Saturday, January 09, 2010

Simplicity Bias Tape Maker

bias tape maker If you don’t sew, just skip this post. Because it will be full of boring details. If you do sew, read on baby!

There is a new handy-dandy gadget out there to make bias tape for all of sewers! It’s called the Simplicity Bias Tape Maker. Huh? What do you use bias tape for Cynthia? Um, everything—binding necklines and armholes on clothing,  quilt binding, but especially my birthday banners. Each banner needs about 100 inches of bias tape so you can see why I NEED to make this stuff fast and in bulk. At about $75 it is a pricey gadget, but worth it if you make a ton on a regular basis. Otherwise, just make it by hand because while it does save you some time, you still have to do all the prep work.  Here’s how I make my 1” double-fold bias tape.

DSC_0179Cut 2” strips (notice I do NOT cut on the bias for tape needed for my banners….totally unnecessary). Yup, that’s a huge stack of strips there. 2 yards worth of fabric.


Sew the strips together. I prefer to sew mine together on the bias (more professional looking, less bulk at seams) and chain piecing sure helps. Then you gotta clip all those blasted ‘triangles’ off of each end as you cut the chain pieces apart. Don’t swear, just make sure you’re listening to great tunes on your ipod. My choice at this particular sitting: Coldplay’s Viva la Vida.  (That album is so good you’d think it had lots of calories and fat.)

DSC_0184 DSC_0186

 DSC_0188Please, do pick up after yourself, unlike yours truly.


DSC_0190 Yup, you still gotta iron the seams to one side before ‘loading’ the fabric onto this little internal combustion engine. Oh, and make sure you bypass that stupid made-for-monkeys fabric roller—totally worthless and a waste of my precious time. Just keep your masses of strips untangled every few feet and you’ll be fine.



DSC_0195Voila! I wound my now 350 feet (not a typo) of bias tape (or straight-grain tape) onto cardboard scraps and breathe a sigh of relief that I won’t have to do this for another few weeks. I’ve seen talk here and there on the web from others about why I charge so much ($40) for my banners. Well, after seeing this, maybe you know why. Making the ‘rope’ for my banners is definitely the bottle-neck in the banner making process. I truly despise it, but this handy little gadget has made it a bit more bearable.

pink banner


Nicole said...

I use a bias tape maker when I make banners, too. I couldn't stand doing it all by hand! Only I don't have the fancy automatic one....I feel some coveting coming on ;-)

Ryan Wilson said...

Sleep with one eye open Cynthia...that's all I'm going to say.

:) Very cool! you needed that!!!

(This is Candy by the way, not Ryan...I'm out here on his lap top)

Amanda said...

That may be the coolest thing I have ever seen. I must have it.

Rachel said...

I saw this at Joann's over the weekend. I wondered if it actually did what it said it did. Thanks for the review.

Anonymous said...

I was wondering about this and was skeptical...glad to hear it works well. It's totally being added to my wish list now!

CJ said...

I haven't seen this in person yet but nice to get a review. I am wondering if you can make different widths of tape with it.

Nancey said...

Way cool machinery. Also, your bird on a tree branch pillows are gorgeous, that blue and gray is so calming...yay for machine embroidery!

Melissa L. said...

$40 dollars for a banner that pretty is COMPLETELY under-priced! I'd expect to pay a LOT more than that for a gorgeous handmade banner! So nicely done!

Elena said...

What do you mean "iron seams to one side"? So you iron it in half before you feed it through?


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