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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Happy new year! ￼
I hope you’ve had a good one so far 😊 I’m so excited to finally start sharing content across my blog and YouTube channel that I’ve been creating behind the scenes. I talk about all things thrifting, sustainable fashion, hair care, self care and wellbeing. If any of that sounds interesting to you then check out my blog and latest YouTube videos below:
Blog post: Life update and 2021 goals and plans
YouTube: Where I’ve been and YouTube goals for 2021
YouTube: Mini Thrift Haul and Styling Tips
That’s all for now! I’ve also posted the videos on my tumblr so you can watch straight from there! 🤍✨
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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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By Eva Abeling
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In honor of Earth Day I have created a list of things not to ignore
Recycling is Bullshit.
Only about 9% of those nestle plastic water bottles and coke cans you toss are actually recycled, it’s cheaper to dump plastic in landfills than to recycle. Poor fishes.
Solution: Reduce/stop buying products in single-use form; opt for reusable, reach out to companies and raise concern about the growing pollution crisis and inquire if they have a plan for their part in the problem.
*Loop is a company that is dedicated to helping solve the plastic crisis. They have a milkman model; products are delivered and empties are shipped back to the company. Loop had a partnership with Coco-cola before failing to meet the first product deadline. Loop also faces a lawsuit for stock manipulation and false claims about their technology.
*Ulta and Loop launched a partnership in March 2021
Sustainable Consumerism isn’t Conscious Consumerism.
Clean beauty has been trending, so has sustainability. It appears like a beneficial thing, but under the microscope there are many problems that have risen in the communities. Such as thrift shopping gaining popularity has people on the lower spectrum of income with less variety. And big companies advertising clean beauty products that won’t harm your skin are packaged in plastic that will harm the earth. People easily get addicted to buying makeup and not finishing products before indulging in another, creating lots of waste.
Solution: Don’t buy things you don’t need. Watch styling videos and create some new idea’s with what you already have. Borrow from a friend. If you are on the higher end of the financial spectrum, support sustainable businesses that pay their workers a fair wage. Unsubscribe from those millions of subscription boxes that leave you with thousands of miscellaneous items; choose one box. There are clean beauty products with sustainable packaging that you can purchase, here, here and here are some options. Please finish your mascara tube before browsing.
*You don’t have to buy sustainable, just make sure your purchasing new when your products are empty and not being gluttonous
The West isn’t rationing water...yet.
A t-shirt can be organic cotton with a cool Betty Boop graphic printed on it, but it’s not the most sustainable plant a business can choose. Opt for bamboo or hemp options, way less water to produce products. And, it takes a lot of water to hydrate an animal that will be slaughtered.
Solution: Research materials sustainable businesses use in their textiles, ask for options of items in water-conscious materials. Reduce animal consumption, add more plant-based alternatives into your diet.
You’re eating plastic.
There is so much plastic in the ocean that whales and seagulls stomachs are jammed with pollution when examined. Fishes eat micro plastics, other fishes eat those fishes, and so on up the chain to the human stomach. The commercial fishing industry kills bycatch, unwanted fishes that are caught when trying to obtain a specific target, among the bycatch that are killed and flung back into the ocean are dolphins and sharks. The specific species that is targeted is tuna. This is fueled by the demand for it. Sharks are endangered, if one part of the link breaks, the whole chain falls apart.
Solution: Buy local or stop consuming fish. Research the ethics of fisherman/fisherwoman you are sourcing your food from. Donate to organizations that are protecting ocean life.
Plastic straw deception.
Yes, plastic straws will degrade into micro plastics and cause pollution and harm to aquatic life but the biggest danger they face isn’t straws. Fishing equipment that is made from plastic and dumped, creates most of the ocean waste that threatens ocean life. Whales are big enough to consume the nets and ropes, others aren’t so “lucky” and they are consumed by the plastic. Cigarette butts are the most littered item in the world.
Solution: Don’t trust organizations that are magnifying problems only directed at the consumer to fix. There needs to be individual, communal AND global change. And quit smoking.
Fast Fashion has been demonized, so why aren’t we seeing influencers wear repeats?
80% of all clothes is thrown into the landfill. 80%-90% of donated clothing and items also end up in the landfill. Before that, third party companies can purchase textiles for other uses, such as car seat filler or a developing country can purchase some clothing and hope they are in good condition to resell in their markets. The second hand clothing industry poses threats to ways traditional clothing is made in places like Africa.
Solution: Challenge yourself to wear the same outfit for a week, try a capsule wardrobe, wear the same shirt in the next 4 content pieces you create; challenge yourself to make the looks different.
What are some things you can do now to produce less waste?
Don’t buy unless you need, the most sustainable whatever is the one you already have
Clothing/item swaps; ask your circle if they can make use of this thing you don’t need anymore, ask your neighbor if they have any extra yarn they don’t need instead of buying a new ball
Basic Energy Saving Gentle Reminders: Turn lights off after leaving an empty room, don’t leave water running for dishes (fill the sink up), don’t leave the water running while you brush your teeth, your car engine doesn’t need 10 minutes to warm up; it takes 30 seconds
Before parting with it, can it be upcycles into something else? An old chair can be painted to look fresh and be used as a shelf for some books to sit on or a plant can rest on it
Wear your clothes a couple more times before throwing them in the wash, especially jeans; they have a lot of wear. Run the machine when the load is FULL
Reuse containers and jars, that Becel bowl can be converted into a candy tray or a place to store your nails and bolts, stickers would do justice in jazzing it up. An old jar of spaghetti sauce makes an aesthetically pleasing planter
Don’t throw it away! Used coffee grounds can be made into body scrub or added to plants and you can also add pasta water and rice water (make sure there’s no salt) to your plant babies
If you are making something, look for reclaimed pieces you can use first before purchasing new (cheaper too)
Whenever you’re critical of the impact you can make, ask yourself if you didn’t do the things you are, how much waste would be added to the landfill? If you use a reusable coffee cup and get coffee everyday, that saves 365 plastic lined cups from entering the landfill (not a good covid example, but still, it paints the picture)
Plant a tree, a couple planted 2.7 million in 20 years
Your purchases are votes for the world you want to live in. Buying plastic is a vote for plastic, buying reusable is a vote for reusable
Please do not litter, the Earth will curse you
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@/imperfectidealist on TikTok
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Orange sundress, from start to finish 🍊🍊🍊 handmade from thrifted William Morris fabric and self draft pattern. The bust Actually Fits :") and the contrast binding on the inside makes me so happy - even though no one else can see it 💙
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Mai Moxi in Space Jam inspired outfit by @friskmegood
Stylist: St. Arrison Le’Moyne
VIVRANT EP Coming Soon
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Fast fashion in alternative communities
I don't usually make posts like this but the conversations starting up again so i just want to add my input quickly.
Prefacing this by saying the point that the personal carbon footprint was created by corporations to push the blame onto individuals is absolutely valid but the unnecessary over consumption of unethicality will always be unethical. When possible the most sustainable option is slow fashion and trading existing clothes through buying, selling, donating or reworking items.
1. Retailers like Amazon and Aliexpress more often than not don't produce the clothes themselves, they're just host sites for individuals or existing smaller businesses to sell products. Most of the items (even customisable ones) are mass produced in either China, Vietnam or Bangladesh. With Aliexpress; sellers usually based in China buy bulk from the businesses/factories and sell on their own Aliexpress/Alibaba store to international buyers at a rate competitive to each other and European/Western markets, Amazon is similar. Amazon and Aliexpress sellers and small businesses themselves are not sitting in the office of a factory using slave or child labour. There are videos on tiktok, twitter, pinterest and here of people explaining how to scam stores and justifying through the missunderstanding of how fashion markets and stores work. Stealing and scamming from the sites is gross, it's not the activism you think it is and it isn't helping anybody in the long or short term.
2. I know most people in alternative communities are younger and/or lower/middle income, if you can't afford to buy from slow fashion retailers thats fine, theres no shame in purchasing what you need from places like Kmart, Walmart, Target, Amazon, Shein etc. The main issue comes in with the constantly changing trends and desire to follow them leading to continuous overconsumption. If you want to reduce your desire to fall into trend culture or partake in fashion more sustainably you can buy from thrift stores, resale sites like ebay/etsy/depop/poshmark/vintage or whichever your countries equivalency is, rework already owned items, trade clothes with others or pay attention to how much you're actually buying and spending, how long you like each item you buy and how often you wear it. Stepping back and watching how fast trends change is helpful too, most clothing items that were considered trendy less than 1-6 months ago are considered tacky or outdated now. An ever evolving on-trend wardrobe is unattainable for the vast majority, especially young or lower income people so don't feel pressure to follow anything if it has a negative affect on you in any way, including body image and mental health.
3. Another social media thing and just a personal opinion; making jokes about slave labour is gross. If you don't care for trying to partake in ethical fashion thats okay, it's your choice but theres no real reason to be talking about "thank you to the little asian kids who made this crop top" it's weird and tacky.
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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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Not ready to let go of autumn yet!
Shop my dress here (comes in plus sizes!)
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By Eva Abeling
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“All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream.”
— Edgar Allan Poe, A Dream Within a Dream
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This is the before btw
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Crafts of India (An Ode to Bhuj 2021): Anita Dongre
Laukya Ajarakh Lehenga Set
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The Story of Mulberry Silk. Photoshoot taken in Ninh Bình by Truyện Lụa.
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Do you have any tips for enlarging collars on tshirts? Or turning round neck collars into v-necks? I have plenty of shirts I could still be wearing except thanks to some weight gain I find them all a bit too tight around the chest and neck...
It's important our clothes fit comfortably, so good on you for wanting to alter your shirts.
Enlarging collars on t-shirts:
Changing the shape of your collar can indeed gain you some space.
Instructables has a good tutorial on how to turn a crew neck into a v-neck shirt. If you're more of a visual learner, take a look at this video tutorial by Professor Pincushion.
(Image source) [ID: a before and after picture of a black t-shirt with a crew neck which has been turned into a v-neck. The shirt has a print of a yellow robot on the front.]
Boat neck and round collars:
You could also try a boat neck rather than a v-neck if you prefer round collars, like this boat neck tutorial by Simply Silver shows.
Similarly, simply removing the ribbed neckline most shirts have and using a folded hem might also work, like this tutorial on how to widen a shirt neckline by Make It Or Fix It.
(Image source) [ID: close-up of a black shirt with an altered round neckline. Text: "How to Widen T-Shirt Neckline. Sewsewneat.com"]
Another option is to bind your widened neckline, like this bound neckline tutorial by Drops of Lluvia.
Finally, adding in a button placket which you can leave open while wearing your shirt might also help. Check out this button placket tutorial by Stephanie Rubletz to see how it's done.
There are multiple ways to enlarge a neckline. If you're not sure which one to choose, open your wardrobe and take note of what types of collars your favourite shirts have.
If you'd also like to add more space in other places, take a look at my posts on upsizing clothes and altering armholes. I've also got a post on making necklines smaller.
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The Hosby Dress
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