Sunday, October 26, 2008

Sewing Bias Strips

This week a dear sewing friend, who is also an accomplished sewista, asked me to remind her how to sew bias strips together. Seems she was just drawing a blank. I can tell you she has made MANY bias necklines in her time, too. It was just one of those days. I was thrilled she asked me for the help as it is usually the other way around.

This is one of those tasks that needs to be done often or you forget. There are also different versions of doing this, particularly from the quilting world. So I thought a simple tute on the subject might be helpful.

1. Take one bias strip and place it horizontally on your workspace right side up. Take the second bias strip and place it vertically face down, with the two pieces meeting in the corner. It should look like an upside down letter L.









2. Move the top strip up one quarter inch and over to the left one quarter inch. Now you will stitch diagonally from inside corner to inside corner. Why do we stitch bias strips on the diagonal? For one, you are stitching with the grain, so stronger seam. Stitching with the grain also prevents and distortion that can happen when sewing on the bias. Think bias skirt with ripples down the side seams.





3. Press as sewn. Trim little points off. Trim the seam to a quarter inch. Press the seam open. You have eliminated much bulk, madam!











4. C'est finis c'est tout! Great job!














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I got all my flannelette interlining cut out. My research tells me I can either baste it to the garment fabric or the lining fabric. I chose the garment fabric. The cashmere is really soft and this will re inforce it some more. Now S. Betzina says doing this for warmth will add more bulk, which you can see in the picture at left. The height of the pile doubled! So I am expecting to tweak the fit a fair amount more.





Quite a few years back I took a seminar with Dianne Hoik, probably the best dressmaker in the state of New Hampshire. She has quite the clientele! Anyway she taught us how to use Sobo glue to do any underlining. I have done it ever since with no negative repercussions. Its fast and easy. I just would not do it on really fine fabric like a chiffon or batiste, but it is great for bottom and coat weights. I go around the back side of the cut fabric piece with dots of glue about every inch and a half. Then the under/inter lining is laid on top, edges matching. A soft press of the fingers and thats it! Who needs pins? Now this will easily peel open when I go to cut back the seam allowance of the flannel after seaming.

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Here was the view from my sewing room window this afternoon as I worked on constuction of the christening gown. They are my Light Brahmas, such ladies I tell ya'!.........Bunny




5 comments:

  1. Thanks for the tutorial. I always have to go and find it when I do bias binding. Never can seem to remember. I like the bit about moving up and over 1/4 inch. I have not done that before. No doubt that will stop the fabric (and thread) scrunching.

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  2. Exactly how I sew my bias strips! Moving the one strip over really makes a difference. I don't always measure mine, but I never line them up square before stitching that small diagonal seam.

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  3. I think I want to put your ladies up in a screensaver for my computer. It's so serene. No wonder your work is beautiful. You have beauty all around you.

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  4. Thank you for the bias strip tutorial. I'm going to save that in my 'techniques' file!

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  5. You are welcome ladies. Moving the strip over and up enables the machine to have something to grab onto and not suck the fabric down into the bobbin area. I find it also makes the strips come out more evenly.

    Glad you like the chickens, Cheryl. They have given us lots of pleasure, eggs too!

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