Tutorial: Adding BiasTrim. A Hand-illustrated Guide

By Victoria As-it-Seams - 15:12

Want  a bit more colour on a collar? Or a pocket? Or a cuff?
Bias trim is the new piping!

I like the flatness of the finish, and the almost 'military' stripes it can add to a dress, like this newly finished Tinny dress, blogged here.  

Before I go straight in to the Step-by-Step, here's a few thoughts.

 I'm not a computer whizz... new stuff takes me ages. I have no idea how to draw computer diagrams, and I forgot to take photos of each step (I sew at night, anyway, so the light is awful)....
But I can draw... And I can draw a collar much quicker than I can figure out the computer. So this is my first hand-illustrated tutorial. I'm hoping this will start a trend for 'slowblogging', after the Slow Food Movement... I'm taking a rebellious stance against the relentless high pace of the tech-world. My emphasis is on quality and process and  the things we forget about, like pen and paper....But I digress, here we go...

Adding Bias Trim - A Step by Step Guide...

1. This tutorial is to add bias trim to the collar of the Tinny dress, by Straightgrain. It would work with any pattern, however I will be using Straightgrain's pattern instructions (eg seam allowance) as a point of reference. If using another pattern, with a different seam allowance, adjust instructions accordingly

2. How wide do you want your bias trim to be? The width of your bias needs to be four times the width you would like visible. Eg, a 0.5cm (1/4 inch) trim requires a 2cm ( 1nch) wide bias binding. 
These instructions are for adding 0.5cm visible wide trim. Your bias binding should be pre-folded with 0.5 cm tucked under on each side

3. Fold the bias binding in half lengthwise and iron, to create a centre crease.

4. Cut out the collar pieces, and pin wrong sides together. The Tinny dress collar has a 7mm (1/4 inch) seam allowance. We need to stitch the collar pieces together just slightly more than that. Stitch with a 1cm (3/4inch) seam allowance

5. Trim away the 7mm (1/4 inch) seam allowance

6. Open up the bias binding and pin it with lots of pins -  many more than in this picture - all the way around the collar edge, matching the edge of the bias to the edge of the collar. Stitch at 0.5cm, in the fold of the bias binding.
6. Now, fold the bias around the edge of the collar with the central crease of the bias matching the collar edge. Iron really well, pushing out the curved seam, and ensuring it lies flat

7. Now, turn the collar piece over and pin the loose side of the bias trim to the collar underside, again with lots and lots of pins. Hand stitch the bias in place, using an invisible slip stitch. Alternatively if you don't mind visible stitching, the bias can be stitched in place carefully using a sewing machine

8. Repeat for the other collar piece, and then follow the pattern instructions as normal.

Tinny dress

I used the same technique on this modified collar for the  Sunday picnic dress  by Sewpony. I loved the Liberty bias trim so much I just had to show it off!

I'd love to see your bias trim creations! Do share them with me and let me know of any new places to add extra bias!

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  1. Seriously: This may be the most beautiful tutorial I've ever seen! Yay for slow-blogging! This is amazing!

  2. OMG. ^ What she said. I cannot even tell you how taken I am with your lovely illustrations!! Sooooo pretty! You need to write a book!

  3. I'm a big fan of slow sewing (handsewing), but your slow blogging just blows me away. Those drawings are so beautiful!
    I recently sewed a vintage inspired little pinafore finished with bias trim:

  4. What a beautiful tutorial :) Love your drawings :)

  5. I wish I could draw like that!
    It really gives the tutorial an authentic feel.
    yay for slow-blogging

  6. Beautiful illustrations - really special. And the dress is stunning, too.

  7. Beautiful illustrations!!! and a great tutorial. Thanks for sharing!

  8. I do love your illustrations, you super talented lady you.


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