How to Make Bias Tape
for Doll Body Casings

I prefer to make my own bias tape because the pre-packaged kind is doublefolded and is therefore too bulky.

WOVEN... You should use woven fabric for bias tape, although I suppose it's theoretically possible to get bias out of a knit fabric as well but we usually think of bias tape being made from woven fabric.

FIRST... I use approximately one yard of broadcloth and open it up so it is single. Grab one corner and fold it over to the opposite selvage edge so your fabric is now folded in a triangle shape. Square it off as best you can along the selvage edge. (The selvage edge is the side that is woven, not cut by scissors.)

NOW... the diagonal folded side of your fabric ought to be a near perfect bias. Flatten the fold (or iron it) and then cut along the entire diagonal fold. Leave the fabric folded double, don't separate the two pieces.

NEXT... take a yardstick and a #3 pencil and lightly draw a long line one inch from the bias edge that you just cut. Then draw another line one inch from that. Continue drawing straight lines, spaced evenly. Each line will be a bit shorter as you work into the corner.

CUT... along each one of those lines. When you are finished, you will have LOTS of bias tape for making lots of doll bodies.

SEWING... To sew the bias tape to the doll bodies, just fold it in half. (Sometimes I iron pieces in half before I stitch them.) That's all I do: I don't try to make the bias casing like the packaged kind with extra folds because I don't like the bulk of the double fabric.

STITCH... the bias casing to the neck or armhole as you would any other seam, so the unfinished fabric edges end up inside the doll body where they won't be seen.

WHAT ABOUT THE ENDS... When attaching the bias casing to the doll body, how do you finish the ends? If you fold them over, it looks neat but then you might have a very difficult time getting the cable tie threaded through the casing. The cable tie will get caught in the fold. You can leave bias tape raw, if you want to, and don't fold it at all-- but it will fray a little bit.

OR... you can fold just ONE END of the casing and leave the other end raw. When you insert the cable tie, insert in the folded end first and then the tie will come out the raw side without getting caught. When you draw the cable tie tight, you can arrange the connection so your neatly folded side shows more than the raw side. This compromise solution has worked for me.

Copyright (c) 2002, 2012 Cynthia Stevens All Rights Reserved