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Bias binding is a preferred method for finishing projects with edges that need to have a bit of stretch to them. Not all projects sewn on sewing machines need a bias binding; however, it is a useful technique to learn. When practicing making and sewing these finishes with Janome sewing machines like the Janome 2212, consider the three most commonly asked questions about bias binding to help you understand it.

How Much Fabric Do I Need?

The most common question asked by sewists is how to determine the amount of fabric needed to make bias border tape for a specific project. Since the fabric is cut at an angle, it may seem confusing. Fortunately, there is an easy equation that calculates how much square footage is required to produce enough binding to finish projects sewn on sewing machines:

  • Measure the entire perimeter length around your project. This measurement plus about a foot is the length of binding you need to make.
  • Decide if you want to use single-fold or double-fold binding and how wide your binding tape needs to be to accommodate that.  
  • Calculate fabric yardage using the quilter’s “magical math formula” as follows: length x width - square inches; divide that by the square root; and round up to the next whole number. This number is the size of the fabric square you must buy to cut enough bias tape for a project.

How Do I Cut the Bias Tape?

Once you have the measured square of yardage, you need to turn that square into bias cut strips that can then be stitched into binding tape on a machine like the Janome 2212. Use a rotary cutter, cutting mat, and a clear acrylic ruler for best results. Use these steps:

  • With the fabric laid out right side up, diagonally fold from the lower right corner to the upper left to make a wrong side up triangle. Then fold the lower left corner up to the upper right corner to create a smaller triangle.
  • Starting at the left side angle, mark cutting lines on the triangle. The first line at the folded seam should be marked at ½ the width of the tape being made. Mark each subsequent line at the exact width of the tape until the entire triangle has been marked.
  • Cut on the marked lines to create the strips.

How Do I Stitch the Tape Together?

When the fabric has been cut, you are left with bias cut strips of varying lengths that must be stitched together on Janome sewing machines to make the trim tape. This is actually much easier than it seems when you follow these steps:

  • Every cut strip will have a 45-degree angle at both ends except for the first strip, which should be trimmed to a 45-degree angle.
  • Align two strips so the angled ends fit together and any pattern in the fabric is running the right direction. Turn one over so the fabric right sides are in and position it at a right angle. Lay the top strip over the bottom one so the angled ends meet again. Pin the ends together.
  • Using your Janome 2212, stitch the right side together to make a ¼-inch seam. Trim off the excess tips at both sides.
  • Open the seam with the fabric right side down and press the seam flat. When the strip is turned over, you should have a continuous length of bias cut tape. Repeat this process until all of your strips are stitched together and the tape is long enough for your project.

Although bias binding may seem intimidating to make, creating it using Janome sewing machines is not as complicated as you might think. By following the steps mentioned above, anyone with questions on how to accurately measure and cut bias binding and then sew it on sewing machines like the Janome 2212 should find the clarity they need. Once you have the bias binding cut, all you need to do is learn the best techniques for applying it!

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