Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Sewing Gadgetmania 8: Bias Tape Maker

Bias tape is perhaps one of the most versatile sewing notions, functional and decorative. And the more you sew, the more creative you are with styles or fabrics, the more difficult it becomes to find a bias tape in correct color or shade.  Having had this exact problem with one of my earlier projects I resorted to making bias tape myself, from silk organza. It was for a circular skirt and I spent hours until I had three meters of stretched and deformed bias strip. And then, I found out that there is a simple tool that helps make the tape in very short time.

There are different brands available, but the Clover bias tape maker seems to be more popular than the others.

It comes in five sizes, ¼ inch, ½ inch, ¾ inch, 1 inch, and 2 inches and is available from many online sewing supplies stores, as well as from Amazon. All you need to make a bias tape is the tool and an iron. It works great with cottons and linen. With slippery fabrics, such as charmeuse or organza, you will need to be very be careful not to move or to stretch the strips too much.

Finally, check out this great bias tape making tutorial from Colette Patterns. This method allows you to create a continuos bias tape without wasting a piece of fabric. (It may seem obvious, but for my first bias tape, I cut a one-and-a-half-yard long organza strip across one yard of silk organza fabric - ouch!)

Do you own a bias tape maker? What do you think about the tool?

P.S.: don't forget to vote for the best reader nomination! The poll is on the right sidebar. Or, nominate your own tool for a chance to win a vintage pattern from my stash.


  1. I have a couple small bias tape makers. I want the 1 and 2 inch ones but they are always sold out at my JoAnn's. I have a cropped jacket planned and I need several yards of the bias cut.

  2. I've never used a bias tape maker, but I am getting to the point where I think I need one. When I started sewing, I never thought that there were so many little tools, but they make life so much easier!

    And the Colette continuous bias strip method is great--I used just used it to make 30 (!) yards of piping for reupholstering my couch. I can't even imagine cutting all those strips individually and sewing them together.

  3. Another tool I never used! The continuous bias tape tute is ingenious! I cut strips and stitch their corners but sometimes the stitch's ends get pulled or there appears to be a lil difference between strips! Thanks, I'm feeling more equiped now! At least with knowledge!:)

  4. I'm really enjoying these gadget reviews--keep them coming, please!

  5. Thank you, KC!
    @ Magda, the tutorial is really great - as is your scarf tutorial - thanks for coming by again!
    @ Eileen, I saw your couch! Wow, this was a very impressive project. I woudl have been to scared to even start.
    @ ladykatza, check out on Amazon, or AtlantaThread, they will definitely have some

  6. I have the Canadian version of the Clover bias tape maker and I love it!! One of my very favourite tools. I make my own patchwork bias tape out of my scraps.

  7. I love the Clover ones because making bias manually is a fricking pain but I can never seem to get the tape perfectly straight. Might just need to bite the bullet and get the Clover mini-iron. Sadly the Australian version costs twice what it costs in the US..

  8. Hi, I'm spending a lot of pleasant time here on your site! Just had to comment on this page though... I found a tutorial link http://creativelittledaisy.typepad.com/creative_little_daisy/2007/11/diy-version-of.html#comment-6a00d834521b3369e201b7c7c3ceb7970b
    They show how to use a simple needle for a bias tape maker. I tweaked it a bit and used a SAFETY PIN so that I don't have to worry about the needle slipping out. Works like a charm.



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