We recently received a shipment of gorgeously luscious gauze, that has us dreaming of warmer days and cuddly babies! So we dreamed up this super simple gauze blanket with handmade bias tape. In our shoppe, we often mention to customers that you can always make your own bias, and it’s sometimes met with surprise. While this is not a new technique, we thought it might be nice to dispel some of the mystery surrounding bias tape. (Spoiler alert: its EASY and kind of addicting.)
I picked a lovely gender neutral gauze from Sarah Jane’s Sommer line. I pre-washed it hoping it would soften up a bit, and it’s even dreamier than I imagined. Initially I cut a 50″ square, but it did shrink in the dryer, so my blanket ended up being about 42″x 50″. (Something to keep in mind if you’re wanting an exact size for your blanket.) For my bias tape, I picked a lawn from Liesl Gibson’s new line, Woodland Clearing. It’s soft, silky and orange, perfect for a snuggly blanket.
Here’s the complete cast of characters:
- Gauze, 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 yards (a double gauze would work beautifully too!)
- Bias tape maker
- Fabric for your bias tape, 2/3 yard, (this may change depending on your blanket size)
- thread to match bias tape
Cutting bias tape has been well covered, so I wont waste your time with talking you through this part. I tried this new-to-me method and found it fast and easy, (and maybe magic?!?)
Once you have your continuous bias strip all pieced and ready to go, it’s time to iron. I used a 1″ bias tape maker, which ends up making 1/2″ bias tape once its folded over.
Let’s start! Insert your bias trip into the large end of the bias tape maker. I usually use a safety pin or my seam gauge to help wiggle it through. It’ll come out a bit wonky at first, just straighten it before you start to iron.
You’ll be pressing bias tape as you slowly pull the bias tape maker away from the iron. That nice metal handle stays cool for you to pull. Don’t be like me and try to grab the metal shuttle, it gets hot!! Once you’ve pulled all of your strip through the bias tape maker, you need to go back and press it in half.
Did you know most bias tape is slightly uneven? One side is just a little bit wider than the other. When I’m pressing it in half, I make sure I press one side slightly shorter than the other. I sew with the short side facing up at me, that way I always know I am catching the back side in my seam, since it’s a bit wider. Genius!
Congratulations, you’ve successfully made bias tape! I made 220″ of bias, so I know I would have plenty to sew around my blanket. I recommend double checking that you have enough before your start attaching it.
Lay out your gauze fabric, and place the edge of the gauze into the fold of your bias tape. (Make sure you have the shorter side on top!) Use pins or wonder clips to secure it before you sew. Be sure to leave a long tail of bias (mine is about 7″). We will use this extra when we are finishing our binding.
Start sewing as close to the edge of your bias tape as you can. I sew right on the edge, but you can scoot your seam in a bit if you feel more comfortable. Go slow and try to sew as straight as possible. If your bias tape is straight along the edge of your fabric, you know you will catch the back edge all in one seam!
Stop 1/4″ away from the corner edge, and backstitch.
Lay your blanket out flat on a table, with the binding you just sewed at the top. Turn your bias tape 90 degrees so it is now running along the vertical edge of the blanket. Place the edge of your gauze into the folded bias tape. I always pinch the horizontal binding at the corner as I fold the vertical binding around the edge. This gives me a perfect mitered corner every time.
Continue all the way around your blanket, repeating these steps at each corner. You’re almost done! When you reach the end, again, leave about a 7-10″ tail unattached.
Many people would unfold these tails and sew them together, but I find it easier to simply overlap them with a clean edge.
To get that clean edge, you just need to do a little pressing. On one end of your bias tape, unfold it and fold the short end down about 1/4″ and press.
Fold that bottom edge up towards the top edge to make a nice triangle tip. Press this as well.
Re-press your binding in half again, you should have a really clean angled point to your bias tape.
To finish, layer the unfinished bias end under the finished edge you just made. Use pins or clips to hold everything in place, and sew your last seam over all layers. I followed the angles of the bias tape to make a nice triangle seam, but this is completely optional.
You’re done! We can’t wait to gift this to a snuggly baby, perfect for spring!
Happy Sewing! Xx
For another way to attach bias binding… see an older blog post… Bias Binding.