Thursday, August 7, 2008

So what's all the fuss about Bias Tape Makers...?

...They will CHANGE YOUR LIFE, that's what!!! Little wonder that a few were mentioned on "This Is My Trade Secret" posts, or in the comments following. I particularly like the Clover Bias Tape Maker (well, Clover seem to do a pretty good job of just about EVERYTHING, don't they?). Since discovering them I've bought one in every size and have been happily binding anything I can possibly bind. After years of doing this the LONG WAY around, I can't get over how quick it is now.

A bias tape maker makes perfect bias tape in the fabric of your choice, and makes it so that the seam allowances go ALL THE WAY TO THE CENTRE (unlike the store-bought variety), so there's little chance of fraying edges if you go a little bit wobbly with your stitching!!

A quick tutorial.... Using both the 6mm and 18mm Clover Bias Tape Makers (in case you were wondering).


1. Measure a bias strip to the width specified in the instructions (in the packet) for your particular size bias tape maker. A quilting ruler and cutting mat make this super-quick and accurate (both ruler and board usually have bias guides, so you can follow whichever is easiest for you).2. SnnnnnnnniP!... a rotary cutter makes this a breeze. If you haven't got one you'll just have to use old fashioned ruler, chalk and scissors. Cut your bias strip out.
3. Cut one end of the bias strip to a point to make it thread more easily through the little wonder-gadget. With the Clover 6mm bias tape maker there's a handy little hole in the bottom that allows you to move the fabric through with a pin. Aren't Clover clever...? They think of EVERYTHING!4. With the iron in one hand and the little handle of the bias tape maker in the other, simultaneously slide the bias tape maker backwards and press the tape immediately as it comes out at the front. The raw edges will be folded neatly into the centre of the tape.Now you have lots of lovely bias tape to make pretty bound edges or decorative applique on bibs, bags, purses, laptop sleeves, pockets, pot-holders... you name it. I'll be posting another tutorial for the 6mm bias tape maker as soon as possible.... watch this space!

Isn't that easy...?

If you're new to actually USING bias tape then it might be best to come to "A Sharper Edge" class, read a sewing book or buy my ...ahem... Laptop Bag pattern (if I can stop blogging long enough to finish those instructions!!!). I'm currently working on more detailed bias tape instructions for that one. I told people that the pattern was "coming soon" in January (!!?) but keep coming up with new ways to vary the design... which means MORE instructions to write!!!


Oh - and I am absolutley GOBSMACKED by the number of responses to my little giveaway (and am blushing CRIMSON with all your lovely compliments!!). We might have to find out all about this random number generator thingame I keep reading about.... There are too many names to cut up bits of paper and put in a hat - we'd be at that all afternoon!

Stay tuned tomorrow to see who's the winner. Get ready to contact me with your postal address (and yes - I'm quite happy to post internationally!!).

13 comments:

CurlyPops said...

Yah...what a great tutorial for my absolutely favourite gadget in the whole wide world! I only have 2 sizes...I think I need to buy some more...

Maureen said...

I don't have one..yet...but thanks to the description/tutorial, I decided to google the little Clover and Yes! Joann's does sell it despite the clerks being clueless. Have you ever tried to describe one of these thingamajiggies??? I just need to go to a larger Joann's. TY!

Handmaiden said...

Well, I have bought 2 sizes but yet to use, so am looking forward to having a go now that u have posted these great instructions
sharon

cindy said...

I just bought mine from you after your recommendation and I have been binding mike a demon since. How much time have I just saved?! Thanks. I have found too that if it is lighter weight material a good iron helps it slide easier.

Amalia said...

Hi Nickki

We met you at the Sister's Market. Doesn't it have great potential if the word gets out! Do you know of a 35mm bias binding maker? I've been looking but no success so far.

Love your website.

Nikki said...

The largest bias tape maker I have is 25mm... but I'll keep my eye out for larger ones!!!

joanie said...

Oooooh! You've sold me, I must have one - now!

MrCrumley said...

I (a dude who sews) have heard whispers of the life-changing bias-tape makers. Now that I've seen it, I'm sold. No more $1.50 packs of not-quite color-accurate store bought tape for me.

Emma said...

Absolutely fantastic. I've been wondering how they work. Now I'm just going to have to have one! Your site rocks!

Jessica said...

I've been looking for a way to do this! I had no idea these little gadgets existed until today and you made it crystal clear. Thanks!

gunksdesigns said...

I bought my first bias tape maker [12mm]about 20 years ago. I loved it so much that I bought the 25mm soon after. I've used the 12mm more though and use it to neaten or finish almost anything. I recently bought the 6mm with the attachment to iron on the adhesive tape and used it for applique only two weeks ago and absolutely love it.I use the bias tape maker more than any other craft gadget I own.

Anonymous said...

I have done some sewing off and on for quite a number of years and I have never heard of a bias tape maker. I am so embarrassed. I look at stores gadgets in sewing area all the time, and I know I was looking for something, but I had no idea what it was. Now I know, and thank you for posting this, because in looking at purse tutorials, i hadn't noticed anyone mentioning this remarkably, useful gadget that every woman should own that crafts and sews. Cheers to you!

Anonymous said...

Your page is absolutely fantastic,so many great tips and tutorials, just like a sewing bible.And this bias tape maker thingy - a revolutionary discovery to me.Really great!Greetings from Europe :)