Friday, January 6, 2012

Bias tape adventures

This purse has brought on a few firsts for me - first time making and using bias tape and first time using grommets (no smashed fingers!)

I've seen those nifty bias tape makers, the basic one like this -

to the high speed ones like this -
I don't have either of these, however. I DO have an iron though! So, I was a little intimidated, but I checked out this tutorial from my favorite crafty blog, MADE , and went from there.
I started here, with the selvage edges together... 
I then folded it over into a big triangle...
..marked a 3" strip..
..and cut, with the help of some Angry Birds and my 4 year old. : )
This was probably the hardest part, making the strips line up with each other. In the tutorial it says that the strips need to make a 90 degree angle, but I still had a little trouble.
I had to do a little seam ripping on this one.
And then I had to take a break to clean up jello hands : )
On to ironing. After I sewed all the 3" strips together and pressed the seams (either right or left), I pressed it in half the long way. The hot dog way, if you will.
After pressing it in half, I folded and pressed one side up far enough to meet the middle crease. The other side I also pressed but not quite as close to the middle crease. This leaves the one side a little longer when sewing the binding on, so you'll more easily be able to catch the under side that you won't be able to see. I also clipped the corners from when I sewed the 3" strips together.
After all the ironing (this took me the better part of an hour), I have BIAS TAPE! Woo!

I then pinned the tape all around the edges of my purse. And when I say pinned, I mean PINNED. I must have stabbed myself a dozen times. I'm sure my son was wondering what the heck I was doing.
Then I began sewing it, inch by inch. It didn't shift much, and with the one longer side, I didn't miss any portion of it on the other side. Although, the next time I do this, the longer side will just be a hair longer, not an 1/8" longer, as I had made it. I didn't need that much extra at all.
And that is my adventure with bias tape! Not nearly as scary as I thought.

After putting the grommets on, and tying on the bamboo handles, I was finally finished! I really like how this turned out, despite all the pink. I may learn to like pink. : ) 


  1. Great bag - I find bags to be so difficult. It is that last step, once you turn the lining inside out and that is that 3" spot that you left to turn the bag inside out with. I can never get that sewn without a buckle! great job on the bag!

    Hugs - Brandi

    PS - thank you for the blog follow. I am your newest follower as well!

  2. Thanks for the kind words and the follow, Brandi! This bag (thankfully) didn't require the inside-out-turning step, I hate that part too. I've gotten better, but it requires way more brain power for me than it should.

  3. Great tutorial! I've been wondering how to do this myself, going to need bias tape to finish off an apron project. Thanks! And yes, the purse is freakin awesome!

  4. Thanks, Beth! I think next time I'll see about getting the basic tape maker doodad, that would be much faster. And I think I like this tutorial thing! Glad it was helpful!

  5. I wish I could sew :) blog follow? :)

  6. Sure, Jesse, thanks for checking mine out!

  7. Thanks for the tutorial! This will definitely come in handy :)

    Shannon @ Sewing Barefoot