Bias tape for applique stems

I’m happy to report that my back ground fabric has arrived for my Princess Feather applique project and I’ve started the applique! As I was making the bias tape for the stems and vines..I thought I’d post how I make it..just in case anyone doesn’t know how it’s done.

P8020058I decided to chuck the brown fabric that was sent with my kit aside and changed it for this green fabric called Floret. I liked the variety of greens in it and thought it would look nice with the greens in my other fabrics. To make the bias for stems and vines first you make a cut at 45*. Once you have the correct angle established you just go along and cut slices from it, lining up your ruler with the edge. I need 1/4″ bias pieces so I cut my strips at 1/2″. This gives you a seam allowance to turn under. Why do we cut it on the bias? Because the fabric when cut on the bias will bend and curve and not pucker and wrinkle like a piece of fabric cut on the straight of grain. :)

P8020066 I like to give that strip a spritz of Best Press..which is a starch alternative..and smells nice too ;) but you can use starch if you have it..or set your iron to steam if you don’t have either of the other products mentioned. The strip will be fed through a bias tape maker and get pressed with a hot iron. I use a bias maker that is Clover brand. It’s pretty inexpensive and I highly recommend it!

P8020071 Sometimes it’s a bit difficult to get the fabric to feed through so you can press it, so take a threaded needle and catch the edge of the bias strip..and feed the needle through the tape maker. You can now gently pull the bias strip through. You will have your iron hot and ready to press the tape as it comes out of the maker. This will keep the edges turned under nicely, and you’ll get a nice even width strip of bias tape.

P8020076For this part of the project I need smaller lengths of the bias tape, but for the outer border I will need longer lengths. When I go to make that, I will join my strips with a seam sewn at that 45* angle..just like when we join pieces for binding..then feed my longer lengths through the maker. Once I have my tape made I like wrap it around a cardboard’s from toilet paper. ;)


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  1. Rashida Khanbhai

    Hi Ann, Thanks for sharing. I have been contemplating buying this biasing tool for a while. From what you have shown it seems worth it.

  2. Ann if you ever use satin ribbons the round holders they come on make great bias holders! I buy the ribbons cheap at xmas for gift ribbons and you can get hte different widths to suit the bias ;-)

    I never thought of using the needle and thread to pull it through, good idea. I just poke the bias into the start of it then use a pin to push it through the slot section from the outside.

    I like your fabric will give a dappled stem, good thinking

  3. some cases you can poke the bias strip in the opening and push it right through. Sometimes a little prodding with a pin or needle works, but this fabric had enough bulk to it (plus it was damp from the Best Press) so it didn’t want to I pulled it through!