Sewing our Sanity

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Applying bias tape with a binding foot

Dear Emily,

The fabric store has quite a variety of bias tape...single fold, double fold, half inch, one inch, quarter inch, a bunch of colors. Looking at the rack, you would think you would be able to find exactly what you need but how often can you not find the color you need? Or don't you sometimes want to trim something with a coordinating fabric, solid or print?

Recently I bought two of these

I have the yellow one and the largest, black one. Oops. Just double checked mine. My large black one is by Prym while the yellow one is Clover. The smaller makes 1/2 inch tape and the larger makes one inch (which means, if you are making double fold bias tape, the result is 1/4 inch and 1/2 inch tapes). It was a little confusing when I bought the tape makers. The smaller one makes really tiny bias tape. The dress I made it for called for 1/2 inch but I sure as heck wasn't going to make any more. Besides, I didn't have the right size bias tape maker.

Now, the main point of this letter it that I finally, for the first time, applied binding perfectly! Silly how excited I am about this, but seriously, this is a momentous occasion. I made my own bias tape using this tutorial from Made. Dana from has another tutorial for applying bias tape and I think I remember your telling me you used it with success. I saw your binding on one of Natalie's dresses? It was very neat and well applied but was sewn in two steps. I had an entire dress, an apron dress, to bind (picks later, when I sew the tie on it) and wanted the quickest, easiest way to apply the binding. I had bought a binding foot for my beloved Janome sewing machine awhile ago. I tried using it once, got frustrated, and set it aside. Way aside. This time I pulled it out, I was determined to make it work.

I figured out a trick.

The fabric needs to be held between the fold of the bias tape as it feeded into the foot and it needs to be held at the same angle the feed part is.

Totally technical, I know, and it is a funny looking foot and I have no idea what to call that part of the foot and I am too tired to google it. Plus, it might be the one thing google has no answer for.

How many times do you thing I can write bias tape? Bias tape, bias tape bias tape.





  1. The recipe came from and it's called Cheesecake Supreme. Make sure you follow the tip in the comments to bake it at 200 degrees for 3 hours and 10 minutes and then let it set in the oven for another hour. I added a tablespoon of lemon to the cheesecake also and because I didn't have quite enough graham crackers for the crust, I put in about 5 Oreo cookies (actually they were Trader Joe's JoJo's) and left out the sugar.

  2. I'm going to get Ethan and Blake to help me make this for Jakob's birthday on Sunday!