Finally a new addition to my wardrobe! It’s been a quick minute since I’ve made any clothing for myself and I thought it was about time. The latest piece to my closet is a duster cardigan in a salt and pepper knit fabric. This cardigan has been on my mind since I saw blogger Mimi G make it and I’m so stoked to have one of my own now!
This duster was made with pattern New Look #6735. The pattern is for a regular cardigan but, I altered it to add length.I decided that I wanted my duster to fall to my ankles so it wouldn’t have a chance to drag. The duster has three buttons down the front, belt loops and a black canvas belt. The knit fabric was 6$ a yard, which I got 2 of, and the black canvas was 8$ a yard which I used only a small piece of. The New Look pattern I got for 4$ downtown at Michael Levine a year ago and it most likely is still just as cheap.
I absolutely love this piece. It’s so stylish and dramatic; a great addition to my fall wardrobe. I urge you to check out Mimi G’s video for a great tutorial on this custom duster cardigan and sew what’s in your wardrobe. I look forward to wearing mine more as the weather gets cooler and in the meantime I’ll just use it as my morning robe! 😀 ❤
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! ❤