I was sent a bag of odds and ends a while ago. It was like a bunch of those surprise bags you could get as a kid. Remember when you could go into a convenience store and pay $2 for a mystery bag? It was always full of weird expired candy, but the thrill of the surprise kept me buying them.
So I got these bags of scraps and I lovingly sifted through them. Among a number of goodies, was this pile of leftover velvet.
I’m working on something that requires velvet trim, and why go out and pay for ready made velvet tape when I have all the makings right here? I’ve never made bias tape before, the phrase “cut on a 45 degree angle” doesn’t gel with my math aversion, so I thought starting with difficult and slippery fabric would be the best idea.
After steaming out the wrinkles, I got out my rotary mat, ruler, and cutter. (OK my mom’s because I have no $$ for those but I promise I’ll give these back… one day).
So the bias is a 45 degree angle from the selvage edge, which in this case is the edge with the red lines. It’s the factory finished edge of the fabric, but if you’re working with scraps like I am here, it’s the side with the least amount of give. If you pull two ends of the fabric and it holds taunt, that’s your selvage edge.
The longest strips would be used first and then I would flank them with smaller strips as I went to make the bias tape as uniform as possible. I should’ve taken a picture of this but if there are Long (L), Medium (M), and Short (S) strips I would position them as:
Sorta clear? I’m just trying to use up as much of this as possible.
This next step was SUPER fun (sarcasm). The tedious task of sewing each individual strip together. I had to line up the raw edges, but have the angles be mirror opposites so that when I open them up it’s a straight line as opposed to a 90 degree corner. ENOUGH WITH ALL THE ANGLES!
I learned how to attach these the hard way, so here’s the success version:
Line up the raw edges with the corners peaking out on either side (see above). Don’t sew right long the raw edge, sew from corner to corner right above where those little peak-outs happen.
What’s great about this texture? All of my individual seams are invisible. No one will suspect a thing!
There’s so much of it, and so little waste!
Free homemade bias tape, one step closer on a big sewing project, and cutting with angles doesn’t scare me anymore.
Big day guys.