Learn how to apply bias binding to any project with my step-by-step tutorial
For projects like our Oven Gloves and Mitt sewing pattern or the Sewing Machine Mat, a bias bound finish gives a smart and professional feel. You can even use this tutorial to bind the edges of a quilt!
Top tips for bias binding
- Because Bias Binding is cut on the bias of the fabric (at a 45 degree angle to the straight grain off the warp and the weft) it has a lot of stretch and flexibility to it. This allows it to easily bend around curves without puckering or creating folds.
- Using fabric clips instead of pins is great as they hold lots of layers of fabric and wadding easily.
- Bias comes in two widths as standard (though it can be made at home too) 15mm and 25mm. 25mm is easier to work with and ideal for beginners to build confidence first, especially with craft projects.
Step by Step
1. Press open one folded edge of the bias binding and pin it in place with the edges of the fabrics and the bias binding meeting. Pin or clip ever 15cm to hold in place then sew along the fold to attach the bias on one side to the mitt. Your seam allowance will be 5mm.
If sewing around the edges of a quilt or something like the oven gloves you will need to join the loose edges of the bias binding before you continue. Leave 10cm of bias binding loose at the join, not sewn down to the project. We'll join the bias in to a loop before stitching it down. See the next step.
If you're not sewing bias all the way around you can skip the next step.
2. Where the bias meets its self again after going all the way around the project, clip it flat and line up the right sides of the bias to create a join.
Smooth them flat along the fabric until the bias meets itself. pin or clip as close as you can to the fabric and sew the bias binding to its self to close the loop. Trip the bias binding tails down to 5mm and press to one side.
Finish stitching the bias binding down to the main project.
3. Press the bias over the raw edge and pin down so that the folded edge of the bias binding is on the other side, encasing the raw edges of the fabric and wadding. Don't pull it out of shape to make sure the line where it folds is even. Pin or clip in place.
If using 25mm bias binding, the overlap should be approx.. 7mm either side of the folded edge. Don't worry too much about this when learning the techniques, accuracy will come with practice.
4. To finish the bias binding, you can choose to hand stitch it down, or machine sew it. If you choose to machine sew you can either 'stitch in the ditch' on the reverse side (sewing a straight line between the fold of the bias) or zig zag stitch along the loose side.
Stitch is the ditch is a tricky technique to master. It requires a very straight and steady line of stitches. It's a good idea to practice it on smaller projects first. You need go slow, making sure that your bias binding is catching on the back of your sewing.
A nice big zig zag stitch is ideal for beginners. It looks smart and it is forgiving, allowing you to practice the techniques and finish your project beautifully.
Thank you for reading, please leave any comments and questions below!