(Sorry, the contest is now closed.... though you're welcome to leave a comment if you like.)
It's Sew, Mama, Sew Giveaway time again.
I love bias tape. It is so useful and so easy to use... finishing edges... finishing seams... And while the pre-packaged stuff has it's place and I use it often, I really like to have patterned bias tape as well. Enter one of my favorite little tools: the bias tape maker. This one make 3/4 inch bias tape and I will be giving one away at the end of this post.
But first, I thought some of you might like to see what it does if you've never used one before. I don't have a rotary cutter, nice cutting mats, or even a proper cutting table (I cut-out things on my floor), so if I can do this, so can you. Here is my admittedly quirky method.
Step 1: Lay out the fabric and fold a corner over to find the bias. The woven threads should be at right angles to the part you turned up.
Step 2: Using a ruler and some sort of marking instrument (I use tailor's chalk), start drawing lines about 1 1/4 inches wide. (The tape maker is for 3/4 inch tape, doubled that is 1 1/2 inches, but this is too thick so I subtract a quarter inch.) Keep drawing lines until you have as many strips as you need. Being careful to keep your fabric doubled, cut on the lines you've drawn.
Now you should have a big pile of bias strips.
Step 3: Now you sew the strips together. Take two and with right sides together, match-up the ends of two strips at right angles. (I cut my strips to make them square on the ends because it's easier for me to see how the strips fit together.) Sew corner to corner... I've drawn a line showing where the stitching line is.
Step 4: After you've sewn all the strips together, trim the seams.
When you open the seam to the right side, you'll see you have a long strip.
Step 5: Press the seams open.
Step 6: Take your bias tape maker and turn it upside down (the colored plastic part is the top) and slide the end of your bias strip into the slot right side up. I use my seam ripper to push the fabric through to the end.
Turn is over and pull the fabric all the way through and then begin to press the folds into place. This goes pretty quickly; pulling the tool with your left hand while pressing with your right.
I usually go over the bias tape once more with an iron just to be sure it is set, then you can either use it right away or wrap it on a piece of cardboard to save for a later day.
And now to the giveaway (finally... I know): I will be giving away one 3/4 inch bias tape maker, two patterned bias tapes (the aqua print is ~3 yards and the yellow is 5+ yards) and...
Two fat quarters so you can make your own bias tape right away. I've found one fat quarter will make at least 3 yards of bias tape.
How to win? Simple. Just leave a comment AND an email address. I don't even have a special question to ask... just say hi or tell me what you use bias tape for or your favorite method for fitting patterns (my particular obsession at the moment) or whatever pops into your head. The giveaway will be open until the end of the 25th, I'll randomly draw the winner on the 26th and let you know who won. I'll ship to the US and Canada.
I'll stop rambling now so you can get on your way to the next blog and see what's being given away there.