Thursday, March 4, 2010

Repurposing Fabric into Handmade Bias Tape

A pile of strips ready to be passed through the bias maker.

We recently sorted through our fabric stash as much for organization as to remind ourselves of what exactly we had. Some yardage serves as souvenirs from past travels (a bold cotton flora from Tahiti, dainty Liberty of London-style silks from the Caribbean) other yardage reminds us of past phases and trends (like our chinoiserie craze several years ago).

Our sorting and refolding yielded several candidates perfect for a new project: hand making colorful and unique bias tape. Inspired by our project, my grandmother also sorted through her fabrics and gifted us with quite a stash of calicos, stripes and checks from the 1970s and early 80s.

Pretty brown and cream stripe bias tape freshly ironed and waiting to be wound onto a card.

To make our bias tape we used a Bias Tape Maker like the ones pictured below. They're available at fabric stores or online.

Here are several examples of the finished tape:

The above three are all vintage. My grandmother made me an Easter dress out of the purple flower print on the right when I was only 4. The below photo is from fabrics we bought in Hawaii and Grenada about 10 years ago.

If you've wanted to try making your own bias tape, we say go for it! It's fun, rewarding and makes you look at your fabric with new eyes. However, if you're hesitant and think it looks like a lot of work, stop by our etsy shop for a selection of interesting and varied prints that are ready to go and perfect for a multitude of projects (braided rug? purse edging? scrapbooking?).

1 comment:

  1. Such wonderful vintage prints--love these! And so sweet that purple print that was your Easter dress. :o) I have one of those bias tape makers--very helpful, I love it! Happy Weekend, Amanda ((HUGS))