Sewing Glossary

Understanding Bias Binding: (12 Tips to Sew Bias Binding)

May 13, 2023 by

Have you ever struggled to sew a neat and tidy bias binding on your sewing projects?

Don’t worry, you’re not alone! Bias binding can be a tricky technique to master, but with the right tools and techniques, you can achieve beautiful, professional-looking results.

In this article, we’ll explore the basics of bias binding and share 12 tips to help you sew it like a pro.

We’ll be covering the following topics (click on a bullet point to jump to that section):

Table of Contents

What is Bias Binding in Sewing?

Bias binding is a strip of fabric cut on the bias (45-degree angle to the grainline). This type of binding is often used for finishing raw edges on garments, as it has a bit of give and can therefore hug curves nicely.

It can also be used for decorative purposes, such as creating piping.

To make bias binding, you’ll need a fabric that’s at least double the width of your desired finished binding (plus seam allowance). Cut the fabric on the bias, then fold it in half lengthwise and press.

Open up the folded strip and fold each raw edge to the center crease, then press again.

Now, use a straight stitch or zigzag stitch to sew along both long edges of the binding strip. Finally, trim away any excess fabric and press once more.

Now you’re ready to finish those raw edges! Simply thread your bias binding through a bias tape maker (or make your own), then iron it in place. Voila! You’ve just added a beautiful finishing touch to your project.

bias binding example

What is Bias Binding Used For?

Bias binding is a type of binding that is used to finish the edges of fabrics. It is made from strips of bias fabric, which are cut on the bias grain.

The bias grain is at a 45-degree angle to the straight of the fabric. This makes the bias binding flexible and able to stretch.

Bias binding can be used to finish the edges of quilts, garments, and other sewing projects.

When Do You Need to Sew Bias Binding?

As a general rule, you should sew bias binding any time you need to finish raw edges on a garment or other item. This includes necklines, armholes, and hemlines. Bias binding can also be used to finish seams.

There are two main types of bias binding: single-fold and double-fold.

Single-Fold Bias Binding

Single-fold bias binding is folded in half lengthwise and then sewn to the edge of the fabric.

Double-Fold Bias Binding

Double-fold bias binding is first folded in half lengthwise, then each long side is folded in toward the center again, creating a finished binding that is twice as wide as single-fold bias binding.

Both types of bias binding have their own advantages and disadvantages. Single-fold bias binding is less bulky and is a good choice for curved edges. Double-fold bias binding is more durable and can be used to cover raw edges on straight or curved edges.

When deciding which type of bias binding to use, consider the thickness of the fabric, the shape of the edge, and the amount of wear and tear the finished item will see.

Bias binding is a versatile finishing technique that can be used on a variety of different projects. With a little practice, you’ll be able to sew perfect bias binding every time!

How to Sew Bias Binding (Tips)?

  1. Chalk the fabric where you desire to sew the bias binding.
  2. Then cut fabric strips on the bias, at a 45-degree angle to the grain of the fabric. 
  3. Just rotate the folded fabric so that the folded edge is parallel to your cutting mat rulers.
  4. Using your straight edge and rotary cutter, then cut perpendicular (90 degrees) to the folded edge to create your strips.
  5. Connect short strips together at the ends if you need longer strips.
  6. Trip excess seam allowance
  7. Simply Pin the bias binding to the fabric
  8. The need is to sew lengthwise the crease of the bias binding. 
  9. Press the binding over the seam allowance with low iron.
  10. Fold the bias binding over to the other side of the fabric.
  11. Iron the seam to flatten it.
  12. Lastly, simply sew along the other edge of the bias binding.

Now you’re ready to fold, press, and sew according to your pattern’s instructions!

To further explore how to sew with bias binding, we also recommend this video by Tilly:

Final Remarks

Bias binding is the best way to finish the binding and is often the cleanest and most neat technique to cover raw edges.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between bias tape and binding?

Bias tape and bias binding are two terms that are often used interchangeably, but there is a slight difference between them. Bias tape is a strip of fabric cut on the bias, which is often used as a decorative element or to finish edges, while bias binding is a wider strip of fabric that is used to bind or enclose raw edges.

Is bias binding necessary?

Bias binding is not always necessary, but it can be a useful technique to finish raw edges, add durability to a garment, and provide a decorative touch. The choice to use bias binding ultimately depends on the specific project and personal preference.

What is the bias binding used for?

Bias binding is a technique used to finish raw edges or enclose seams in sewing projects. It is often used in garments, quilting, and home decor projects to provide a neat, professional-looking finish.