Offset the lines by one width of the bias.  Make sure you pin the seam joining the lines at the seam line, not the lines from the edge.  I poke a pin in at the seam line and then poke it through the seam line of the other side to match it perfectly.  Sew at 1/4".  Press open and you're finished!!

 
Pin poking through both sides at seam lines.
 
Lots of pins to prevent shifting.
 
Finished bias tube inside out.
 
Step 9:  Cut on the lines and you'll be surprised how much bias you end up with.
Finished bias tube, right side out with cutting lines.
 
 
I ended up with almost 7 yards of bias.  Not bad for using just scraps of fabric.  One of the best parts of this is that now you can match your bias PERFECTLY.  No more settling for whatever color is available in the prepackaged bias. You can even get creative with this process if your using it for trimming by joining squares or triangles of different colors or patterns or prints!!  I hope you find this process easy and fun!!  As always, A BIG THANK YOU for stopping by.  Please feel free to comment or send me an email.
 


 

11 comments:

  1. Marvelous pictorial tutorial. May I link a project in progress of mine to this, siting you?

    Coco

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  2. Hi Coco!! I'm so happy you found my Picture Tutorial helpful. Please feel free to share the link with your project. Thanks!!

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  3. Excellent . Never thought of doing it like this.

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    1. Thanks! Happy to show you something new!

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  4. Thanks for the info regarding 'hash marks'. Very helpful!

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    1. You're welcome!! Glad you found it helpful!!

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  5. This looks GREAT! Thank you so much for sharing! I'm about to start a large valance project that uses LOTS of piping, and this looks like it will save me a ton of time. Have you ever done it with stripes? Does it work?

    I just found your blog a few days ago and am so glad I did. I have learned so much already. Sometimes the little tips and tricks make all the difference in how you enjoy sewing. I just purchased the Singer Quantum 9960 a few days ago and have really loved your videos on YouTube. They have been so informative and saved me lots of time on trial and error. Thanks for sharing those!

    Looking forward to learning more! Thanks for sharing! Have a great day!

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    1. Hi Jeanniemb1, Congratulation on your new machine! The 9960 is a great one and I love it. It's been getting very good reviews. Glad you're enjoying my videos. Good luck on your valence project too!!

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  6. Thanks so much for taking the time to publish all these great tutorials. I too have just purchased a Quantum Stylist and your videos are helping me teach myself what to do. You don't happen to have a post on the Adjustable BIas BInder Foot that the machine came with do you?

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    1. Hi dcdesigns. Here's the link to my video of the Adjustable Binding Foot. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wB-LzkrkilI

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