This easy to make binding is a great trim for a variety of projects – quilting, home décor (think pillows), and my favorite usage – to add a finish on a costume! Once you’ve made it, you’ll never buy the pre-made kind again. Customize using any fabric you wish and the possibilities are endless. Great for elves, wizards – even princesses!
Piped bias binding is used as the trim on this coat around the arm as well as the collar.
Your choice of bias fabric
Your choice of cording (however thick you want the trim to be – 1/8” is standard)
Zipper foot for your sewing machine
Start by measuring your cord width. This is simply the thickness of the cord – NOT the circumference. Determine your seam allowance for your garment you are adding the piped binding to.
Once you have both numbers, double the seam allowance number and add them both together to get the total thickness of your fabric strips you will be cutting out.
In this example, my cord is 1/8” and my seam allowance is the standard 5/8”. I doubled the seam allowance number and added it to the cord width to get a total width of 13/8”.
Find the 45 degree angle mark on your cutting mat. This will be your guide to create the fabric strips. Place your uncut fabric edge (selvage) along the bottom edge of your mat and make your first cut along the 45 degree angle mark.
Once you’ve made your first cut, simply use your frosted ruler to measure the width (remember we calculated 13/8” width) and start cutting your strips. Cut as many as you need to get your length and I’ll show you how to connect them in the next step.
Since you may need a long continuous strip of bias binding for the edge of something like a long coat or vest, you need to know how to connect your bias fabric strips correctly.
Simply overlap the ends of your fabric strips at a 90 degree angle (making sure your right sides of your fabric are touching) and sew a straight line down the joint as shown (technically it’s yet another 45 degree angle – the secret to bias!)
Then press and trim away the excess! This will reduce bulk and continue to allow your bias binding to stretch and curve around corners as needed on your garment or project.
Now take your cording and fold the fabric strips over, encasing the cording completely and ensuring you have even amount of fabric on both sides. Pin to hold in place for sewing.
Using the zipper foot for your sewing machine to the right, move your sewing machine needle as far left as it will go. This will allow you to sew right next to the cording for perfect fit and smooth finish.
Encase all your cording and you’re ready to now add it to your pillow, quilt or garment as you desire!
To do so, place your newly created piped bias binding edge to the edge of your project fabric. Then take the other piece of your project fabric and place it right side down with the edges all aligning. You’ve now created a piped bias binding “sandwich” with the binding further away from the edge.
Using your zipper foot to the right again and your needle to the left, use the same technique you did when you sewed your biding and use your hands to feel where the cording is and sew right next to it. (It may make it easier to use a fabric pen to mark the stitch line as shown)
Then turn your project right side out, press with an iron, and voila! A beautiful finished edge that can go around corners, curves, and elevate the look of any project or garment.
You can learn more about Josh through is OLFA Maker Interview earlier this year.
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