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How to Make Bias Strips

Yardage Chart for Bias Strips

Amount of Fabric Approximate Running Yards of 1-5/8" wide bias strips
36" Fabric48" fabric54" fabric
1/4 yd.4-1/25-1/27
1/2 yd.101314
3/4 yd.162022
1 yd.222629-1/2

Use this chart as a general guide for other widths also, e.g., 3" wide strips yield about half the yardage as 1-5/8" wide strips.

Fabrics cut on the bias have more stretch than fabrics cut on the grainline. For this reason, bias strips are useful on curved edges or on fabrics that are too heavy to hem, such as quilted fabrics. They are often used in apparel to finish armholes & necklines. Placemats and napkins look great with bias-bound edges of coordinating or contrasting fabric.

Making Separate Bias Strips
Use this method primarily when strips must follow a particular design line on the fabric or you need only a few strips.

Fold the fabric diagonally so that the lengthwise grain aligns with the crosswise grain. Press this diagonal fold, then cut along the fold. The cut edge is the bias line. Measure and mark lines parallel to the cut edge, spacing them the desired bias width until you have as much as you need. Mark 1/4" seam allowances along the lengthwise grain. See Figure A.

Cut the marked strips and make sure the ends are on the straight grain. Trim the ends if necessary. Matching the seam allowance lines with the right side together, align two strips at right angles to form a V. See Figure B. Stitch 1/4" seams and press open Trim off extending points.

Making A Continuous Bias Strip
This method is quicker than making separate bias strips, but it will not yield as much yardage since the triangles at each end are not used.

Fold, cut and mark the fabric as described in Making Separate Bias Strips. Discard the triangles at both ends of the fabric. See Figure A.

Number the strips on the wrong side of the fabric. Mark the same number at both ends of the strip. With right sides together, pin the long edges together to form a tube. The marked lines should be aligned so that the numbers do not match and one strip extends on each side. (Sew 1 & 2, 2 & 3, 3 & 4, etc.). Stitch the edges along the seam allowance line. Press the seam open. See Figure C.

Cut along the marked lines in a spiral, starting between strip numbers 1 & 2 and continue all the way through strips 4 & 5, in one continuous strip.

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