Bias Binding

  • Bias Binding Introduction
  • Binding Width
  • Fabric Selection
  • Starching
  • Cutting
  • Continuous Strip Binding
  • Folding the Binding
  • Shaping Edges
  • Basting & Sewing
  • Decorative Serging
  • Adding Piping
To really set-off the binding, a decorative serged stitch can be used over the binding. For a wedding, this works especially well with a metallic thread used for the serging.

If your garment is sewn with the seam edges facing out, the binding can stand out or be stitched flat against the fabric. For an unlined garment, this gives you a nice finish inside seam.

Binding Width

Bindings can be of the same fabric or a contrasting fabric. They can be a narrow 1/4 inch or a wider 7/8 inch. They can be combined with a second narrower binding or small piping.

Fabric Selection

Use light to medium weight fabrics. These can be bound onto any weight fabric. Using a heavier weight fabric for the binding will create too much bulk which will have no place to go.


First the binding fabric must be starched before cutting. It will be easier to cut, shape, pin, and sew, while preventing wrinkles. Even woolens can be starched or stiffened with Touch o’ gold light interfacing.

Dip the fabric into the liquid starch, saturated, then hang over the shower rod to air-dry.

Cutting Bias Binding

Always cut on the bias, it will shape to the garment better.

For crisp lightweight fabrics like cotton broadcloth, cut your widths twice the finished width plus ½ to 5/8 inch for seam allowances. For soft or slippery fabrics, cut the strips twice the finished width plus 5/8 to 3/4 inch for seam allowances. For medium weight fabrics like medium-wale corduroy, cut the strips twice the finished width plus 5/8 to ¾ inch.

Continuous Bias Binding

if you need quite a lot of bias tape this will avoid seams in the binding. Cut a rectangle of fabric and ‘square’ it up, making sure the cut edges go along a thread grain. To find the true bias of the fabric (45 degree angle to selvedge) – fold the cut edge up to selvedge and lightly press the fold. Unfold – the crease is on the bias.

Using ruler and chalk pencil draw the first line on the crease, then use the cardboard template to mark the next line and draw another parallel to the first. Continue in this way until you reach the corners. (A quilter’s clear ruler will simplify this step.)

Cut off the triangular corners of unmarked fabric at either end of the rectangle.

With RIGHT sides together, fold the rectangle into a tube, matching the lines so that one width of binding extends beyond the edge on each side. Sew short ends together taking a narrow ¼ inch seam and then press seam open.

Starting at one end, cut along the chalk line, working around the tube until the end – you will have a long continuous length of bias fabric.

Yield ~ If the fabric is 45" wide, a 5 x 45" rectangle will make approximately 2-1/2 yards of binding.

For more detailed instructions go to Quilters Cache

Folding Bias Binding

A bias tape maker is available at fabric stores. Press the folded binding as it comes out the bias tape maker. For a homemade template, cut a piece of heavy board or plastic the full width of the binding. With bias strip lying on ironing board, right side down, center the template on the inside, fold and press the edges over the template. Repeat down the bias tape to the end.

Shaping Edges

On the garment, keep the edges gently rounded. Curves sew more quickly than corners, so convert your square corners into rounded curves. If you must have squared corners, used a mitered finish (instructions available at most quilting websites).

To help retain the garment shape, use an interfacing and facing on the backside of the garment before attaching the binding. Stitch it ¼ inch inside the edge of the bias tape.

Fold the binding in half, finger press it, and pin in place. For an inside curve, ease the binding around curves, use small folds on the inside edge.

Basting and Stitching

Hand baste, then press lightly to shrink the excess binding. Machine stitch the binding, using a zipper foot at the binding edge. Remove bastings, press again.

Decorative Serging

Use a metallic thread and serger to sew a decorative stitch over the binding.

Adding Piping

To add a touch of color, sew piping to the garment, not the binding, ¼ inch from garment edge. Apply binding as above.
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