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How to Attach Bias Tape

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I learned all about attaching bias tape when I was making 4-6 aprons a day for my Etsy shop. This was several years ago when I sold aprons, not apron patterns.

If you are going to make and sell aprons then you are going to be attaching bias tape. But bias tape is also great for armholes and necklines.

Attaching Bias Tape Pin

How to Attach Bias Tape

This post will show you how to attach bias tape to the armhole opening of a sleeveless top. I have another tutorial that shows you how to make bias tape. Click the red button below to learn more.


Step 1: Preparing the Garment

I’ve made a small mock up of a top to demonstrate how to attach bias tape around the armholes since I wanted the armhole openings to be clean and unembellished.

Attaching Bias Tape finished

Step 2: Determine how much bias tape is needed

Estimate how much bias tape you will need for the armhole. Do a quick run around with the tape measure and then add about 6 – 12 inches.

Remember, there needs to be some overlap to encase the bias tape. You never want to come up short.

bias tape

Step 3: Prepping to sew the bias tape

Open one of the folded sides of the bias and press open.

prepping bias tape

Make a triangle by folding over the raw edge of the end.

Match the top edge to the side edge and press. Doing this will nicely finish where the bias tape overlaps.

fold raw edge

With right sides together, pin the raw edge of the bias strip to the raw edge of the armhole opening. Use lots of pins.

pinned to armhole

Pin all the way around the opening. When you get back to the start you will come to the folded triangle.

pinned ends

Overlap the raw edges about 1″ and pin to hold.

overlap

Cut away excess bias tape.

pinned

Step 4: Sewing the bias tape to the garment

Stitch around the entire opening and back stitch when you reach the start. You don’t want this coming apart.

sewing to top

Press the bias tape flat.

Press the seam towards the bias tape.

press away

Fold the bias tape inside and press. Pin around the opening.

Notice how nice it looks where the bias tape overlaps.Stitch down close to the edge.

folded in

If you have an Edge Stitch Foot this is a great place to use it.

stitched down - inside
stitched down outside

The best part is how nice it looks on both the inside and the outside. Learning this technique will open up amazing possibilities for your sewing as well as use some of those scraps.

Imagine the possibilities.


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52 Comments

    1. I make item for deceased tiny babies and always has problems with the edges of the bias binding you have just shown me the real way…the triangle really easy ‘if only you know’ thankyou

  1. Just read how to make it so had to read how to use it. Love that you give such simple and easy to understand directions. I have used bias tape, incorrectly. Now I know where I went wrong. Thanks!

  2. I just figured out this process a few months ago. What a difference it makes in the appearance of the finished garment! The trick you show about making the triangle end will be very helpful – I hadn’t figured that out yet. Thank you. 🙂

  3. Thank you so much for this tutorial. I sew A LOT, but I don’t use bias tape much, but when I have needed to I have never really known the right way to attach it and after reading this tutorial I know now why I’ve had such trouble. Thank you, thank you, thank you! Definitely pinning this one & using it next time I am using bias tape! Visiting from Someday Crafts Link Party!

  4. oh I love the tip of making a triangle on the end… need to try that! I just made a dress and HATED the facing… going to do this next time for sure!!! E

    1. The triangle at the end really does make a difference. It was one of those things passed down to me by a more experienced sewist ~ which is always a great way to learn something.

  5. Thanks so much for this tutorial, I’m always struggling with bias tape! I’ve put a bias tape maker on my Christmas wish list so hopefully I’ll be making plenty in the New Year!

  6. Good morning, Thank you for the help with bias tape. I am going to start selling Apron’s (need to bring in income as I am single now after 20 years of being a stay home Mom, I am 52 so not to many companies looking to hire me with a stay at home Mom resume). I see that you have experience with making and selling aprons, do you have any tips for me? I need to make more apron’s before trying to set up website. Thank you TJ

    1. I suggest that you make each apron unique and individual. Choose interesting fabrics and trims to make them stand out and you will be successful. I wish you lots of luck with this new season in your life.

  7. Thank you thank you thank you. I have been using a terrible, fiddly, and not very attractive method to attach my bias binding. I used yours instead and was done in one third of the time with much prettier results!

  8. I have trouble with corners on square items that I’m putting bias tape on, could you show a tutorial on that technique?

  9. i just tried to click on the “how to make bias tape” and it’s now broken. I’d *love* to see it if possible. I’m just starting to teach myself to sew and am loving your site!

  10. This is such a great comment and thank you for bringing it up. Yes, for the most part, bias tape is used to enclose AND embellish a seam. However, it also makes a great facing for a sleeveless top. The method I demonstrate shows this.

  11. I have a dress pattern which includes lining but don’t want to line the dress. This is a great way to finish armholes and neckline. Thanks so much.

  12. That little triangle makes all the difference!! I have had to do bias binding on hundreds of garments, this makes it look so much better!!

  13. Hi Leslie, I am a new subscriber and already have learned alot about bias tape. Great tutorials, thanks 🙂 I am making a dark green diaper bag for a friend and wanted to give it a bit of a lift so I used your tutorial to make bias tape from the lighter green lining and put it around the pockets and flap. I’m really happy with it now. thanks again!

  14. Thank you. Love the triangle clean edge. Have been using tape for a while and yours gives clean finish will be using your method from now on.

  15. Thank you for the succinct directions for attaching bias tape. It has puzzled me for years and years!

  16. Thank you for this post. I am making an apron for someone and it has been more difficult than I thought because of my somewhat limited sewing experience. These pictures turned on the light bulb for me regarding bias tape!

  17. How do I prevent it from rippling on me. I’m careful not to stretch as I go. Very frustrating.
    thank uou.

  18. I’m very new to sewing on a machine. What is the seam allowance for sewing the bias tape to the garment? Thanks

  19. I’m new to sewing and have had the hardest time trying to figure out how to do this. This was so helpful and easy to understand, thank you so much!

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