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Home > Tips/Tutorials/Free Patterns > Cutting Bias Strips for Piping and Banding

Cutting Bias Strips for Piping and Banding


When using 54" wide fabric, allow 54" for the length  so you can start with a 54" x 54" square.  This will give you "true bias".  If your fabric is 45" wide, then allow for 45" length.   Take one corner of the fabric and fold it diagonally to meet the opposite corner.
You now have a triangle shape with a one folded edge   Take one corner and fold to the opposite corner, as shown.
Be careful to keep the folded edges aligned   Again, take the corner and fold to the opposite corner, as shown
Again, make sure the folded edges are aligned   Trim away the folded edge and discard
Determine how wide you want your bias strips to be and mark the increments on the fabric.  Next take a t-square or yardstick and using pencil or pen mark the cutting lines.   For each line drawn you will produce 2 bias strips about 65-70" long.  Of course, as you cut, the strips will get continually shorter in length.  Keep marking the lines until you have enough strips for your project.  You can get about 40 yards of 2" strips out of 1-1/2 yards of fabric.
Cut through all layers with a good sharp pair of scissors   Lay out all the layers beside each other, right side out,  leaving one edge folded as shown.
Take the first strip and lay it on top of the next strip right sides together.  As you stack the strips, make sure each strip has a point going in the opposite direction as shown above.   Keep stacking all strips with the points of each strip going in the opposite direction than the previous strip.  Keeping all layers stacked, move to the sewing machine.
Fold the first layer back out of the way and pick up the second layer   Take the second layer and join it to the third layer crisscrossing and aligning the ends as shown.
Sew, using a 1/2" seam.  Take the next layer and join it to the next.  Keep sewing all strips together in this manner.  Be sure to check occasionally to make sure you haven't accidentally skipped a layer or it will mess up the whole sequence!   When you are finished you will have one long piece of perfect bias strips!

Southern Lady July/Aug 2011
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