Apr 11, 2011

Continually Biased… and a giveaway update


Okay, I hope you’ve checked out my progressive follower giveaway… it’s open until the 12th April and I’ve just finished making the ribbon flower brooch to add to the winner’s prize for reaching 280 followers.

Here it is:

ribbon brooch

I made this using the technique I detailed in this tutorial but I used a grosgrain ribbon and added a sheer organza ribbon petal behind the grosgrain ribbon petals then mounted the finished flower onto a felt disc and a brooch pin. I love red and blue together and love how this flower turned out… and some lucky person will be taking away this brooch together with the Ribbon and Chain Necklace, a baby/toddler Denim & Lace Flower headband and because I’ve also reached another 10 followers there is another prize I’m adding at the end of this post!

Now onto this post…

Well, I am a little biased… over bias that is! I love making unique bias tape to co-ordinate with other fabrics and a few weeks ago now that led me to my newest ‘toy’… The Simplicity Bias Tape Maker…

simplicity bias tape maker

I first heard about this machine on another blog whilst I was idly hopping about and filling some time a couple of months ago – unfortunately I cannot recall the actual blog but am ever so thankful to them for introducing another gadget to my  must have wish list.

So, finally I now have one! Woo Hoo… and now I’ll show you all how I make my continuous bias using this machine (continuous bias tutorials have been done on many sites before and I certainly didn’t come up with this method of continuous bias but it is my most favourite way to make oodles and oodles of bias without much wastage of fabric and I thought I’d share it with you today and also show off the machine).


I used a rectangle of this fabulous Michael Miller ‘Kaleidoscope Stripe’ fabric approximately 15” x 22”.

Always, wash and press your fabric beforehand.

Cut across the length of the rectangle on a 45degree angle as shown below:

45 degree cut

Take the piece on the left hand side and place it on the right hand side as pictured:

left to right

Turn the right hand side over as if flipping a book page so that the right sides of the fabric are facing like shown:

book page

Using a shorter stitch length (I used 1.5) sew a seam as indicated by the red line in the above picture from one asterisk to the other.

sew seam

Press the seam open.

press seam

Mark diagonal lines with disappearing fabric pen as shown above with the dashed lines. The width of the lines will be dependant on the final width you want your tape to be. My single fold bias tape will be 1” wide so I marked along the top and bottom edges every 2  3/4 inches, then joined the corresponding top and bottom marks.

mark guidelines

Now, fold the fabric over like shown below so that the lines you’ve marked sit one over leaving a row at the start and finish not joining up to another row.

matched guidelines

With right sides together sew along the edges you’ve just lined up. When I line them up I match them up just slightly off the lines so that the lines actually cross over each other at the point where the stitches will be. This will create a tube shape.

sew into tube

Press the seam open and now you’re ready to start cutting the continuous strip…

cut strips
...and yes these scissors are in desparate need of a clean - and a sharpen for that matter!

And cutting… and cutting…

cut cut cut

I did see a blog where they used a rotary cutter to cut the strips but I don’t think I’m quite that co-ordinated and I would just end up cutting through other layers – it really doesn’t take that long to cut once you get going!

Now, the fun part… the bias tape machine!

bias machine

So simple to use… it has a heat setting much like an iron, simply turn it on and begin getting ready whilst the plates heat up.

simplicity bias tape maker spool

Wind your continuous strip onto the provided spool…

bias tip

Place the spool onto the holder, over the guide arm and feed the end through the bias tip. All different size tips can be bought for the machine… I tend to use the 1” and 1/2” tips the most.

simplicity bias tape maker iron plate

The heat plate easily locks and unlocks and has an auto roller to the left of it to feed and pull the fabric from the tip, across the plate and out the other side.

simplicity bias tape maker 1

Take the fabric from the tip across the heat plates, far enough over to have the roller ‘grip’ the strip. Once the green light is lit the machine is ready to go…

Hit the ‘run’ button and sit back and admire the machine do all the work for you – whilst not getting your fingers anywhere near an iron steam jet, any risk of burns or fiddling around with manual bias tips etc. This little gem can press 12 feet of bias in 60 seconds… LOVE IT!!!

double fold bias tape

Now, because I’m a little lazy – and this machine seems to do just as good a job as I would with an iron, I then attach the 1/2” tip, rewind the single fold bias onto the spool…

half inch double fold

…and feed it through the top of the tip and let the machine press my single fold into double fold just as quickly!

And the result…

lovely bias

Lots of lovely double fold bias tape – I just love how vertical striped fabric look on the bias… from my original rectangle of fabric this yielded just over 5 1/2 yards of bias tape… and the REALLY good news?

finished continuous bias

This gorgeous bundle of bias tape has just been added to the winners prize for my follower giveaway! So, if you haven’t entered… why not? You’ve just over a day or so left to enter and the current follower situation is 292 followers… if it reaches 300 before competition end ANOTHER prize will be added! Presently the odds are pretty good with relatively low entries – so head over, check it out, follow along and leave me a comment – I love reading them!

Oh, and for any fellow Australian's wondering where you can get such a machine (I know I asked at all the major retailers... Spotlight, Lincraft etc... and no one knew what I was talking about! I've found you can purchase this fantastic machine and all the different tips, extra spools etc at this fab store - Stitch This  (they do online sales and can post...) tell them The Quick Unpick sent you (for no other reason than it's sometimes nice to know how your customers heard about you!)

Cheers xo

Linking up with the fab party over at:
Tip Junkie handmade projects


  1. Visiting from Tatertots and Jello. Love your crafty sewing!


  2. This is also a very nice flower! Thanks for your comment on my blog!

  3. beautiful flower, and that print is gorgeous cut into binding like that.

  4. Great post.. so helpful as I just bought this per your suggestion for the vintage dresses. Makes life so much easier. I am going to link this on my blog.


  5. Excellent! I have been struggling doing mine by hand and steam burning myself all over the place!!! I might let my hubby know since Mothers Day is just around the corner.


  6. I hate making bias tape... I thought about getting the manual one by clover, but I will have to use my 40% off coupon at Joann's for one or even my 50% off

  7. I'm just dropping in from Tip Junkie!

    Wish I could sew! :)

    I just started a brand new craft blog at gingersnapcrafts.blogspot.com

    I would love for you to come over & check it out sometime. :) If your looking for giveaway host- I would love to host a giveaway on your blog sometime. :)

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