Bias Tape Blunder

Sigh. So…while working on the Sorbetto tops, I was ready for the bias tape section and to finish them off.

You know, when I plan out a project, that includes a mental timeline of how long things will take. While I have no problem making bias tape by hand the slow way, and I’m pretty darn good at it, I thought I’d try out a handy dandy Clover tool instead to cut my time down. I’ve seen them used on blogs and they seem so easy and carefree….yeah. Sounds good.

clover 12
clover 12

You know where I’m going with this?

Standardization of labeling bias tape needs to happen. Seriously.

Bias tape, say, if it’s a 1/2 inch, that can mean folded or open 1/2 inch. It really needs to be consistently labeled on ALL things OR we as a sewing community need to decide that a 1/2 inch bias tape is ALWAYS folded or ALWAYS open. I don’t care which of the above options it is. Really. I don’t.

See this spool of bias tape I bought from Dove – it’s marked. 1/2″ …and see the D-F? Double folded.

dove spool
dove spool

And this labeling needs to include bias tape tools. And patterns.

The Sorbetto pattern states a 1/4 inch seam allowance and 1/2 inch bias tape without differentiating between folded or open bias tape. Looking at the photo, I guessed 1/2 inch folded and made and executive decision to go with 1/2 inch folded for my own aesthetic reasons. I think for the most part, we can assume we mean folded. I would think so anyway.

Not so with Clover. JUST SO YOU KNOW….a 1/2 inch bias tape tool means 1/2 inch open.

See, I made a pile of 2″ strips for my 1/2″ folded bias tape…

2 inch strips

I figured my time to make it to be about a half an hour…

clover tool
clover tool

That’s right. That’s a 1/2 inch coming out of that tool. Without the center fold. Sigh.

See….this line up…The Dove 1/2″ spool, 1/2″ bias tape made by me by hand, 1/4″ bias tape made with the 1/2″ Clover tool (see what is wrong there?), some 1″ bought from Dove as well, and a WHOLE BUNCH of hand made 1/2″ bias tape.

bias tapes
bias tapes

But, hot damn, I make fine bias tape. Even if it does take me awhile.

bias tape by hand
bias tape by hand

I had plenty of time while making the bias tape to geek out in my head about the physics of bias tape, versus cutting on the grain. It’s pretty neat when you think about it….the weakened edge of the diamond shape flexes better around curves of a garment. Where as, if you cut with the grain, you’re fighting the square of the weave if you try to ease it around a curve…this is why, when binding a quilt with square edges, it’s not such a big deal to cut on the bias in many quilters’ opinions…you can make binding with grain-cut strips and it may even be sturdier for the whole quilt….Pretty neat to geek out on if you ask me.

I should draw something in Illustrator to show what I mean, maybe? I dunno. I assume people get the physics of it, but you never know.

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