I wanted to share a simple sewing tutorial with you today. When I first started sewing garments I was pretty afraid of attaching bias tape. Have you felt that way? Don’t you think it finishes clothing so nicely though? I do too. The cool thing is that it’s not scary at all! I’m going to show you an easy way to create a nice finish for your next project, whether it’s an armhole, a neck hole, pockets, or the hem of a skirt. This tutorial assumes that you have already cut out your strip of fabric to be used at the armhole. A good rule of thumb is to make this strip about one inch wide and as long as the circumference of the armhole, plus one inch… cut on the bias.
Please excuse some blurriness in the second half of the photos.
Step Two: Take your unfinished shirt sleeve and your fabric circle. With right sides together, pin the circle to the armhole.
Step Three: Stitch around the armhole with a 1/4″ seam allowance. Next, press the seam allowance away from the shirt.
Step Four: Fold the outer edge of the fabric in, covering up the seam allowance, and press. This will create a 1/4 inch edge on the other side.
Step Five: Carefully fold the edge of the fabric under to the inside of the fold, so that it meets the crease that you made in step four. Press and pin all the way around the armhole.
Important: As you are pressing, make sure that you are just barely covering the stitches that you created when you first sewed the fabric circle to the armhole. (See photo below)
Step Six: On the right side of the garment, stitch around the inside edge of the bias tape that you have created, just as close to the seam as you can. This is called an edge stitch (go figure!). Since you covered that seam when you folded and pressed the fabric on the other side, your stitches should catch the material underneath.
You can always buy ready made double-folded bias tape at your local sewing store, like Joann’s, but they do not come in a huge range of colors and not in prints at all. I really like the look of custom bias tape, and when you follow the instructions above, it’s a piece of cake!
Please let me know if you have questions about this tutorial. I tried to explain it as well as I could, but sometimes it’s hard to figure out how to describe in words what I am doing. I hope it doesn’t read like a bunch of gobbledy-gook!