Thursday, March 8, 2012

Guest Post: The Shabby Creek Cottage ~ How to make your own bias tape

How to make your own bias tape

simplicity bias tape makerMeet my newest favorite toy: my bias tape maker. If you’ve bought any bias tape lately, you’ll know that it averages 50 cents to $1 per FOOT. Yeah, it’s not cheap. I bought my machine at Wal-Mart for about $65 (everyday price). I wasn’t really sure if this little toaster-sized gadget was worth the price, but thought I’d take a shot.
bias tape maker reviewKinda looks like some torture device from the deepest basement of the psychology department, huh? It all folds up into a neat little box. All the pieces close up, making it pretty easy to put away.
bias tape machineIt’s very easy to see where the pieces go, just two little bits and you’re ready to roll.
how to make bias tapeTo get started you pop off this little nozzle do-dad. Just push the tab and it pops right out.
bias tape nozzleSee the little channel? That’s where the magic happens. 
Your fabric gets threaded through there. But first let’s talk about the fabric.
fabric stripsSpeaking of fabric – your fabric needs to be twice the width of your nozzle. The machine comes with a 1 inch nozzle, so my strips are 2 inches wide. There are extra nozzles available at JoAnns or on Amazon, and they range from 1/4 inch to 2 1/2 inches. Just double the nozzle size to get your strip width. Learn how to cut the strips on the bias in my tutorial.
bias tape machine tutorialTake your strip and wind it up on the spool so it can be fed into the nozzle.
threading a bias tape machineKind of cup the fabric and fit it into the channel on the nozzle.
make your own bias tapeOn the top of it there is a little slot where the edge of the fabric plays peekaboo. Push it in as far as it can go.
bias tapeNow here’s the big trick that I learned after doing a couple of dozen of these: After you get the fabric in as far as it will go, then use a straight pin and stick the pin into the fabric and push it through the end of the channel. The pin will slide through with the fabric once you pull it out.
load bias tape nozzleOnce you have it through just pull and straighten it up in the channel. Now we’re ready to get it made!
bias machineClip the nozzle back into place.
bias tape tutorial 
Take the top plate off of the iron section by pushing it backwards and lifting it off.
quilting bias tape machineLay your fabric over the iron plate and past the roller, then replace the top plate.
how to make your own bias tape 
Hit the run button to get it started – then gently, GENTLY pull on the end to help it roll out smoothly and not bunch up. With your other hand you can help guide it to keep it straight in the channel. The machine will run 12 ft. of fabric in less than a minute. And SHAZAM! You're done!
handmade bias tape
It really works very fast – you could probably have made 3 of them in the time it took to read this :) So now.. what do you do with it? Well here’s a few ideas for you. You can:

Trust me, once you use the machine and have fun with it, you’ll find 101 ways to use it!

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