Let’s Sew – Episode 2 – Making a Handbag
Video series where I share my projects and progress with you! ❤ Watch as I continue making a handbag out of teenage mutant ninja turtles cotton fabric!
Catch me live streaming Episode 3 tomorrow on Youtube! And check out my past projects here on MachineLove.
The beginning of my new series “Let’s Sew”, where I live stream projects and share my progress.
Watch me make a handbag and show you how it’s done! Part 1 is here. Check it out and catch me tomorrow May 22nd, live streaming part 2 @ 1:30 pm pacific time on youtube. Link below!
Using TMNT fabric. I got that turtle power!!
Hello MachineLovers! All is well in good ol’ Hollywood, California. ❤ Been a bit of a heat wave this summer but, no complaints here. I’ve been trying to keep myself busy with work and a few projects here and there. I really want to make this blog priority though. Yes, I know, I keep saying that I’m going to post more often and don’t… but maybe if I keep reminding myself too, I’ll actually do it! Updating this page gives me that extra push and reason to continue to sew and hone my skills. Also, it gives me the opportunity to share with you my progress and hopefully help you with your work too. Today I have another lesson from MachineLove 101 for you! I am pleased to present you with this tutorial on how to add bias tape to your projects. If you’re unfamiliar with bias tape, check out my other tutorial on how to make your own here.
I’ve been working on a pair of pants for a friend and I decided to finish the raw bottom edges of the pant legs with bias tape. While simply hemming the pants would have been a quicker option; I didn’t want to loose the length of the pants as I was working with minimal fabric.
Since I won’t be going around any corners, as there are none on the bottom pant legs, I won’t be able to show you how this is done. I apologize in advance but, I promise the next time I bind a quilt I will add this short tutorial as well. Now, let the taping begin!
What You’ll Need:
- The project you’re working on; shirt, quilt, pants, tea cozy, whatever you want to add bias tape to, grab it!
- Bias tape
- Rotary cutter/ Scissors
- Your Machine ❤
Step 1: Lay bias tape along raw edge
I usually begin attaching my bias tape to the front side of my project; I feel this gives the front the sharper look the tape has to offer. Essentially though, you can begin attaching your tape on either the back or front side. Now, let’s find the raw edge of your project you want to tape or bind. Once you do that, open up your bias tape and take a look at it. You should see 4 sections to your bias tape and 3 creases.
You want to line up the bottom section of the bias tape (#4) with the raw edge of your project, as seen in the photo below. It helps to lay your bias tape down near the stitch where your two fabrics meet on the raw edge, that way all stitch ends will be in the same area. As you can see in the photo, I have my bias tape laying a little over this stitch.
Step 2: Fold down corner of bias tape
Fold down the top corner of the bias tape over its self; meeting the edge. This fold is necessary to hide the raw edge of the tape. There are a few ways to do this but, I prefer this quick folding method. We’ll eventually see the polished look this fold will give my tape.
Step 3: Pin and Cut excess
Pin bias tape the length of you project. In my case, I pinned it around the bottom pant leg, as seen above. Once you reach back to the beginning of the pinned tape, cut off any excess bias tape. When cutting the excess tape make sure it extends pass the folded corner at the beginning, as seen below. Then pin your tape over the folded end, lining up those three creases.
(Don’t have enough tape? If you don’t have enough bias tape to extend pass the original folded corner; grab both ends of the bias tape. Undo the folded corner, pin the two ends of the tape so they are the perfect length of your project. Stitch them here and cut off excess. Pin to your project. This may even reduce bulk but, I enjoy the above folded method if you have the extra tape. 😉 )
Step 4: Sew on bias tape; stitch #1!
Now that we have our bias tape pinned, let’s make our first stitch! Get your machine and sew along crease 3 on the tape. I use just a straight stitch for this. Once you sew the entire length of your project you should have a nice stitch along crease 3, as seen below.
Step #5: Fold tape down and over; Pin
Fold the bias tape along stitch #1, as seen above. Once you do this, turn your project wrong side out; we now must fold the bias tape over onto this side. Use the 3 three creases as a guide, folding on each crease as you go around the raw edge of your project.
When folding over to the other side, make sure to line the tape up with stitch #1 on the opposite side, as seen above. Then pin bias tape to this side of your project, as seen below.
Step #6: Sew stitch #2!
Now that we have our bias tape completely pinned down, let’s do our 2nd and final stitch to attach it on this side.
Sew as close as you can to the edge of your tape, as seen above. This way your 2nd stitch will line up with the 1st stitch as much as possible. Stitch around the complete length of your project.
Once you do this you’re pretty much done! Yay, and check out the tape where I originally folded it to get rid of that raw edge. Looks good right?
This completes the tutorial on how to add bias tape to your projects. Let me know what you make and link me to your work, I’d love to see it! I hope this tutorial was beneficial to you. It was super fun to make! ❤
It’s here! I am pleased to finally bring you this tutorial on how to make bias tape without a tape maker (and with 😉 ). When I first began learning how to sew and more importantly how to manipulate fabric; I didn’t have all the sweet tools I was coming across in all the video tutorials I found online. Many of these tutorials on how to make bias tape were helpful but, it would have been nice to come across a guide that was for a sewer like myself; one who didn’t quite have all the helpful tools for their projects yet. While making bias tape without a tape maker is not a difficult task to accomplish, it does require a little more attentiveness and I hope this tutorial will help you in your effort to make beautiful bias tape!
What the heck is bias tape?!
I didn’t know myself up until about two years ago what bias tape was. Once I discovered how to use it though, it not only improved the quality of my work but I now enjoy making it! Bias tape is pieces of fabric sewn together in a long strip. It can be utilized in a number of ways such as the finish for raw edges, going around corners and as decoration. Use it to finish quilts, collars, pant bottoms, just about anything you’d like. Pre-made bias tape can be bought in craft stores or online but, being able to produce your own opens up a greater world of creativity for your work. You get to pick the fabric and the size; the possibilities are endless! I’ve read some bloggers state that bias tape is not necessary but, believe me, you will see the quality of your work improve when you take the time to utilize it.
What You’ll Need:
- Fabric of your choice (how much tape will you need for your project? the bigger the project the more tape you’ll need and the more fabric.)
- Rotary cutter; if no cutter try with scissors
- Rotary mat
- Chalk or something to mark your measurements with
- Your Machine ❤
This tutorial is catered to those who don’t have a store bought bias tape maker, however, I will be including directions for utilizing this tool as the steps come up. Don’t worry, if you don’t have a maker just skip these steps and continue on. Also, I wanted to share that in my experience with making bias tape, in regards to ironing, I have never accidentally burned or singed myself while using the iron. I know that this can be a concern for some but, it is possible to keep a safe distance while ironing and still produce a beautiful tape. Don’t get discouraged; I find making bias tape a fun challenge now and I hope you’ll feel the same. Once you have all of your materials and you’ve designated a table top for your work area, we’re ready to get started!
Step 1) Find and fold along the bias
Lay out your piece of fabric on the rotary mat, or on your table top if using scissors. Let’s find the bias so we can cut and make our strips for the tape. The bias is the diagonal line of direction across woven fabric. Cutting along this line of direction gives our fabric a nice stretch; key for going around edges and corners. Once you have your fabric laid out, grab one of the corners and bring it down over the top, making a nice fold as pictured above. This is where we will cut to make our bias tape.
How big do you want your tape?
No matter how big your tape, it will be folded into four equal parts and only a quarter of the size will be seen when attached to your work. So let’s say you’re finishing up a quilt and you decide you want the border to be 1 inch wide. For a 1 inch wide border you would cut your bias strips 4 inches wide (1 inch x 4 = 4 inches). Or maybe you’re making a shirt and you want the collar to be half an inch (.5 inches), then you’ll cut your strips 2 inches wide (.5 inches x 4 = 2 inches). Maybe you want your bias tape to be smaller and you want the finish to be 5 millimeters wide, then you would cut your strips 2 centimeters wide. (5 mm x 4 = 20 mm / 20 mm = 2 cm) When using a bias tape maker it may very in terms of the measurements they use. For the bias tape kit I have it uses millimeters and states the size on the maker. However, the size it states is half the size of the strip needed. Again, these measurements will vary from maker to maker but I just wanted to share my experience with the tools I use.
Step 2) Mark your measurements and cut
Once you’ve decided how big you want your tape to be, it’s time to measure and cut. I want my bias tape to have a finish of half an inch, so I will be cutting my strips 2 inches wide. Grab your chalk and ruler to help you measure. For the first cut, since the fabric is folded here, we will measure and mark half the size we need, so when we unfold it, we will have the exact size we want. This is just for the first cut; after this, continue to measure the rest of the strips the full size, which for me, is 2 inches.
Mark your fabric and with your rotary cutter and ruler, or scissors, continue to cut your strips along the bias. Don’t be shy about using the smaller pieces at the end, these all can be used for the tape as well. Try your best to cut each strip exactly the same length, it will make it much easier for you when connecting them later.
Step 3) Connect your strips together; pin and cut!
Look at all these awesome strips we have! Now let’s connect them. How you connect them is very important. When I made my first bias tape it was for a collar on a shirt (shown below). I was so excited about making it that, as I was pinning and sewing away, I didn’t realize I had sewn one of my strips to the wrong side.
Mistakes are going to happen, so just make sure your fabric is facing the right way when pinning them together before you sew.
How we determine this is by laying down one of our strips, front side up. Next, grab another strip and lay it on top of the first one near the ends; front sides of the fabric facing each other, like so.
Cut off the excess tips so you have nice square edges.
Great, now pin these two pieces together. We will be sewing from the bottom left of the strips, vertically up the middle to the top right corner. Place your pins parallel to this line.
Now, grab the strip on top and bring it down, folding it over the pins, as shown below. When folded, the second strip should now have the front side of the fabric facing up as well. You can now pin on your next piece, following the same steps. Repeat this until every strip is used and pinned together. See photos below for examples.
Step 4) Sew your strips together; get that iron hot too!
Yay! Now that we have all of our strips pinned together, it’s time for some machine love! Load your machine up with some thread, minding the thread tension. Sew along the middle of the pinned strips. Once sewn, go ahead and cut off the excess fabric, as shown below.
Next, fold the strip back over and turn it wrong side up. Open up the flaps of the stitch and iron them.
Continue this at every pinned section until all strips are sewn together. You should end up with nice pressed stitches connecting every strip.
Step 5) Make friends with your iron
Look at us now!!! We have our tape nearly done, woohooo! This long strip we’ve sewn together will now have to be folded and ironed. My strip is 2 inches wide and will yield a half an inch wide tape. So I will be folding both sides of the fabric over half an inch. Grab both sides of the fabric, folding inward, meeting them in the middle, as shown.
I find it helpful to use my index and middle finger, one on either side of the tape. Iron the tip and once you do, use the ring and pinky finger as well to hold down more of the fabric at a time while staying away from the iron.
Continue this until you have ironed both sides down the entire length of your sewn strips. Is it starting to look more like a tape? 🙂 Once you’ve folded and ironed all of your tape, we just have one last fold to make!
Have a bias tape maker?
I wanted to include this just in case someone was looking for a tutorial that does utilize the bias tape maker. The benefit of having a bias tape maker is that it folds the fabric for you as you iron, instead of you having to fold and hold it yourself. As I mentioned early, a kit will usually come with various sizes of makers but, it may also come with a tool called an awl. This tool is simply used for pushing the fabric through the bias tape maker. If you don’t have an awl, a long needle will do just find.
First step is to feed the tip of the fabric (wrong side up) into the wider side of the maker; curving the sides up a bit to fit snugly through the opening. Make sure you’re using the right size maker for your strips. Once you have the the tip partially in the opening, use the awl (or needle) to push the fabric the rest of the way through. Do this by utilizing the long opening at the top of the bias tape maker, as shown.
One you’ve pulled the fabric through start ironing your tape. Use the hook at the top of the maker to continue to pull the fabric through it. Continue this until you have completed the entire length of the tape.
Step 6) Where many have gone before: The Final Fold
This isn’t a necessary step but, I believe pressing a middle fold can be useful. It can be used as a guide when attaching it to another piece of fabric. Take your already folded bias tape and fold it one more time, right down the middle. Press the fold with the iron and continue this until your entire piece of tape is folded.
When you open the tape after pressing it, you should see three creases separating four parts of your strip. Did you press it all? Great! That’s it, you’re done! You made your very own custom bias tape. Pretty sweet! 🙂 ❤
That completes this tutorial on how to make bias tape without a tape maker, and with. I hope you found these steps to be helpful and I wish you continued success in attempting to make your own bias tape. I do sincerely have a lot of fun making bias tape, however a pain it may seem, hahaa! 😉 In my next tutorial I will show you how to attach your custom bias tape to your projects. Stay tuned MachineLovers! ❤
Hello Machine Lovers! I’ve been away for a while but, I’m glad to say I’m back with some awesome stories to share with you! It’s officially February and the last time we were together I shared some of my favorite places in the fashion district to buy fabric. Well, what I didn’t mention was that I was also gearing up for a trip to Virginia! Specifically, West Point and Newport News, Virginia. Gilbert grew up in Virginia, so we were heading to the east coast to visit his family. While there I was able to get in some quilting and it was so much fun! Between all the snow, drumming, martini parties, and Big Bang Theory, I was able to start and finish the baby quilt I had planned to make for my baby niece! ❤
Virginia is such a beautiful state. The pine trees alone are a wonder. All of them so tall and the pine cones! Hahaa, there were so many scattered on the ground, I was tempted twice to carry some home, sprinkle glitter on them and make a wreath! I was also lucky enough to experience the awesome Virginia snow. The second day we were there it snowed an inch, just enough to cover the trees and ground in a lovely white coat. Being from southern California, I don’t get to experience snow often. While I had seen snow once before when I was younger on a trip to Big Bear, the Virginia snow was a real treat! I made a few snowballs and enjoyed playing in the snow with the pugs. The following days’ sun dried up most of it by the time we left.
One of the highlights of the trip was the family drum session we participated in. Gilbert’s mother, Madonna, is Lakota and she has this huge, gorgeous leather drum. At one point we all gathered around it. She shared with us some drum techniques and the significance of the different beats and drum. We all drummed together and listened to her share a song. It was a really fun experience!
By the end of our trip, I was itching for some creative time and Gilbert’s sister, Felicity, suggested we start the quilt we had discussed making together when I had first arrived. I told her about the quilt I wanted to make for my baby niece and we decided to make one for her. Luckily, Madonna, a quilter herself, had fabric and a sewing machine with all the fix-ins. I knew I didn’t want the quilt to be very large, as I wanted to finish it within a few hours and it was for a baby after all!
How to Make a Fast and Easy Baby Quilt
What You’ll Need:
- Assorted Fabric; enough for a 25.5 x 25.5 inch quilt top and back, including some for 100+ inches of bias tape or pre-made bias tape.
- Rotary Cutter & Mat or Scissors
- Your sewing machine
Awesome, now that we have our tools, we’re ready to rock!
1) Quilt Top
Let’s make our quilt top! I decided on a size of 25 x 25 inches. We picked out 5 different fabrics we both liked, then proceeded to cut 5 squares out of each fabric. For this project, since we were working on a small-scale and at a fast pace, I didn’t plan for a seam allowance as it wouldn’t affect the quality of the quilt. Of course when making yours, add half an inch to each square for a 1/4 seam allowance. Cut your squares 5.5 x 5.5 inches. This way, the finished quilt will be exactly 25 x 25 inches. Using your ruler, rotary cutter and mat, or scissors, cut a total of 25 squares. These 25 squares will be your quilt top. Arrange them as you wish. This is how we arranged our squares, along with the strips of flannel we will use to make the bias tape:
Pin the squares together, 5 at a time. Using your machine, sew these squares together, minding the 1/4 seam allowance. Iron seams. When you have 5 strips of 5 squares each, pin the strips together and using your machine, sew these together, minding the 1/4 seam allowance. Continue until all strips are sewn, ironing seams as you go along. Now you have your quilt top! Let’s talk about the back of the quilt.
2) Quilt Back
For the back of the quilt I picked my favorite fabric from the ones we chose and cut out a large square from it. Cut a 25.5 x 25.5 square from your choice of fabric, this includes the 1/4 seam allowance.
3) Sew Quilt Top & Back Together
Now we have the two sides of our quilt. With the wrong sides facing each other, pin your quilt top and back together. Using your machine, sew the two sides together, minding the 1/4 seam allowance. We’re almost done! Now we’re ready to take care of those raw edges with our bias tape.
4) Bias Tape
OK, so bias tape. I’ve just learned how to make bias tape, as I finished my first quilt only a few months ago, but already I’ve grown a strong love for it and believe it’s essential to a beautifully finished quilt. Also, once you get the hang of it, bias tape is really fun to make! Bias tape is used as the finished edges of the quilt and it’s easy to go around corners with it. If you don’t know how to make bias tape, check out my tutorial on how to make it here. I really enjoy making bias tape and I make it without a bias tape maker too. For the bias tape on this quilt we picked a blue flannel with a cute pattern of monkeys on it, shown here below:
5) Sew Bias Tape To Quilt For Finish
You’ll need a little over 100 inches of bias. Once you have your bias tape made, or you have your store-bought pre made bias tape, line the bias along the front of the quilt’s raw edge, pin. Continue to pin tape along the front of the quilt, turning corners until you reach where you began. Cut off excess.
Using you machine, sew the bias tape and quilt together along the tape’s ironed crease, the one that’s closest to the raw edge. Continue to sew the tape around the quilt, pinning and sewing corners accordingly.
Once done with sewing the top, turn the quilt over and fold the bias tape over to the side now facing up. Pin in place. Now, using your machine, sew this side of the tape around the quilt.
We’re done! A cute quilt for a newborn baby. It’s simple and a great gift idea with heart. When I got back to Los Angeles, I gave my brother and his girlfriend this quilt for my niece and they loved it!
We started our quilt at 5:00 pm and after taking a few breaks in between, finished it by 8:30. So it only took about 3 hours for us to complete the quilt including making our own bias tape. If you’re working alone and use pre-made bias tape, you can finish just as soon. I really had such a wonderful time in Virginia with the family and am happy for the great experience I had out there. I’m glad I got the chance to make the quilt for my niece while in Virginia. Since I did, that means the fabric I had originally bought for this quilt can now be used for something else. I’m thinking pillows, maybe! Hahaa, so many projects to do!
I hope this how to on making a baby quilt was helpful and has inspired you to make your own. I know in my last post I promised a tutorial on how to make simple curtains. I will still be posting this. I was in the middle of making them and then took off to Virginia but, I will be finishing them soon and sharing. So stay tuned Machine Lovers! There’s much more to come here at Machine Love. Share with me your projects in the mean time! ❤
:: Athena ::