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07 November 2010 @ 06:46 pm
[bias tape ends - part two]  
here is the second part on how to finish up your bias tape ends. this one deals with how to join the beginning and the end of your tape together on your fabric. with this method, you will be able to cleanly and precisely match it to a seamline on the main body of your piece, which looks super-awesome.

note: this should NOT be used for joining individual strips of bias tape together! see here for how to make one long continuous piece of tape.

again, this is what usually happens:

what people usually do is try to fold one end of the tape over and stitch over it.

this is even worse for the backside. All that extraneous fabric from folding it underneath takes up extra space, adding bulk that pulls the fabric away from the stitching line. it's almost impossible to nail the backside when stitching the front, for this reason.

okay, so this is our setup. two tapes, one seam...coming to a theater near you.

the first step is to stitch your bias tape on, as you would do for most things. you can go ahead and sew all the rest of the tape on at this point and come back to the joining later, if you like. the key thing here is to leave a good chunk of un-sewn space on either side of where you want the join to be--there's no set amount it has to be, something like 3" is good. why? because I said so!!....and because it will be much easier for you later.

okay, scoot the other side's bias tape out of the way for now, and take one side of your tape and lay it out nice and flat.

locate the seamline you want your join to match up with.

take your tape, and fold it back on itself like so.

line it up with your seamline, and using the tip of your iron, press it in place. (this is an important step! don't skip it!)

do this with your other side too. you will probably lose the bias tape folds a little bit from pressing it flat--that's okay, you can put them back in later if you need to.

it'll now look something like this. at this point, you can use a ruler to measure out the seam allowances and trim it down...or if you're lazy and/or you've temporarily mislaid all five pairs of your scissors, you can proceed with the below process.


...grabbing your tape as illustrated above (theatrics are optional), lay it out flat like this.

so, let's take a look here. it is important to note that we are only going to be concerned with the creases we put in with our iron earlier.

it does NOT matter what the edges on the right are doing, or how severely they are mismatched. they can be off by half an inch, or six inches, depending on where you axed your tape....we don't care.

(The best way to do the following is to mark the creases with some tailor's chalk/pen, iron it flat, align it and then sew it, but I couldn't find my chalk so I just used the crease itself as a guideline instead. It'll be easier if your fabric has been marked and pressed flat though.)

THIS is the important part. match the top and the bottom up exactly even.

now pin it so that it can't escape > : < !

stitch stitch stitch

stitched (!)

get rid of all your pins.

whack off the extra length. do note that with the previous type of tape join we looked at, you wanted to clip off as much as possible--with this though, it's better to leave a standard seam allowance or so (maybe 1/2 inch).

press your seam allowance (you did leave one, right?) and lay it flat. it'll now look like this.

looking good~

finish stitching your tape as usual, now that there are no more troublesome gaps.

hurray! now fold your tape over like you usually would for finishing.


(I, uh, forgot to take a picture of the back, but as usual, it looks the same as the front...)

use common sense when figuring out where to start and end things--center back is often a nice and symmetrical place. if you are trimming jacket cuffs with bias tape, matching your bias tape seam to the sleeve seam can create an especially crisp effect~

aaaaaand that's all. (for now.)
Current Mood: accomplishedaccomplished
Current Music: funker vogt - babylon
Lisadyxlisa on November 8th, 2010 02:02 pm (UTC)
I really really need to sit down and get bias tape to work for me someday. Thanks so much for this and all your other tutorials!! It's a huge help in my journey to actually learn how to sew for real and not just bs everything for cosplay lol
ryuuraigeki: nico: quite the handfulryuuraigeki on November 9th, 2010 05:20 am (UTC)
bias tape is really lovely. I hope you have time to work with it someday! it's a very satisfying edge finish.
Phoenixpho3nix on November 8th, 2010 09:41 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the tutorial~~. I always wanted to do something similar to this but I get lazy. Seeing how neat the result can be makes me more motivated to try it next time x3
ryuuraigeki: nico: lending a handryuuraigeki on November 9th, 2010 05:23 am (UTC)
no problem! I take a ton of photos (to make sure there's no confusion), but it's essentially just folding it back and stitching a line straight across, haha. it's very fast.
(Anonymous) on May 9th, 2011 02:16 pm (UTC)
Joining ends of bias tape
Thank you so VERY much for your clear and cincise directions and photos! Although I have been sewing since I was 10 - and that is WAY more years than I care to admit!- this joining has been a downfall for me always. I've tried the continuous bias tape method, and every other one I could think of and none gave me the clean look I wanted. You have done that for me!!! I am at a point where I will be selling my work and it needs to be beautifully done. My mother always said you want handmade, not homemade. She said you don't want someone to say,"Oh, I see you made that." You have filled in that handmade gap for me! Thank you SO much!!
ryuuraigekiryuuraigeki on May 11th, 2011 05:32 am (UTC)
Re: Joining ends of bias tape
thank you for your comment :) I'm always glad to hear that my tutorials have helped someone take their sewing to the next level.