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.
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.)
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.
Voila! 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.