One I started this blog, I was only knitting. I hadn't sewn is a very long time. I started sewing again about a year ago. I had forgotten how much I love to sew. It started with sewing patterns by Oliver & S for Morgan and Gwen. The first dress I sewed by Liesl of Oliver and S was the Bubble Dress. I love Liesl's designs. The patterns are well drafted and the instructions are easy to follow. She even rates the patterns for difficulty. I have made 4 different items from the Little Things to Sew book and highly recommend her patterns for anything you sew.
My latest venture into Lisel-land was her free pattern called Popover Sundress. This pattern is a free download and my first pattern which was printed on my printer. You tape the pieces together. It was easy to do. This is a good first pattern if you are just starting back into sewing.
This blog post is going to be a tutorial on how to make your own bias binding. That bias tape that you can buy at the big box fabric shops is not a wonderful thing to sew. I never realized the bias tape/binding could be so wonderful to use before I started sewing again. Now, I tried to make bias tape back in the day when I was quilting. I tried to make continous bias tape with these type of instructions. I knew quilter who could make their continous bias binding with this method but mine came out uneven and I was never happy with the end product. I thought bias binding was too hard to do.
So, here we go. First lay your fabric out flat.
Fold the fabric in so that you form a triangle. This will be a 45 degree angle to the selvage edge of the fabric. This is the bias area of your fabric. It is a stretchy wonderful thing.
Press the fold. Open the fabric and place your rotatory ruler on the pressed fold line.
Cut along this fold line.
With the rotatory ruler, line up the 2 inch line with the cut edge of your fabric. Cut a 2 inch strip of fabric.
Your strips should look like this.
Now we are going to sew the single strips together so that we maintain a bias edge. This longer strips will be the binding edge of my dress and the strapes to tie together for the little sundress. Turn your strips right side up. Place the first strip right side up and then place a second on top of first strip right down with the straight cut edges together. You want a tiny triangle to hand over the end of both edges. Your strips will be at a 45 degree angle with right sides together.
Pin these pieces together. Sew a 1/4 inch (or I think it is 4 millimeters) sew allowance on the edge. Press open the seam allowance and trim the little triangles off.
So, now you have a continuous piece of bias binding. You can continue this process until you have the length of bias that you need. I am going to show you how I attached my binding to the neckline of the Popover Sundress.
You fold the bias strip in half and press with the iron.
Open the strip. Now fold an edge over the meet the center fold. Do this for both edges. After they are pressed, the edges will look like this, kinda like a commercial bias tape only softer and more flexible. Since your strip was 2 inches wide. The center fold divides the fabric into 1 inch areas. After folding the edges to meet the center fold, the strip will be 1 inch wide.
Cut your bias strip to the length recommended in your pattern. In my case it was 34 inches. Press under the end.
Fold your bias binding in half and pin it halfway point to the side seam of your sundress. Pin the bias binding along the edge of your dress making sure you do not stretch the bias binding.
Fold the pressed edges together on the strips that is the strap area of the sundress. Sew a 1/2 inch seam in the armhole area.
Press your bias binding towards the seam allowance. Pin the bias binding to the armhole area, encasing the rough seam allowance. I then repin the bias binding on the right side of the dress. I do this because I will be topstitching the binding together from the right side. When you turn the bias binding over, pull it snug so that you have more bias tape on the wrong side of the garment. Your bias tape should be about a 1/2 in width.
I topstitch the bias tape from the right side because it will be seen and I have more control. I sew with an edge-stitching foot. I move the needle over to a left stitching position. This foot has a metal guide that I run along the seam. If I run the metal guide along the seam, I have a consistent topstitched seam.
This is the final project.
The little bag was sewn from the pattern ScreenPlay by Nancy Ota. This was a class at Dave's Bernina in St. George, Utah. Before I sewed the panels to the screen on the bag, I embroidered Morgan's name with my Bernina sewing machine. I also used some iron on interfacing to make the fabric lay flatter and give a little support for the bag. The bag was sewn in the medium size. This pattern has four sizes and is a nice pattern for multiple uses. A pattern modified I made in the sundress is that I added a 2 borders to the bottom of the dress and a pocket. I mean, every girl needs a pocket.