Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Adventures in Bias Tape

A few months back I converted a sweater to a cardigan and it went pretty well.  I'd already earmarked my next victim, a rarely worn mustard yellow sweater that had been gathering cobwebs in the back of my closet.  However, this time, I knew I wanted patterned bias tape for the binding.  There are two ways to get patterned bias tape:  buy it on Etsy or make it yourself.  There are two ways to make it yourself:  buy a really expensive bias tape machine or buy a very inexpensive bias tape tool.  Since I have a massive fabric stash and I knew having just one print to play with would never do it for me, I figured making my own was the best option.  Since I am cheap, I went with the tool over the machine. 

Full disclosure, you really can't get by using  scissors to cut your bias strips, you MUST have a rotary cutter and mat, which I initially did not.  However, thanks to a 50% off Joann's coupon I was able to pick up a cutting set AND two sizes of bias tape makers via really inexpensively. The bias tape makers may be one hit wonders, but the rotary cutting set I'll get a ton of use out of (union jack bags and pillows, anyone?).

SO!  I used this fantastic tutorial to cut and piece my bias strips:

The whole process went really well.  I was a little intimidated when I realized I'd have to sew the strips together (duh), but even that was fairly painless. 

Then on to the pressing:

I did find that I got a better, more symmetrical edge by keeping my iron about 3/4 of an inch away from my tool as I pressed along, which may have been due to the really thin gingham fabric I was using.  If I had it to do over for my first try, I'd pick something with a little more weight.  The tape was functional, it just may have been easier to make for the first time using a weightier fabric.

I sliced up my sweater and cut two strips of bias tape a bit longer than each edge and sewed them in using this tutorial and a ball point needle:

The first time I made a cardigan out of a sweater, I sewed the bias tape on the inside of the cardi. This time, since I had cute tape, I sewed it on the outside. 

Ta da!:


Natalie J said...

Looks good! Yay for upcycling. ;)

Diane said...

You are channeling Aunt Thelma!

HollyLynne said...

Aunt Thelma would probably make me start over, some of my tape edges were so wonky!