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Thursday, January 9, 2014

What's in the Bag and Making Bias Tape

Thanks for stopping by because this week it was time for me to pull out one of my patterns I had purchased while on sale at JoAnn's Fabric Store.   I chose Simplicity #2381.  I really liked  4 out of the 5 bags featured on the front envelope and decided to make View D first.

Here's the finished bag.  I love the way it turned out. The pattern called for a light interfacing, and a package of 1/2 inch bias tape (also known as binding).  Most packages contain 3-4 yards (but I used about 5 yards on this bag). I wanted the bag to have more body so, what's in the bag! Instead of light interfacing, I used a light cotton batting (batting is used for quilts).   Don't use thick batting unless you quilt the fabric before you cut the pattern pieces out.  Otherwise,  your bag will not turn out correctly.

I located the center front by folding the pattern pieces in half.  Marking center with sewing pins. Then I quilted the two layers together (front fabric and batting) by sewing on the center bag front.  Next,  I lined up the pressor foot with the first line and kept using each line has a guide for the next sewn line. I did come across extra bulk when matching some of the seams especially along the binding areas. Also,  I decided to make my own bias tape  because I wanted a coordinating fabric and nothing I had seen was available to match my bag.

I made my own bias tape and below are two ways to make it.

1. Strip Method~

Take a strip of fabric.  The example here is 7" by the length of the fabric.

Fold your fabric over.

Cut on that folded line.  Remember this is your 45 degree line. Cut out your strips to desired width.
Here you have your cut strips.
Place right sides together and sew 1/4" seam allowance to create your strips.

2. Continuous  Bias Tape
The second method  and the method I prefer.~ A fabric needs to be made in to a square of your desired fabric and cut from corner to corner. (For the bag above,  I made my square 20" and  had about 7 yards of bias tape.)  Fabric is right side up.   I placed a pin on the top and bottom of the square because it makes it easier to understand placement of fabric when your moving it around.  Take the bottom triangle

and place it above the other triangle where pins meet. The fabric is still right side up.

Fold over top piece (right sides together) and sew a 1/4" seam.

Press seams open and place fabric wrong side up.  Draw 1/4" seam allowance lines at top and bottom.  Measure out desired width and draw lines. (For this project, I cut the strips 2" wide.)   Place a pin on the first line drawn (top) and place a pin on the second line drawn (bottom).

Match pins with right sides of fabric together and sew.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      
Take your scissors and cut on drawn lines. You will now have a continuous strip. 

To finish the bias tape I like to press my strips in half with an iron and then guide it through the bias maker tool (these tools come in different sizes).  If you don't have a bias tool, don't worry.  
All you have to do is fold your strip in half, press.  Open up pressed seam and press raw edges toward center fold line. When using your iron be careful.  Your fingers tend to feel the heat of the iron especially when using stream to really get a nice crisp fold.
How to Determine the width of your bias tape:

The way I determine the width of by double bias tape is very simple:

Width needed for project  X  4 = width of cut strips

For this bag I needed
1/2" double bias tape X  4 = 2" (width of cut strips) 

I hope you have enjoyed me sharing this project along with some tips on how to make your own bias tape.  You don't have to follow the pattern exact.  If you have any questions, please ask. Thanks!



Lorna McMahon said...

Pretty bag and great tutorial, Nina! I wanted to thank you for visiting my blog today and leaving such a sweet comment. You are a no reply blogger so I could not respond by email. But I tracked you down. Email me back sometime so we can chat!

inchworming said...

Hi Lorna! Thank you!!!! Because of your blog I am now a reply blogger! Sweeeeeet!!