How to Use Bias Tape to Perfect Your Garments

From decorative tassels to supportive bindings - we've picked the best options to use bias tape
Jean Chaney
Jean Chaney
Research Writer
Jean is the brains behind her fashion label. She's a whiz with a needle and thread, and has been sewing since she was old enough to hold a pair of scissors. Jean has always read more
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Isabel Misner
Isabel Misner
Expert Consultant
A professional seamstress. Isabel has her own video blog where she shares her experience about all the aspects of sewing – from choosing suitable materials to step-by-step read more
Last updated: August 24, 2023
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Bias tape is a great way to add a professional flair to a project without too much effort and a minimal investment. Bias tape is generally made by cutting strips from a piece of fabric at a 45-degree angle and them folding them to wrap around a raw fabric edge. By stitching the bias tape into place, you get a finished, professional effect for your garments.

Some people make their own bias tape, but using a ready-made version is the easiest way to go about it. If you’re wondering how to use bias tape, you should start by learning more about what bias tape is and how you can sew it for different projects.

What is bias tape

How to Use Bias Tape to Perfect Your GarmentsBias tape is a fabric strip that was cut with a pair of sewing scissors at a 45-degree angle across the fabric’s weave. The angle is also referred to as the bias of the fabric Trusted Source Grain (textile) - Wikipedia The bias grain of a piece of woven fabric, usually referred to simply as “the bias”, is any grain that falls between the straight and cross grains. When the grain is at 45 degrees to its warp and weft threads it is referred to as “true bias.” . These fabric strips are then used for various sewing projects, mostly to cover the raw edges of fabric. While you can buy packaged bias tape in various widths, it’s very easy to cut your own from fabric.

How to sew bias tape

There are two main ways to sew bias tape: single fold and double fold. Single fold offers a simple edge finish and is typically used around clothing necklines and armholes. Double fold is often used for quilting, necklines, and decorative finishes and makes the finished product look neat and professional.

Single fold

Single fold bias tape is typically used around highly curved areas, so the first step is to press it into a curve. Next, open up one side and pin it to the raw edge of the fabric. When you get back to the point where you started pinning, overlap the ends by ½ inch and stitch along the fold.

Double fold

Double fold bias tape is cut on the diagonal and pressed along its length in quarters. You can use it to finish a raw edge or for decorative purposes. To sew a double fold bias tape, open the tape and then pin the raw edge and the fabric together, paying attention that the sides are right. You can this with the help of a sewing machine or by hand.

Next, push the allowance from the fabric seam inside the tape, cover it, and pin with the rest of the tape. Make sure the edge that isn’t sewn yet covers any of the stitches under it. Now you can sew the bias cover, ensuring that you do so at least 1/8 away from the border.

How to use bias tape

Bias tape has lots of uses, ranging from seam finishes and button loops to high-contrast decorative elements. You can use it for just about any project you make with a sewing machine that has raw edges which would look better with a bit of finishing.


How to Use Bias Tape to Perfect Your GarmentsAlso known as the duct tape of the sewing world, bias tape can be used in numerous ways for décor, not just when it comes to clothing, but also for home items such as quilts, for example. You can use both single fold and double fold bias tape for decorating purposes. Bias tape is actually very easy to apply in decoration, and you can use it to add bold accents on pillows, for example. It’s an excellent alternative to fabric glue.

Button loops

How to Use Bias Tape to Perfect Your GarmentsIf you don’t have a sewing machine that can make buttonholes, one of the easiest ways to bypass this issue is to make button loops. You can easily make button loops from the safe fabric using bias tape. To do so, begin with a double-fold bias tape that you then edgestitch and cut into strips that will fit the size of the buttons. Make sure you do the cuts precisely with the help of a quality pair of scissors, such as the LIVINGO Premium Tailor Scissors, for example.

Seam finish

How to Use Bias Tape to Perfect Your GarmentsJust like in the case of bindings, you can use bias tape to polish seam finishes. This is best done with single fold bias tape and works best on garments such as cars and jackets. You can either choose a bias tape color that matches your garments fabric, or go for a contrasting shade for a more eye-catching result.


How to Use Bias Tape to Perfect Your GarmentsBias tape is a great way to make your life easier when you’re making things such as drawstring bags or a new pair of pajama pants. You can use a double fold bias tape or a flat bias trip folded in half to create drawstrings.


How to Use Bias Tape to Perfect Your GarmentsYou can use bias tape for bindings to eliminate the need for facings and linings. You can easily finish raw edges with bias tape simply by removing the seam allowance of the garment and then encase the edge with the help of a double fold bias for a professional-looking finish. Using bias tape for bindings is especially common for armhole edges and around the neckline because bindings are simpler to sew. You can do bindings by hand or with the help of a sewing machine, such as the Brother HC1850.

Final thoughts

Bias tape has numerous uses not just when it comes to garments, but for decorating various types of soft furnishings, too. Learning how to use bias tape opens up a world of possibilities and the best news is that you don’t need any special equipment to sew bias tape. This is the perfect way to add a decorative finish on curved edges, as well as in a multitude of sewing and quilting projects. You can use contrasting or matching fabric to achieve the results you want on your favorite garments.


Grain (textile) - Wikipedia
The bias grain of a piece of woven fabric, usually referred to simply as “the bias", is any grain that falls between the straight and cross grains. When the grain is at 45 degrees to its warp and weft threads it is referred to as “true bias."
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