I am a huge fan of slipcovers, mostly because I own two massive golden retrievers who think they are lap dogs. Not only can you wash slipcovers–you can also change the look of a room in just a few minutes. As a result, I have become pretty good friends with John the Slipcover Guy. John has been making slipcovers since the 1960s heyday of plastic slipcovers, when the demand on Long Island was huge, to put it mildly.
Naturally, every time he makes me a slipcover, I grill him incessantly on his technique. One of these days, I am going to do a story on how he cuts a slipcover, because he has a method that is amazingly simple and fast.
Step 4 and 5
But for now I want to share his brilliant method for cutting bias strips lickety-split:
1. Cut a square of the fabric you want to use to make bias strips. >I use the entire width of the fabric.
2. Fold the fabric in half, matching two opposite corners, like a napkin.
3. Bring each lower corner to the center, so that they are overlapping, and your fabric now resembles an envelope.
4. Fold the fabric in half again, bringing the right side to the left. Your fabric now looks like half of a house.
5. Cut perpendicular to the last fold, cutting across in strips. When you unfold the strips, they will be on the bias. Tada!
John has this monstrous scissor machine that can cut through the thickest of home dec fabric. For home sewists, this technique works best with a rotary cutter.
I prefer to make my own bias strips, because when I use them as bindings or seam finishes they add a nice couture touch to a garment or project and often aren't as bulky as the storebought version. Do you have a preference for a handmade sewing technique? Let us know below.
FYI, you can find plenty of great sewing tips, plus projects and tutorials. in the latest Stitch WorkshopTM video, Secrets of Home Decor Sewing: Pillows, Cording, and Simple Patchwork Slipcovers, featuring frequent Stitch contributor Kevin Kosbab. You'll find find plenty of great sewing projects to practice your new bias strip trick. Watch along as Kevin offers accessible sewing techniques and home accessory projects that promise to create a big design punch!