What makes an easy sewing pattern? A few weeks ago I wrote about using patterns multiple times-the second time is always easier than the first, and the third time puts me on Pattern Easy Street.
|After pressing the strip in half, unfold
and press the top edge down.
|Then press the bottom edge up. (The
pin is not there for decoration. It frees
your fingers for folding and pressing.)
|Fold in half again and give it
a final press.
Here's another technique that I frequently find myself using to simplify things–finishing edges with bias tape instead of facings or flip linings.
Bias tape edges look particularly cute on children's clothing. They have the added advantage of making these little garments easier to get on and off by eliminating the need to tuck in errant facings. By using a contrasting color or pattern for the binding, you can also add a little design touch at necklines and sleeve openings.
Quilters, of course, are usually experts at binding edges. These days beautifully bound edges are also showing up on small totes, clutches, and kitchen accessories.
Prepared bias tape is found in nearly every fabric shop-and goodness knows that I own my share. But I'm here to tell you that making your own is surprisingly easy. The bonus is that your options for color and design are only limited by your imagination.
Here's how to make standard double-fold tape:
1. Cut fabric on the bias four times the finished width. For example, for a final size of ½", cut 2" strips. Note: I find it easier to first stitch all the strips together to make one long strip.
2. Pin the right end of the strip to the ironing board. (Doing this eliminates the need to grow a third arm.)
3. Press the whole strip in half.
4. Unfold. Press the top edge down to almost meet that center fold line.
5. Press the bottom edge up to almost meet the center fold line.
6. Fold in half again and press the center fold in place again.
That's it. You'll soon get a rhythm going and the process moves along quickly.
If you're looking for some easy projects–both with and without bias binding–check out the latest patterns from Stitch magazine.
And here's my question. When you need bias tape, do you usually:
a) buy it ready-made,
b) make your own as described above,
c) use a bias tape tool?
Let us know!