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How To Cut Bias Binding Strips

If you’re planning on using bias tape in your next sewing project, knowing how to cut bias binding strips to make your own is a great way to be more unique and avoid the mass produced bias binding tape!

You can make bias tape in two ways, but whether you want to make bias binding with a bias tape maker or make it manually, you will need strips of fabric cut on the bias.

This tutorial will show you how to cut bias binding strips in different fabrics.

Green continuous bias binding on a blue striped ironing board - a tutorial on how to cut bias binding strips

Tools Needed For Cutting Bias Binding Strips

You won’t need much for this task:

  • Cutting mat – I have a guide on how self healing mats work
  • Rotary cutter – it is much easier to cut a bias strip with a rotary cutter than scissors
  • Pattern master – this is a hard plastic fashion ruler with lines at 90º and 45º angles, making it easier to find the bias of your fabric
  • Quilting ruler – not essential, but if you do not have a pattern master, a quilting ruler is a great tool to help you find and mark the bias of your woven fabric
  • Metal yardstick ro ruler – this does not have the markings, but it is invaluable if you want to cut long fabric strip to make continuous bias binding with!

So, now you have your tools, let’s get started!

Single Fold Vs Double Fold

You’ll want to decide whether you’re cutting fabric to make single fold bias tape of double fold bias tape.

What Is Single Fold Tape?

Pink single fold bias tape on a white worktable

Single fold tape is created by taking the long edge of a fabric strip to the centre and pressing to create a folded edge. If is repeated in the opposite side of the fabric strip.

This makes two folds, with the raw edges meeting in the middle.

It can be used to bind a raw fabric edge as a visible hem finishing or it can be turned under and used a bias facing.

You can learn how to bind a hem with single fold bias tape here.

What Is Double Fold Tape?

Double fold bias has tree folds – I know, it’s confusing right?

As well as the two folds created during the single fold process, the double fold tape is folded for a third time down the length, so that it is already ‘creased’ for you before sewing.

Choosing Your Binding Strip Width

Bias binding options for the DIY dress

So, how wide should you cut your binding strips? It really depends on what you’ll be using them for.

Single fold tape is commonly used a bias facing tape. If you wish the tape to be 5mm wide, then your binding strip needs to be double this, so 1cm wide.

Double fold tape is used more often to bind the raw edge of fabric, and once sewn becomes a quarter of its original width.

Therefore, if I want a 5mm visible bound edge, I need my binding strip to be 2cm to start.

Cutting Your Bias Binding Strips

Now that you know how wide you want your stip to be, place your fabric on the cutting mat so that the straight grain is lined up with the 45 degree angle line.

To cut bias binding strips, you need to find the bias cut (45º angle) of the fabric

If you are not use a cutting mat with lines marked in, take your pattern master or quilters ruler, and place it so that it lies at a 45º angle.

Below you can see that I have the bias of my calico lined up with the 45º angle of my cutting mat.

Folding back the fabric to show it is on a 45º angle

Cut along this line to create a raw edge that is at a 45º angle. This will be the guiding line now for all the bias binding strips that we will cut!

Cut the first line, to create a bias cut raw edge in the fabric

I decided for the toile I’m making, that I wanted a 1.5cm bias facing, so I placed my pattern master ruler at the 3cm wide mark.

Move the patter. master or quilters ruler to create a strips that is the correct width of your bias tape

I then use my rotary cutter to cut a smooth line.

Use a rotary cutter and run it along the edge of the pattern master or ruler to create a bias binding strip

My finished cut binding strips are all 3cm wide.

Continue cutting strips at your chosen width until you run out of fabric
Cutting bias binding strips out of calico for a toile

Now that my binding strips are cut, I can use them as facings for some small skirt toiles I’m testing.

If you wanted a continuous piece of binding tape, you could join them together – it’s quite easy and I show you how in this tutorial on two ways to make bias tape!

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