Technique: Bias Tape Edge

Agendas again
Stitch in the ditch foot

I’ve sewn more often and more consistently in the past month or so than any time I can remember. Sewing Tuesdays have made a huge difference. I’m also getting better at finding ways to combine sewing with the littles. After all, I’m a mama at home with the kids every day. This is my second job. Luckily the kids often want a parental presence as much as anything else. Turning pieces and taking things apart (happens too much!) can happen in the living room as easily as the workroom. We all like that. I’m also learning some techniques to make my sewing time more efficient.

This week I made agendas. Five agendas means ten inside flaps that need bias tape edges. I was just about to start cutting bias tape when it occurred to me – why? Wouldn’t it be just about the same if I sewed, say two and a half meters of bias tape in a straight line onto these flaps? My new stitch-in-the-ditch foot makes sewing a straight line close to the edge a breeze. Furthermore, sewing a straight piece of fabric to a straight piece of fabric seems like it should be pretty easy to manage without pins, right?

So I went for it. I ironed a long piece of bias tape, picked up the first edge, matched it to the edge of the bias tape (top sides facing), put them under the foot together and started sewing. Then I did the next and the next and the next and so on until I had ten flaps sewn to the bias tape. The moment of truth was inspecting the seam. Wouldn’t you know – just right. The edges were matched, the sewing line was right in the fold of the bias tape, the stitches were even. I was a happy, happy girl!

The next part was easy – cut apart pieces, trim access bias tape and thread, iron the bias tape under, edge stitch all the pieces, sew a second time to secure the inside edge of the bias tape and hide edges and threads, and done!

Or at least, that was the plan. In reality, I cut, ironed, stitched, and then (and only then) realized I’d forgotten to put the pockets on. This is the moment in which we look at our sewing table and take a very deep breath. Out comes the seam ripper. Out go those beautiful straight lines of stitching and we begin again. It’s a learning process. Next time I’ll remember the pockets, no doubt about that!

2 responses on “Technique: Bias Tape Edge

  1. Ken Taylor

    The geek in me loves the close up photos of your sewing machine. Your web site is a excellent balance of sharing and showing and letting us appreciate your motivation, your thoughts, and most importantly you.

    1. Christine Post author

      The closeups are cool, eh? It’s easy to forget that a sewing machine is just that – a machine. Thanks for all your encouragement!

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