Finishing your raw edges with double fold bias tape makes it look neat and professional and is often used for quilting, armholes, necklines and decorative finishes.
Here are 2 methods for sewing double fold bias tape. You can use store purchased tape or make your own with a bias maker using my easy how to make bias tape tutorial. The advantage of making your own bias tape is that you can use pretty patterned fabrics to coordinate with your sewing projects.
What is Double Fold Bias Tape?
Double fold bias tape is fabric that is cut on the diagonal (the bias) and then pressed into quarters along its length. It can be used for decorative purposes or to finish an otherwise raw edge. If you look in your cupboard you are bound to see several tops and dresses with double fold bias necklines and armholes. The most commonly used width is 1/2 inch (12mm) double fold bias tape. 1/4 inch (6mm) widths are commonly used in bias bound seams.
Related Reading: Types of bias tape
How to Sew Double Fold Bias Tape Tutorial
Method 1 – Fast and Easy
I’m not sure you would call this cheating but it is certainly the fastest way to sew bias tape. I would generally use it on a straight or very slightly curved edge. If you have an edge that is tightly curved or small and fiddly then you will get better results with method 2.
Notice how one side of the bias tape is wider than the other. Open tape up in half so the wider edge is on the bottom.
Now simply slip the bias over the fabric so the raw edges are sandwiched in the middle. Pin the bias in place from the top (narrower) edge.
Stitch it in place. Because the bottom edge is wider it should be caught in all the way along. Easy isn’t it?
Method 2 – Old school and Professional
So what do you do when you have a fiddly edge to bind or you want a foolproof professional finish? This will take you a little longer, but the results can be worth it.
Open up your double fold bias so that the wrong side is facing up. Pin the WIDER side to the wrong side of your project with the raw edges matching. I like to place my pins vertically to the edges as it holds the tape in place nicely.
Stitch along the folded edge of the tape closest to the edge.
Flip your project over so it is right side up on your table.
Wrap the bias tape over the raw edge and fold it over. The folded edge should just cover the row of stitches. Make sure it lies smoothly and is not pulled or wrinkled. Pin it in place.
Now on the right side, stitch close to the open edge of the bias. This will catch in the underneath of the bias. Don’t forget to remove those pins! Just beautiful!
How to Sew Double Fold Bias: Overlapping & Finishing
How to Overlap Bias Tape
If you are sewing something circular for example a bound neck or armhole you will want a seamless overlap. Use this simple technique to hide where the double fold bias binding overlaps.
Where you start, fold the end over by 1/2 inch (12mm). It is always best to start somewhere the join will not be noticed. When you get back to where you started just overlap the ends by 1/2 inch (12mm). The top end should be flat and not folded over like the underneath piece.
Sewing Double Fold Bias Tape on Ends
If you need to bind the end of your project simply fold the end over by 1/2 inch (12mm). Then stitch and sew the bias as normal. When you fold the bias over the ends will be neatly tucked inside.
Do you have any extra tips for sewing bias tape? Which method do you prefer? Let us know in the comments below!
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