When I first started sewing everyone would talk about bias. After I figured out what bias was, we formed a love-hate relationship — I love the way it looks in the end, but I hate getting there. Why? I never really understood the way to cut bias quickly. So, here is what I learned…
What is bias?
Depending on whom you talk to, the word bias can have varied meanings. The official definition of bias is: an oblique or diagonal line. If you have a passion for sewing like us, as soon as you hear bias, you think of 45°, angle-cut fabric pieces or strips. Cutting fabric on the bias makes it super pliable so it can curve into and around all kinds of shapes.
If you hear bias in combination with binding or tape, you immediately envision a beautiful edge finish or trim.
Why do we all crave bias?
It’s a very versatile trim and a fantastic way to finish the raw edge on just about anything. In home décor, you see it in various widths on quilts, blankets, pillows, curtains, table linens and more. It’s used on garments around necklines, armholes, sleeve edges, etc. Basically, it’s the ideal technique to finish any raw edge, whether inside (also known as a Hong Kong finish) or along the outside edge of a sewn project. Not to mention, it’s the foundation for making custom piping.
Here are a few other reasons to love bias:
- It’s easy on your budget. You can make enough binding from a yard of fabric to go around a queen size quilt with some to spare; that’s a lot of binding for the money when you think about it.
- Bias cut binding is known to be stronger than straight grain binding, making it ideal for items that will be washed regularly, such as table linens; or used heavily, such as a bed quilt.
- You can use whatever fabric you want (even scraps) to create a beautiful custom finish.
Cutting bias strips
Follow along as Chris Tryon demonstrates how easy it can be to cut bias strips!
That’s the basics of cutting bias! Next time I’ll share my notes on calculating how much bias you’ll need for your next project. Until then, I hope this helps!