Bias tape 101
Bias tape is a very useful tool when sewing, but leaves a lot of people confused. What's the difference between bias tape and a simple strip of fabric? What can you use it for? Can you make it yourself?
Let's take a look.
(Image source) [ID: three spools of bias tape wound around a piece of white cardboard. The three tapes are made out of a white fabric with orange, blue, and green flowers, a pink fabric with blue and red flowers, and a white fabric with red diagonal stripes.]
What is bias tape:
Bias tape is a strip of fabric that's been cut on the bias of the fabric, then folded so it's easy to work with. You can both buy commercial bias tape or make it yourself.
Bias tape has many uses, including binding necklines and armholes, making drawstrings and straps, used as trims, casings, hemming, binding edges, finishing seams, appliqué,...
What makes bias tape different from just plain old strips of fabric?
There are two types of fabrics, generally speaking: woven and knit. Woven fabrics consist of threads that criss-cross each other, while knit fabrics have threads that loop into each other. Knit fabrics are stretchy, but woven fabrics aren't.
(Image source) [ID: woven versus knit: threads that criss-cross each other versus threads that loop into each other.]
There's one way to get a little stretch into projects using woven fabric: cutting your pattern pieces on the bias of your fabric. This means aligning your pieces in such a way that they follow the diagonal direction of your fabric (a 45° angle), rather than the straight grain.
(Image source) [ID: a diagram with a blue square representing a piece of woven fabric. A diagonal line shows the bias grain. The sides of the square show the width/weft thread, the selvedge edge, and the length/warp thread of the fabric. Text: "sewguide.com".]
Fabric cut on the bias will stretch more than fabric cut on the straight grain. It will also drape better and be less prone to fraying. The downside is you'll need a lot more fabric to make a bias-cut garment than a straight-cut garment.
Bias tape will have all of these advantages over strips of fabric that have been cut on the straight grain of the fabric.
(Image source) [ID: a diagram of a blue rectangle representing a piece of fabric, with its selvage edges and width denoted on the sides. A bodice pattern is laid out three times on the fabric: once on the straight grain, once on the diagonal/bias grain, and once on the crosswise/off grain. Text: "sewguide.com".]
How to make bias tape:
As I've mentioned, you can buy commercial bias tape in most craft stores. These are great if you need quick access to tape, or if you're daunted by the prospect of making it yourself.
Making your own bias tape is useful if you want your tape to match the fabric you're working with, an advantage you'll never have with store-bought bias tape. Bias tape is also a good stash buster: the climate impact of bias tape you've made from leftover fabric scraps is lower than bias tape that was commercially made and shipped to a store, as you're reusing pre-existing material rather than buying something new.
If you only need a little bias tape, the easiest way to make it is to start by drawing a line at a 45° angle on your fabric. Mark adjacent lines running parallel to your original line on your fabric for the width of tape you need.
Cut your fabric on your marked lines, then join the ends together to create longe strips. Don't just sew them together in a straight line, as this will take away some of the bias stretch. Place one end of a strip on top of another at a 90° angle, right sides together. Draw a line between the two points where the strips cross, then sew along that line with a backstitch. Iron your seam, and cut away the excess fabric.
(Image source) [ID: six photo's showing how to make bias tape by cutting diagonal lines out of fabric, then sewing the resulting separate strips together at a 45° angle.]
(Image source) [ID: close-up of a diagonal seam where two strips of bias tape have been joined. The seam has been pressed open and the excess fabric cut away. Text: "Press open seam. www.treasurie.com."]
If you need a lot of bias tape, joining all of your separate pieces is a lot of work. An easier method to accomplish this is the continuous bias tape method. This method is a little too complex for me be able to explain it properly, but both Sew Guide and Treasurie have good tutorials on how to do it.
(Image source) [ID: a photo of a continuous strip of bias tape made from blue fabric with white polkadots, followed by text ("Continous bias tape. www.treasurie.com.", following by an 8 picture diagram showing how to make continuous bias tape by creating a fabric tube and cutting it into strips.]
How to fold bias tape:
You now have a length of bias tape, but how do you use it? Isn't it supposed to be folded?
While there are different techniques to start sewing with the bias tape you've created, you'll have an easier time using it once you've folded it. Three common methods to fold your bias tape are the single bias tape, the single fold bias tape, and the double fold bias tape.
(Image source) [ID: three close-up's on a piece of green bias tape folded in different ways: a double fold bias tape (edges folded inwards, then folded in half), a single fold bias tape (edges folded inwards), and a single bias tape (tape folded in half).]
The easiest way to fold your bias tape is to use a bias tape maker. These little gadgets will fold your tape for you.
(Image source) [ID: a strip of green fabric is pulled through a metal bias tape maker. The unfolded end is fed into one end and comes out with its edges folded inwards at the other end, where it's ironed in place with an iron. Text: "Pull and press. www.treasurie.com."]
If you don't have a bias tape maker, you'll have to fold and iron your tape yourself.
Single bias tape: fold your tape at the centre with its wrong sides facing each other, then iron it. You're done.
Single fold bias tape: fold your tape at the centre with its wrong sides facing each other, then iron it. Open up your tape again, then fold the edges towards the centre crease you've just created, and iron them. You're done.
Double fold bias tape: fold your tape at the centre with its wrong sides facing each other, then iron it. Open up your tape again, then fold the edges towards the centre crease you've just created, and iron them. Now re-fold your tape at the centre and iron it again. You're done.
(Image source) [ID: two pictures of a strip of blue fabric with white polkadots being ironed into bias tape. The first picture shows how the strip is folded in half and pressed. The second picture shows how the ironed strip is opened up again and the edges pressed towards the centre crease of the strip, meeting at the centre.]
You now know what bias tape is and how to make it yourself! Once you've gone through all of the steps above, you'll have a length of tape that's ready to use however you want.
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Unfollow all influencers
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I can’t stand people who think spreading awareness about issues on social media means that you’re claiming to be perfect and correcting everyone else? They’re like “I bet you do this too” like shit yeah we can all do better that’s the fucking point?
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thinking someone (not me) should start a petition to get etsy to make sellers specify if the items they’re selling aren’t handmade where the items are from, so even if they click “other”, like say it isn’t vintage or thrifted or handmedown, they should have to specify, and that there should be a “new” or not new label. this is so dropshippers, who are just reselling SheIn, Zaful, Alibaba, Aliexpress, etc., are legally obligated to say where their shit is from, instead of skirting by Etsy’s TOS by just avoiding claiming they’re selling handmade stuff (because it used to be that they’d say they were selling handmade items, so you could report them for not actually being handmade, but now they just don’t say “handmade” anymore) and scamming people, because Etsy doesn’t do anything about it because it makes them money but it’s disingenuous about quality and cost and actually outright upcharging people for things. dropshipping for those that aren’t aware is buying from somewhere, usually cheap, like fast fashion sites, or simply cheap Chinese manufacturers, and advertising to people that you are selling those things, and making money off something made elsewhere and by others, and raking in a large profit by listing at waaay higher prices. it’s like landlording online shopping.
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Avoiding Fast Fashion: How to Repair your Stuff
A friend texted me asking how to avoid fast fashion and the short answer is: you cant. unless you have the money to make all your own clothes, fast fashion is going to be a part of your life because it has permeated every corner of the fashion industry. However, you can learn basic mending and repair techniques to help your clothes last so that you are contributing far less to the fast fashion industry
Basic Hand Sewing How-to
How to Mend Jeans using Shashiko Methods
How to Mend Clothing (this channel is all about how to sew so check out her other videos)
Repairing a Seam
Re-attach the sole of a shoe
Repair holes in shoes 1 2
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I love patching jeans for other people
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woke up thinking about "i'd make my own clothes but it's so expensive". the amount of times i've heard this without the person saying it putting 2 & 2 together is wild. so you know the cost of making a garment, how do you think fast fashion companies are selling them for so cheap? that's right, they don't pay their workers fairly. even the best company discounts on fabric & other supplies can't bring the cost of a garment down that astronomically if they're paying their workers a living wage. let's also not forget the low quality, unsustainable materials they're most likely using to reduce cost further to lure in consumers. fast fashion is cruel & a scam and i'm so tired of it.
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Keeping Consumerism out of Your Craft
Consumerism is a set of socioeconomic conditions and attitudes that encourage the continual acquisitions of goods and services. There is no “enough” in a consumerist society — members of the society are constantly pushed to buy new things, pay for new services, and keep up with the latest trends.
There are a few reasons consumerism is bad news. For one thing, it’s terrible for the environment — consumerist cultures usually have linear economies, where resources are extracted, consumed, then discarded, with no effort to replenish them. This is highly unsustainable, because at some point those limited resources are going to run out. Consumerism also has a human cost, as it often leads to the use of sweatshops, which violate basic labor laws. In many sweatshops, workers are not paid a livable wage, children are employed as workers, and working conditions are unsafe. Companies in countries like the United States get around labor laws by outsourcing labor to other (poorer) places. Consumerism also contributes to classism, as the acquisition of expensive items is often treated as a status symbol.
Consumerism is present in nearly every aspect of Western culture, and this includes spirituality and witchcraft. There are multiple “Beginner Witch Kits” for sale from Amazon and other online retailers which include candles, crystals, and incense — which is great, as long as that’s all stuff you’ll actually use in your practice. (I mean, do you really need twelve different varieties of incense?) Witchy authors and bloggers often treat magic like a matching game, where every problem requires a very specific herb or crystal. YouTube is full of “witch hauls,” videos solely dedicated to showing off new purchases. All of this contributes to a commercialized witchy aesthetic, which can only be achieved by buying the tools of the trade.
I get it. Shopping is fun, especially when you’re still learning about magic and magical items. It’s exciting to search for the perfect crystal or incense blend, especially if you have a local metaphysical store where you can shop in person. But owning the right stuff doesn’t make you a witch. All you need to practice magic is your will — everything else is optional.
I’m not saying every witch should be a hardcore minimalist, or that you can never buy new things. What I am saying is that all of us, witches or not, need to be more mindful of how we spend our money and the impact of our purchases on the world around us.
How to Avoid Consumerism
If you’re considering buying something, ask yourself if you’ll really get use out of it. For example, I don’t use a lot of tools in my practice because I prefer to work with my hands, so it wouldn’t make sense for me to buy an expensive wand or ritual knife. Don’t feel like you have to buy something just because another witch uses it — if you don’t think you’ll use it, don’t buy it.
Don’t buy multiples of the same tool. Instead of buying multiple different colored altar cloths for different times of year, buy one white altar cloth you can use year-round. Instead of buying multiple tarot decks, find one or two you really enjoy working with. You get the idea. (Obviously, there will be some items you need more than one of, like spell candles. This rule applies more to tools that can be reused.)
Replace things as they run out instead of buying them before you need them. Buying things in bulk can lead to unnecessary waste and drawers full of unused magical supplies. Buy things you know you’ll really use, and only buy one or two at a time. Use up the items you have before you buy more.
Invest in items that have multiple uses. For example, most kitchen spices can also be used in spells — search your spice cabinet before ordering special ingredients online. There are some items that have multiple magical uses, like rosemary and salt. Buy a couple of these multitaskers instead of a large collection of herbs with very specific uses.
Use the “two week” rule. This is something I do to keep myself from making impulse purchases. If I think I want to buy something online, I wait two weeks before I order it. If I still want it after two weeks, I take that as a sign that I’ll actually get some use from it.
Go “shopping” in your backyard. Familiarize yourself with the plants, animals, and minerals that are native to your area and go foraging for spell supplies instead of buying them. Items you can probably find near your home that could be used in ritual include leaves and flowers, pine cones, seed pods, tree branches, rocks, and naturally shed feathers. Just make sure you never harvest enough of a plant to hurt it, and make sure you properly disinfect any animal products you pick up.
If you can, make it yourself. Not only does making your own magic items save money, it also creates a much stronger personal link between you and that item. You can grow your own magical herbs in a garden or in indoor pots. Many common magical tools, like brooms and wands, are easy to make at home with some basic craft skills. Making your own items also means you can customize them, tailoring them to your own craft.
If you can’t make it yourself, but it used. There are some items you can’t reasonably make yourself, like incense burners, cauldrons, and books on the craft. But you can find most of these items used, either in thrift stores or online on websites like Ebay and Depop. Buying used almost always ends up being cheaper than buying new, and because you’re buying items already in circulation you aren’t contributing to a linear economy. Thrifting is also a great way to find unique items that won’t be like what anyone else has on their altar.
If you can’t find it used, support a small business. Sometimes, you can’t make what you need or find it in a thrift store. In that case, buying from a small business is preferable to buying from a big retailer like Amazon. When you support a small business, you’re supporting an individual rather than contributing to some CEO’s massive yearly bonus. A lot of small business owners make their items themselves, which avoids sweatshop labor. Pretty much everything I buy new for my craft comes from Etsy sellers — there are a LOT of witches on Etsy, so with a little digging you can easily find exactly what you’re looking for!
Don’t buy crystals. I know, I know. Thanks to social media, large crystal collections have become synonymous with witchcraft. But the crystal trade is highly unethical, with unsustainable mining techniques, dangerous working conditions, and child labor. Because of a lack of regulations, it’s virtually impossible to find crystals that are truly ethically sourced. Most sellers don’t know where their crystals come from and can’t guarantee that no workers were harmed in their extraction. No stone is worth the health and safety of other human beings, no matter how pretty.
Avoiding consumerism in your witchcraft means being less reliant on tools and set dressing. This will allow you to rely on your own energy and will, which will lead to a deeper and more meaningful spiritual practice.
Revolutionary Witchcraft by Sarah Lyons
Simply Living Well by Julia Watkins
“11 Facts About Sweatshops” on dosomething.org
“Child labour in the fashion supply chain” from The Guardian
“Bangladesh factory collapse toll passes 1,000” from BBC News
“Are crystals the new blood diamonds?” from The Guardian
“Dark crystals: the brutal reality behind a booming wellness craze” from The Guardian
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My Cure for Aimless Wardrobe Syndrome: Manage Your Clothes the Same Way You Manage Your Money
NEW POST! My Cure for Aimless Wardrobe Syndrome: Manage Your Clothes the Same Way You Manage Your Money
Until very recently, I suffered from a pretty bad case of Aimless Wardrobe Syndrome.
I felt lost when it came to clothing. I assembled outfits at random. If I ever looked good, it was at the cost of 35 minutes of standing in my closet, hemming and hawing like an asthmatic donkey.
It seemed like a pretty insignificant problem. But eventually, I realized it was quietly harming me every dang day.…
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@/imperfectidealist on TikTok
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ZARA IS NOT 'AFFORDABLE' and it's definitley not "cUtE"
unless you literally don't care about any of this stuff, then i guess just continue on with your life.
Zara is not your best friend.
Let’s talk first about something called Planned Obsolescence. Planned Obsolescence (source for the information in this first bit) is fast fashion’s best friend. It’s a strategy where clothes are literally made to fall apart. On average, clothes are made to last no more than seven wears, and then they’ll start coming apart, and even after a single wear they won’t look as good as they did when you bought it.
The reason for that is because mass consumption is how fast-fashion companies make their profit. They rely on the fact that you need to buy and rebuy often. So, that cheap shirt is “affordable”, but really it's not at all and it's causing more harm than it's worth like just go naked at this point.
The way these companies get richer is by selling mass amounts, and their trick is to make things that will break. It’s absolutely insulting.
So that’s one aspect that also leads to cheap prices, but let’s look at another way they cut costs:
In order to make more of a profit at the higher levels, these little shits are out here cutting costs at the lower levels, so they can keep as much as possible for themselves. Cheap fabric = bad for the environment and bad quality and also saves money. Pay the garment workers less than minimum wage, or barely enough to live off of = less percentage of profits have to go to that sector, and more into big boy’s pockets.
For a company that has such a massive profit margin, there’s no reason that there is still so much of it’s supply chain that is not even getting paid a living wage.
All the while, the founder of Inditex, Zara’s Parent company, is the sixth richest person in the world. Amazing.
“But these companies have sustainable methods.”
Oh? You mean like H&M’s “conscious collection” that resulted in over 12 tons of unsold clothes? Where do you think those clothes went? Most of them aren’t even made with fibers that decompose so bitches BURNT THEM. THE POLUTION????????????? DOES NO ONE CARE???
And of course, H&M denies that they did this because of overproduction. As if there’s a valid reason you should be burning 12 tons of clothes.
Right, sorry, this Article is about Zara. No, wait. It's not. Because they're all in the same goddamn boat. A boat that literally has holes in it all over and people for some reason keep patching up those holes with their money and then the dudes on the boat just take that money and so people patch up the holes with MORE MONEY And so on.
“Zara uses recycled packaging!” WOw. gOoD fOr yOu.
Zara also has this program called “Closing the loop” have you literally ever heard of it????? Yeah me neither. I had to find out about it on some random site and when you click the link to it, it’s not even on Zara’s website, it’s their parent company, Inditex, that runs it.
Now this program Is so that customers can drop off old zara clothes and get them fixed up, or just donate them for reuse. Great, right? Yeah, except those clothes are still ending up in landfills once they’ve reached their very shirt lifespan, and there is no evidence that Zara is actually minimising waste in the manufacturing process, and they’re still using unsustainable materials that are basically plastic.
Zara boasts that it gives customers the “latest fashion trends” every 13 days.
Absolutely appalling. Not only because that’s obviously mass consumption and all that, but most of their designs are thanks to other designers.
No one likes getting their work stolen, we see posts about people stealing fanart and fanfiction and not giving credit but imagine literally making a profit by stealing someone’s work and there’s legally nothing that can be done for the designers WHO WORK HARD like designing clothes is freaking HARD y’all.
And it’s not like they’re only stealing from Big Brands.
Oh no. Oh NONONONONNONOONONNONNOONONNO.
Fast Fashion Bitchass “FashionNova” literally first of all has health warnings for hazardous materials on some products (like tf) which is horrifying, and second of all, they’re notorious for stealing the work of female WOC designers.
And there’s nothing these women can do. Fashion Nova sometimes even straight up blocks these women on social media when they reach out, and then continues to make a profit off them.
Kim Kardashian has even called out fast fashion brands for this on Instagram (albeit in a lighthearted way) because it happens so often.
"She should sue them!"
Bitch yeah, she should. Here's the thing, though: She can't.
She did reach out to Fashion Nova:
Please Please click the link and see other women’s stories and their troubles. It’s so insulting.
If even huge, well known and respected designers have no chance of keeping their hard work safe, what chance do the smaller designers have???? NONE.
Maybe I’ll continue this again later, but right now I’m too worked up and I’m exhausted so I will stop here. Feel free to add on and stop yourself before you buy from fast-fashion retailers again.
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Decoding labels is difficult with so many buzzwords and false labels as eco friendly practices become more popular. Many companies slap fake labels onto products. This chart will let you understand some of the labels. If you can recognize these symbols you’ll be able to know if these brands have more legitimacy. Third party certifications do better at holding companies accountable as someone else is actually verifying the standards of practice.
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Can we please stop making lower/middle class people feel bad about buying fast fashion clothes from brands like "Shein", "H&M" and so on?
Ethical shopping definitely has to be encouraged, but keep in mind that not everyone has access to it. Why?
1. In some cities, thrift shops do not even exist. Yes, it is bizarre, but unfortunately true.
2. In other cities, 90% of thrift shops are owned by people who buy their merch in second hand markets for very little money, and then resell them in their shops at extremely expensive prices.
For example, I live in Amsterdam, a city full of thrift shops. But these shops will sell you a t-shirt for €20. Instead, if you go to the Waterlooplein Market, you can buy the same kind of t-shirt for only €1.
3. The same rule is valid for online thrift shops. They're so fucking expensive. And when you finally find a shop with fair prices, most of the time you have to pay a very expensive shipping (when on Shein instead, free shippings are extremely easy to get).
Ethical shopping is a must have if we want to preserve the environment and human rights, but it's important to understand that some people simply cannot afford it. And it's not fair to make them feel guilty about it.
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I couldn’t love Lolly Adefope more
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i have GOT to stop thinking i have no style! i DO but i'm too broke to buy new stuff and you know what? i'm actually content with wearing the same pants i've gotten in 7th grade because that means i have worn those pants longer than the industry calculated i'd wear them! they fit they're comfortable they look good! i have GOT to stop letting ppl on tiktok influence how i dress for fucks sake i'm so tired of it.
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guys i was doom scrolling on Instagram and came across a post about shein and the comments were mostly "so what if they use child labor? all companies do that" and it's like... no... they don't. people were recommending more expensive fast fashion (think urban outfitters and H&M), and so many of them were greenwashed by the recyclable packaging that the unsustainable clothes come in.
this is why we NEED to keep spreading awareness.
a lot people genuinely think that sustainable clothing/fashion is unattainable. we all know that the answer is to consume less (no you don't need $200 worth of $5/piece clothes from shein, if that's the shopping habit you're used to i'm not surprised that you think sustainable fashion is only for the rich), but until we can change this mass over-consumption, "need to be new" mentality, things will stay the same.
we need to make it easier for people to find the sustainable brands, because a lot of people won't take the time to search "sustainable clothing brands" and read through an article. we need them to not see a $40 shirt and immediately close the page, wondering why it's so expensive. instead they should wonder why fast fashion is so cheap. we need to inform people of greenwashing, and that a company with recyclable packaging doesn't necessarily always have eco friendly products or use anything close to ethical practices. that more expensive doesn't always equal better practices or quality.
we need to keep fighting for our future, guys. there are still so many people who don't even know what they don't know - please keep raising awareness.
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"A new report on greenwashing, published this week by Eco-Age and the Geneva Centre for Business and Human Rights, reports that while “all major fashion brands claim to be engaged in sustainability efforts … many are struggling and indeed failing, because they are using a flawed definition of sustainability, unscientific methods and selective implementation”. The report also identifies “greenwishing” – fancying oneself less environmentally harmful than one is in reality – to be a problem in fashion.
"By producing too many clothes, the fashion industry has not just harmed the climate, it has also undermined its own status. A dress in the new season silhouette or a pair of boots in autumn’s hot new shade were once aspirational objects. But a two-decade deluge of cheap-as-chips items has left the world disdainful of clothes – and, as a result, tired of fashion."
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First time I've ever darned anything!
Now time to see if the texture of the thread bothers me too much to wear it :/
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