While I see those jazzy (and expensive) electric bias tape makers everywhere, I didn’t realize that handy little manual tape makers also existed. Why didn’t I know about these things? These gadgets go by the name of “bias tape makers.” I always appreciate a product that is named for what it is or what it does.
Recently, as I was rummaging through my yard sale loot box looking for a zipper I discovered that I actually own one of these bias tape makers. There it was NIB (new in box) just waiting to be opened. I immediately had to try it out – without reading the directions of course – and was thrilled with the ease of making 1/4″ bias tape, not noticing that according to the package it was a 1/2″ bias tape maker. When I learned to follow the correct process I was even happier with the results.
This is a very easy and inexpensive solution for anyone who wants to make custom bias tape in short lengths. Here is how it works: cut your fabric 4 times the desired width of your finished tape. If you want 1/2″ tape, then cut 2″ width. Cutting on the bias (diagonal), of course. Thread the strip of fabric through the bias tape maker and then iron it as it comes out the other end. There is a little coordination factor involved requiring pulling the gadget along in one hand while ironing with the other. I managed to succeed without burning myself with the iron so most anybody could probably master this technique.
Googling “bias tape maker” shows that Clover USA is a lead player in the sewing gadget world. Clover products include not only manual bias tape maker in five different sizes, but also a fusible bias tape maker (even more important to read the instructions), and a plethora of other sewing tools, gadgets, and hardware. Clover’s blog offers useful sewing tips and information of interest to sewists, knitters and quilters, in addition to the usual informercial aspect. Worth a look. (I’m not being compensated in any way to promote Clover – unfortunately.) Guess what Annie’s getting for her birthday from me?