Cut a CONTINUOUS strip of BIAS TAPE (from one square of fabric)

Cut a CONTINUOUS strip of BIAS TAPE (from one square of fabric)

Ooooh, today I have a sewing tip for you……and it’s pretty darn cool!  Also, it’ll save you some money (less fabric waste) and make your sewing life a lot easier.

Let’s talk for a second about Bias Tape.  Have you used it much?  Or at all?  If not…..let me explain briefly what it is.  Bias Tape is strips of fabric cut on the bias (diagonally cut across the grain of the fabric).  And because it’s cut on the bias, it’s a bit stretchier and more flexible.  It is generally used around edges of blankets, hot pads, neck lines, and so many more projects. (In fact, if you type “Bias Tape” into my search bar up in the upper right hand corner, a bunch of project will pop up that I have created using Bias Tape.)

You can buy Bias Tape…..but if you want something in a color other than the standard colors they manufacture, you can easily make it.  However, sometimes it take some time (and lots of wasted fabric) to make diagonal cuts into your fabric.  But let me show you the coolest trick……by cutting it from one single square of fabric, all connected as one continuous strip of Bias Tape.

How to make one CONTINUOUS strip of BIAS TAPE (from one square of fabric) | via Make It and Love It

All you have to sew is 2 seams…..and then you start cutting around and around, resulting in piles of Bias Tape.

And just to make it a little more clear, an 8 inch square will produce about 29 inches of 2-inch wide Bias Tape…..with only 2 seams.  This is perfect if you just need a little bit but don’t want to make a 29 inch diagonal cut into your precious fabric!  Cool, right?

How to make one CONTINUOUS strip of BIAS TAPE (from one square of fabric) | via Make It and Love It

As a comparison, a 14 inch square of fabric produces about 94 inches of 2-inch wide Bias Tape and a 20 inch square produces about 191 inches of 2-inch wide Bias Tape.  A standard package of Bias Tape usually has 3 yards of length, which is 108 inches…….so a 14 inch square produces almost the same amount.

How to make one CONTINUOUS strip of BIAS TAPE (from one square of fabric) | via Make It and Love It

All you need, is a quick visual to help you wrap your head around how those seams are sewn….and then it’s smooth sailing from there.  And you can make Bias Tape with the smallest bits of fabric.  Such a great technique!

How to make one CONTINUOUS strip of BIAS TAPE (from one square of fabric) | via Make It and Love It

Before we get started……there are a lot of pictures below, to help illustrate how this works.  But after you have made this a time or two (and wrap your brain around how it works), you will whip bias tape out in minutes.  And will be so glad you aren’t wasting fabric trying to cut full strips of bias cut tape!!


  • woven cotton fabric
  • large clear ruler
  • fine tipped marker or pen
  • sewing machine

***Check out my Sewing Terms 101 post, for additional help with terminology, etc.

First, decide how long of a 2 inch wide bias cut strip you need.

  • You’ll need a 8 1/2 inch square —– to make approximately 29 inches of a 2 inch wide bias strip
  • You’ll need a 14 1/2 inch square —– to make approximately 94 inches of a 2 inch wide bias strip
  • You’ll need a 20 1/2 inch square —– to make approximately 191 inches of a 2 inch wide bias strip

***These instructions are for making 2 inch wide bias cut strips, which will result in 1/2 inch Double Fold Bias Tape.  If you need something wider or more narrow, you’ll need to recalculate.  For example, if you want to make 4 inch wide cut strips (that will create 1 inch wide Double Fold Bias tape)….you’ll need to cut a square that’s in multiples of 4’s, plus a 1/2 inch added on for a seam allowance.

***Also, I’m sure there’s a much more mathematical way to figure out the exact length of Bias Tape that a particular square of fabric would produce (other than just measuring it, like I did)….but that hurts my head.  And since bias tape stretches, that number may vary as you’re measuring anyway.  So, consider making a slightly bigger square if you’re worried about not having enough.

Okay, let’s get started!

Cut your fabric square (whatever size you’re needing) making sure that it’s an actual square, with 90 degree corners.  (Need help cutting your fabric perfectly straight??)

How to make one CONTINUOUS piece of BIAS TAPE 1

Draw a diagonal line across your square (front or back of fabric…doesn’t matter), just like below, from one corner to the opposite corner, using your ruler.

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Then mark an X at the very top of the fabric and the very bottom of the fabric……and then an O on the right side of the fabric and the left side.  These will be your guides for matching up the fabric later on.

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It’s hard to see in the image above…..but the marks are there. :)

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Now, cut along the diagonal line you made.

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Now, with RIGHT sides together, match up the two edges that have the X on them.

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A small tip of the bottom piece should hang over on the left side and a small tip of the top piece should hang over on the right side.  Just be sure that the layers of fabric are arranged so that both tips are hanging over the same amount.

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Sew the two layers together with a 1/4 inch seam allowance.

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Open up the fabric and iron the seam open along the back.

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Turn right side facing up…..and you can see you have a nice parallelogram.  Cool, right?

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Okay, now you want to start making some lines on your fabric.  It doesn’t really matter if you mark on the front or back of the fabric…..because you’ll cut along the lines and you’ll probably be folding them under to make bias tape.  So, you’ll never see them. [However, it’s actually easier to see the lines if you draw them on the back of the fabric for when you start lining them up (several steps down)….but I drew them on the front of the fabric, so that I could show cutting the strips from the front side of the fabric, way down at the very end.]

Now, be sure that you are making lines that are PARALLEL to the longer edges of your parallelogram…..and use your ruler to draw lines that are 2 inches apart.

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Continue until you have lines all the way across your fabric.

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Depending on if you fabric stretched while ironing or if your square measurement was a tiny bit off, you may have a little extra left over.  That’s okay…..just trim it off.

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Now…’s where the magic happens. 

Place your fabric down in front of you with the RIGHT side of the fabric FACING UP.  Then, fold the two longer tips back into towards the center, creating a square shape.  If you keep the sides even, you will see that the drawn lines actually line up with each other.  (My lines are a little harder to see them because I drew them on the other side…..but you can still see them.)  See how the red arrows are lining up?  And so are all the other drawn blue lines?  Well, you actually don’t want them to.


What you want to do is pull the upper triangle tip on the left and pull it slightly over to the left….and then pull the lower triangle tip over on the right, and pull it slightly over to the right.  Keep pulling until the lines have all shifted over one line….and re-aligned with the next line.  See how the red arrows are now shifted over one line??  That’s what you want.


The very last line on both sides, will line up with the fabric edge below it.

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Now, keep those lines shifted over one line and lined up and grab the two edges of fabric and try to force that edge to face each other, with right sides together.

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It will feel a bit awkward since the fabric is shifted and cut at angles…but do your best to line up these edges with each other.

Now, you are trying to keep the drawn pen line from the front layer of fabric together with the pen line on the back layer of fabric …..but don’t try and line them up exactly.  You will notice that the lines are going in different directions, and you want them to intersect 1/4 inches down from the fabric edge.  And once you do that, the spot where the lines end on the very edge of the fabric, won’t line up with each other.  They should end slightly apart, like shown below.

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Now, in order to have one continuous line once you turn the fabric right side out, you must be sure that the two lines are intersecting (where the red arrow is pointing down below) right at 1/4 inch down from the top edge.  The grey dotted line is just showing where the draw line is on back fabric layer.

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To test your fabric placement, place a pin 1/4 inch down from the edge and take a peek from the other side of the fabric.

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If you place it down in front of you, you’ll see that your drawn lines are now making one continuous line.  See that?  That’s because you let the lines intersect 1/4 inch down from the top edge.

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If you try and line up the lines along the very top edge of the fabric (and not 1/4 inch down), and then sew it together, it will look like this….and your lines won’t be lined up.

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Once you have the first pin in place, the rest of the lines should be easy to pin.  But check each one, just to be sure.  When you reach an end, the very last line will intersect with the edge of the fabric.  Just be sure that the final line intersects with the edge of the fabric, 1/4 inch down from the top edge…..just the same way as the others.

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And there you go…..your pins should all be in place.  Now, sew right along the pinned edges, 1/4 inch from the edge.

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And then do your best to iron this seam open….trying to not add any extra extra creases to your fabric.

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Now, if you drew your lines on the WRONG side of your fabric…’ll start cutting from the WRONG side of the fabric, but since I drew my lines on the RIGHT side of the fabric, I turned my tube of fabric right side out…..and then started cutting along my drawn line.

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Now, the cool thing is that the line will now continue around, and around, and around……..and will result with one continuous long strip of fabric.


And yep, it’s all cut on the bias — SO COOL, RIGHT??

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And yes, you’ll have seams connecting fabric pieces together…..but they attached at a diagonal (which is the best way to attach bias strips) and they’re already all ironed flat, since you did that earlier.

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Pretty awesome, right??

Now practice it a few more times……and then you’ll use this technique every single time!

How to make one CONTINUOUS strip of BIAS TAPE (from one square of fabric) | via Make It and Love It



Cut a CONTINUOUS strip of BIAS TAPE (from one square of fabric)


Ah ha…. I have looked at diagrams of this method SEVERAL times and have always been to directionally challenged to figure it out! This looks very clear now. No one had mentioned the lines crossing 1/4 inch from the edge. I’ll give it a try today. Thanks so much!

I think that’s what messes most people up…..that 1/4 inch thing. But once that clicks and you have it in your hands, it’s kind of amazing how it all works out. Super cool! :)

Good luck!

Your tute is excellent, thank you! The 1/4 inch thing messed me up the first time I tried (following a different tutorial). This time I followed yours, but I did one extra step. Before I started matching up the lines, I ruled a line 1/4″ from edges I was matching, ie where the seam would be. It really helped me to get the diagonal lines intersecting correctly and then I just stitched over it. The result was perfect!

Uh oh! I think the 2nd seam is missing from this explanation! ;-) Otherwise, I think this is all very clear, thank you very much for this detailed tutorial.

This looks so cool! I got a bit confused, but I will just have to try it hands on and I’m sure I’ll be ever so grateful. I love making my own bias tape and the worst part is sewing all those tiny pieces together. So thank you for this cool trick! I can’t wait to try it!

If you like making your own bias tape, you’ll love this. Try a 14.5 inch square first…’s a great size to practice on!

Good luck!

You’ve made THE CLEAREST explanation among over 10 others that I’ve read about this technique!

Awwwwww, thanks so much! You must have a brain like mine…..and my explanation makes sense to you. Maybe there are some who have no clue what I’m talking about?? Haha! :)

Good luck….you’ll love making this. It’s pretty cool!

Wait- the last pinned part, do you sew it, or just iron it open after pinning it? My brain says sew it, but the tutorial doesn’t.
This is a very clever idea!

Sorry, someone above just pointed that out…’s all fixed! Yep, just a simple seam and then iron it open like the picture. Whew!

Good luck, you’ll love this!

i was a little worried seeing how long this post was, i was afraid i’d be totally confused. but once this all ‘clicked’ i can see how really easy this is!!! and a huge bonus to no t have to use so much fabric! this is great!!!

Hahaha…..I knew some would think that! That’s why I included that disclaimer at the top about all the pictures but once you see it all, a light switches on, right?? So glad this was helpful!


My comment reflects what your other readers are all saying… I’ve read through numerous tutorials on how to do this, and was always left feeling befuddled. I always appreciate your thorough explanations, Ashley. Your photos were spot on and greatly appreciated for this visual learner! I’ll toss another “thank-you” onto your growing pile! I now feel confident that I can successfully create continuous strips of bias tape!

Oh good……I’m so glad this cleared up the confusion. it really is a cool technique! I’m most excited that I don’t use so much fabric anymore.

Good luck!

Ohhh Ashley what a relexad feeling i have after your this very practical approach tutorial … Its such a gift like thing… Thank you so much for sharing
Kindest regard

Ashley – I have never heard of this technique! Super cool. And your explanations and pictures are very clear. Thank you!

Add me to the list of people who have seen this explained numerous times and not totally understood. I have even made it for a quilt binding, but — mine was not nice and straight, I ended up wasting some fabric AND matching those points to make the “X” 1/4″ down really does seem to be the key. Thanks for the great tutorial!

Now I have to un-PIN all the other tuto I have about making biais tape!

Could you tell me why it has to be a square, not a rectangle?

Oh my! When you posted about making binding for your kids quilts AGES ago on the straight I wanted to show you this simple technique! I’m SO glad you found it! Not only is it easier, but WAY more durable on a quilt! You may also want to show how you can do this with yardage! I just did this yesterday with 1/2 yard to make 3″ strips for my entire baby quilt! So easy! Thanks for sharing!

When I made Dorothy’s costume from the wizard of Oz the instructions for this technique were in the pattern but nothing as clear or precise as your instructions and photos! Great job. Thanks for sharing.

This is so cool and very timely for me! We have a new grand daughter I’m getting to sew for and I will be using tons of bias tape! I am so technically challenged but I think I can do this. Thanks so much from The Brod Abode in Texas

Thank you, Ashley! I’ve seen this explained several times, but this is by far the best tutorial! I’m ready to go make some bias tape to use on my daughter’s summer wardrobe!

Thank you Ashley! I already use the 12mm Prym tape maker for ironing the bias tape that I have made, plus the bias binding foot on my sewing machine, so this method of cutting longer strips is fantastic. I shall share this in the UK with fellow stitchers!

Wow! I can’t believe that only a 14″ square will make almost the same amount I’ve been buying in the store. Think of the money I’ll save! Thank you so much!

Wow! That looks amazing! It’s a bit like an Escher-based sewing project! I shall find a square of suitable fabric and give it a whirl. Wish me luck!

You have the absolute BEST tutorials! I have made bias tape before using other tutorials, but I always dread it. Now I don’t have to! Thank you so much!

Aaha… What a great idea, I always scrued up here making bias tape, I had wasted lot of fabric and most of the times I sew strips wrong… Lot of confusion.
Now I try this, have some calculation to do carefully, but I guess later we can do easily. Thanks a lot

Ashley, Thank you I have tried and other tutorials have been confusing…you explained in clearly and instructions are so easy and clear…Thank you…

Ashley, I have never seen this before. This is so cool. I am so going to try this. I hate sewing all those strips together. Thank you for this post!!!

Augh!! I got so excited when I realized what this was about! I totally hate wrecking fabric to make bias tape. I LOVE this! I want to go try this right now! Thanks so much for sharing!

Best tutorial I have seen for doing this, and I’ve seen more than I like to remember. Also a deep and earnest thank you for your time, energy and thought that has had to go into this tutorial. Unless you’ve done it you don’t know what it takes. Thanks again.

Thank you so so much for this perfect tutorial! Just lately I have tried from another tute I had found but just couldn’t get it right. Even asked Hubby to help me and it took us ages to figure it out. I am so thankful for your pefect explanation – now I know I won’t have to ask Hubby the next time I want to cut bias!

fantastic!!!!! thank you!!! very very much..i’m english not perfect..excuse me.. cristina

Ashley, this is so cool! I’ve never tried bias tape but I think now I will thanks to this tutorial!
The instructions are very clear and pictures are perfect.
I love your blog! Its my go-to for all things sewing! Thanks!

This is so great. I will try this, as in now! Thank you so much for a very clear illustration and instruction. *giggle* ooh, can’t wait. :-D

Ok. You have officially saved my life. I hate buying bias tape, yet use it constantly. THANK YOUR CLEVER BRAIN!!!!!!!!! ???????✌

I learnt this version of bias binding many years ago but your photos and explanations make it even more accurate! Thanks for sharing your expertise with us!

I spent 30+ years in technical writing/editing and your tutorial is is one of the finest combinations of elegant explanation and easily understood graphics I’ve seen, professional or otherwise. Finally I understand the mysteries of the mobius bias tape method! Bravo, and thank you.

Ashley your brilliant, I’ve always wondered how to do this, you put so much work in to it thank you, beautiful clear pictures and detailed script, I’m loving it. I make large quilts so no more tiny seams for me, virtual hug.

Ups sorry did that twice by mistake , meant to comment I totally agree with what you wrote Athena

Ashley your brilliant, I’ve always wondered how to do this, you put so much work in to it thank you, beautiful clear pictures and detailed script, I’m loving it. I make large quilts so no more tiny seams for me, virtual hug.

You are crazy! Honestly, I very, very kind of ” is this magic or what?!” right now.

I have never-ever heard of that technique before. THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!

And, by the way, this is the 5th project of yours that ai’ve devoured in like 10 minutes.I LOVE the way you describe what you see and explain and wow!

Yeah, well, I go make some bias tape right now…

You made it easy and while it all helped, the simple x’s and o’s made it possible for me. I won’t tell you how much “bias tape” I messed up. thank you.

This is a WONDERFUL tutorial! I have never really figured out bias tape – and even when I tried, it was so annoying to piece everything together. Thank you for this post!

Hi Ashley,
Thank you sooo much for that tutorial. I’ve always wanted to make my own bias but lacked confidence. This made it so much easier. I did struggle with matching the lines because my fabric was very light. What I did to resolve that was to iron a 1/4″ fold on either end. That made it really easy to see that the lines were matching. Thank you for sharing your talent and experience.

Thank you for sharing this wonderful tip. This is saving me a good bit of money on several projects and making them so much nicer with matching binding.?

Hi Ashley,

Thanks for the great tutorial, I will be using this a lot. Not sure if anyone else figured it out for you already, but you were wondering if there is a mathmatical way to figure out the length of bias tape you will get from a given sized square. There is…

(width of fabric x width of fabric / width of bias tape desired) x 0.9 = approximate length of bias tape produced.

I originally tried to explain why that works but it sounded super confusing so I thought I’d just give you the calculation. :) The multiplying by 0.9 at the end is basically to account for seam allowances and the triangle shape at the end of the tape that can’t be used.

Brilliant! Thank you so much for sharing. This method will make cutting bias tape so much easier and just as I am in the midst of quilting Christmas gifts.

Thank you for the tutorial! I was actually directed to another website but found your when I searched Google for it. How lucky for me! I’m making a tote bag for a Christmas gift for my daughter and when the directions said to make your own bias tape, I panicked! When I started reading your tutorial, I thought I can do this! Thank you for the clear concise directions as I was successful and the bag looks great! I had to read the matching at the 1/4″ mark at least 15 times and finally just did it, it was slightly off but still works, next time will be a snap!

I will want to thank you for the excellent explication you did for the biais, I learn this a long long time ago but I loose the information, but now I’m very please to see your site so Thank you again from Québec Canada

Thank you for this tutorial. Worked really well until I went to cut the strips from the tube…..I cut through the tube and ended up with a whole lot of little tubes! DOH. So annoying

thanks for this excellent tutorial – i am making my daughter a party dress in an unusual sort of pink/grey fabric which is really pretty but at the same time i can’t find anything that matches it colour wise – i need some bias tape for the armholes and was worried that it would look odd – now i know i can make my own in the very same fabric this will help me soooo much thank you!

Thank you for posting such great ideas and easy to follow instructions! I am going to give this a try for making my own piping!

Fantastic instructions for a complicated concept.
I left other sites because I could not understand the explanations.
I have bookmarked you!
Thanks, Toni

How many seams should I have? I used a 12″ square and I have 7 seams. Does that sound correct?

Thank you so much. I have made my own bias tape in the past but really resent how wasteful the techniques i learned are. This is awesome.

Just discovered your site and it’s so useful! I am re-embracing my sewing machine and trying to make a skirt… I would like to add piping so this tutorial and your piping one are great! Thanks

You, madam, are a genius! You somehow walked me through this tutorial in a way that allowed me to do this the first time! Now what am I going to do with all the extra fabric pieces? :) Thanks, great tutorial.

Thank you Ashley! I have looked at so many tutorials on making continuous bias strips. I even made a few and they always turned out wonky. Now I understand about the 1/4 seaming. It makes so much sense. Looking forward to making strips out of my fabric scraps. Happy sewing!

Hey, Ashley, this is fabulous. You did an incredible job. I’ve been sewing since Noah’s Ark (actually, I’m the one who made all their quilts, and I gotta tell ya that making the body warmer for those giraffes was tough) and yours is the best tutorial. Ever. Thanks so much. Cameron

Hahaha…….how cute are you! So glad you were taking care of those long necks! ;)

And thanks Cameron, that means a lot! :)

Ashley! You did the single best tutorial I’ve ever seen on this method. Some of the things I knew intuitively from being a long time sewer. However, you did not leave anything to guess. You explained every thought process that goes into doing this perfectly. The fact that you marked the x and o side. I’ve been confused about which side to mark after cutting the diagonal, and then matched the drawn lines at the 1/4 inch mark. Marvelous! I’m doing this today. Thank you!.

Wow, thanks so much Caro! I’m so glad it helped and actually made sense! I sometimes wonder….haha! ;)

It’s such a cool way to make a small piece of fabric just work for you though. I love it too!!! -Ashley

Thank you so much!! Awesome tutorial. I haven’t tried yet but just wanted to thank you for clear instructions. I’ve been avidly reading your blog while making newborn projects so also wanted to thank you for all your posts!

Great idea if you don’t mind shorter length pieces with seams, some with 2 intersecting seams. I need one 30″ piece of bias tape and since it is to finish a neck I don’t wish to have seams (added bulk creating bumps) … Couldn’t do it with this technique. Better factoring in a bias cut needed when laying out patter pieces.
Good tutorial however – thanks.

I have been a sewer FOREVER and have used bias tape many times….cutting it the old fashioned way. Thanks so much for the tutorial and the pictures especially (worth a thousand words for sure) – plan on using the bias tape on aprons for my daughter. I guess you CAN teach an old dog a new trick!!!! Thanks again!

Thank you so much for the amazing high quality of what you’ve done.

I’m 70, been sewing since I was 14, and just made my first try at your method and could not be more pleased. Insecurities aside, I did as you said and it is perfect! You’ll laugh at my measurements, though. Since there is no formula to predict amount, I used a 30″-square and the tape is 2 12″ wide. After all, too much is so much better than not enough, right? I need more than the 190″ you said we could get from a 14 1/2″-square making the tape 2″ wide. Wanna guess how many inches I got? 344! Now I’ll have to make another quilt to use the extra 140″.

Thank you, again, so much. Your words and your pics are the best tutorial I’ve seen. Cameron

Thank you for the comprehensive tutorial! The pictures and downloads are fantastic! I have made bias tape in the past, but needed a formula for tape wider that 2 inches. Your Excel spreadsheets are a tremendous help! Thank you for posting these online.

Perfect! Now, if I could just get someone to explain the “traditional Chinese pants” made of two squares of fabric at OfDreamsAndSeams…

Ingenious! This trick just saved me a ton of fabric and heartache. Thank you. :)

You can also do this with a rectangle! Make a 45 degree cut anywhere through the long side and stitch it back together to form a parallelogram, like usual. Then do the same offsetting trick as above, so that the lines you drew on the fabric form a “spring” in 3D space. Cut along the line/”spring” as usual.

This is so cool. 8 will definitely give this a try!!! Thanks so much for the great instructions and pictures

Thank you sew very much for posting this amazing tutorial! I have seen similar ones and never felt I quite got the concept on how to do it. I am not afraid to try now!!!! I have always wanted to try this to save on fabric. And sewing and pressing two seams is much better than sewing all the ones and trimming and pressing separately!
I am a visual learner and with your tips of drawing the x’s and o’s plus the 1/4 inch edge expanation makes this sooooo doable for anyone.

really awesome trick to make a bias tape I always felt lazy to join the pieces of bias because it would always go wrong

I LOVE YOU! This worked perfectly and it has totally rocked my world! First time!!! Your directions are perfect. I am bookmarking this for EVER!

Thank you for the time you spend on this post.

YAY! thank you for showing this tutorial step by step and the mistakes I’ve been doing every time i try it! Best tutorial I have found so far! … I found it in your comment box on :)

Thank you so much for this well-thought out, no-brainer tutorial. I read thru it once and then took the plunge! Soooo satisfying. Now I have no excuse to get my slipcovers done well before Christmas!

Thank you so much for sharing. I have often avoided making bias because of the fabric waste. This is amazing. I will definitely use this.

How big did you cut your square? I cut mine 8 1/2 square abd only was able to make three 2 inch lines and now I’m stuck on the step where I am suppose to line them up. I’m confused I think I did something wrong

Thank you for such clear instructions. I’ve made continuous bias tape a handful of times before and always need to read instructions. I tried last weekend and somehow screwed it up, but attempt number two with your instructions worked like a charm. Thank you for saving my sanity!

Haha oh no!!! I managed to follow the directions just fine but must have turned the piece inside out at one stage… Ended up with seams not facing the same way after I cut it! I’ll have to seam rip and resew. Whoopsies… won’t make that mistake again!

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