Vintage Sewing

Bias tape help desperately needed

November 7, 2010
Hi there lovely people, I was hoping to pick your brains on the subject of bias tape, as I’m a little bit stuck. I’ve used it to finish edges before and I’ve also used it decoratively along both curved and straight edges. However, my latest project requires the use of bias tape along a sweetheart neckline and I just can’t seem to do it! When I experiment with pinning the bias tape, I lose the detail of the neckline and end up with a round one instead of a sweetheart one. I’ve posted a picture of the pattern and my cutout fabric so you can see what I mean. Any useful hints, tips, advise would all be gratefully received.

On a slightly more positive note, drop by my blog if you’re interested in seeing more pictures of my best finished apron yet:

  1. I agree, you're going to have to use 4 lengths,making sure to get the edges the right angle to fit right… and patience… lots of patience

  2. I had that problem with a square neckline on a 1949 pattern. The instructions made it seem like only the one piece of bias tape was used – presumably because in those days everybody knew about 'mitering' (a word I discover today) and so there was no need to spell it out… Anyway, 60 years down the line and I couldn't for the life of me understand how to do it… My square neckline ended up with rounded edges and now I know why!

  3. I knew I could count on Sew Retro experts for some sound advice! I now need to look up what 'mitering' is/means, but this is a great start!

  4. You don't have to use separate pieces to get corners – but you do have to create very tidy folds.

    At the center front, for example, stitch up to the point of the angle and stop with your needle still in. Clip through the seam allowance of your bias and your fashion fabric right up to (but not into!) that last stitch. Now instead of pivoting the fabric around the needle, you'll be able to pull the fabric straight and keep stitching forward. Repeat at all inside corners.

    When you take it off the machine and fold it up into place, you'll have extra material at these inside corners. Fold one side of the bias tape back on itself, sort of like beginning to invert a sock. You'll be making a little pleat in the bias. Line the pleat line up with the direction of the corner so it looks tidy, and press it down nice and flat and sharp (sounds musical!).

    Hope this helps.

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