How to Use Bias Tape or Ribbon

Easy-to-follow, Step-by-step Instructionsto bind and enclose a fabric edge with fewer steps, greater success and less guesswork.

Bias tape tape and ribbon are used to bind and enclose straight or curved fabric edges. When used as a trim, they also provide a decorative color accent to clothing and crafts.

This “How To” is intended to help overcome the tendency of not catching the underside of single fold bias tape or ribbon* with the stitches. Also, when compared to traditional application techniques, some of the guesswork and the number of steps are reduced.

* Intended for wide single fold bias tape and ribbon at least 7/8" wide.

  • SewNeau’s French Seam Tutorial Usage rights and requirements
    • What you can do:
      • Print one copy for offline, personal use
      • Link to this page's URL in a manner that does not obscure any of its content
    • What you cannot do:
      • Claim, infer or suggest in an manner whatsoever (in whole or in part) it is your own creative work
      • Redistribute it in any form, medium or manner, unless specifically otherwise indicated
      • Hot link the associated files, a.k.a. bandwidth theft, leaching

What You Will Need for this Bias Tape Tutorial

  • Sewing Machine
  • Iron
  • Pins
  • Thread

Procedure

Before you begin, we encourage you to read-through all the steps, as well as the safety information at the bottom of this page.

Step 1: How to Bind and Enclose a Fabric Edge with Bias Tape or Ribbon - a free SewNeau tutorial
Step 1Press the bias tape, or ribbon, in half, allowing approximately 1/16" of overhang on one side. Measuring or marking is unnecessary, unless you are uncomfortable with your judgment. Press the entire length needed, pressing on the outside, so that the inside of the bias tape, or ribbon, face one another.

Step 2: How to Bind and Enclose a Fabric Edge with Bias Tape or Ribbon - a free SewNeau tutorial
Step 2Pin the entire length of bias tape, or ribbon, to the fabric. The short side of the bias tape, or ribbon, should face up with the front of the fabric. Place pins close to and parallel with the edge of the bias tape, or ribbon, being sure to pin through all layers.

Step 3: How to Bind and Enclose a Fabric Edge with Bias Tape or Ribbon - a free SewNeau tutorial
Step 3The extra 1/16" helps assure the pins will catch the back side of the bias tape, or ribbon, but will not be detectable to the eye when completed. Note: For the purpose of clarity, this tutorial applies the bias tape starting at the corner. In practice, the bias tape, or ribbon. is generally started at a midpoint.

Step 4: How to Bind and Enclose a Fabric Edge with Bias Tape or Ribbon - a free SewNeau tutorial
Step 4With front side up, stitch entire length of bias tape, or ribbon. Stitch in line with pins, removing pins as they reach the presser foot. Note: contrasting thread shown in photo used for clarity only.

Step 5: How to Bind and Enclose a Fabric Edge with Bias Tape or Ribbon - a free SewNeau tutorial
Step 5When completed (as with the pinning in Step 2) the extra 1/16" helps assure the stitching will catch the back side of the bias tape, or ribbon. You're done!

Did You Find this Tutorial Helpful?To make future Tutorials even better, we are very interested in your feedback and would appreciate hearing from you. Please let us know what you think and what other types of subjects you would like to see covered in future “How To” pages.

Safety First, Always!Our tutorials utilize methods, equipment and tools that can be dangerous. Never proceed with a tutorial without first carefully reviewing and understanding all of the instructions that accompany the equipment, tools or any other product used in the project, as well as providing yourself a safe working environment. Be aware of your own limitations and factor in your own good judgment and common sense.

Eye Safety is No Accident. Always wear safety glasses!

NOTICE:SewNeau intends our tutorials to be reliable guides, but realizes working conditions, equipment, skill level, and safety issues can vary greatly. As a result, SewNeau does not guarantee the applicability, completeness, or accuracy of the information and does not assume responsibility for the results, or any damages, injuries or losses that occur as a result of using the information provided herein.

Seamstress, alterations, tailoring, clothing repair, dressmaking
Serving Cleveland Ohio women & men since 1984

How to Bind and Enclose a Fabric Edge with Bias Tape or Ribbon - a free SewNeau tutorial