Making bias tape is shockingly easy. Sure, it’s a little tedious, but it’s really easy. The question is, why would you make bias tape when the fabric store sells it? Maybe you want bias made out of something other than a poly-cotton blend. (Honestly, once you see real silk bias binding, there’s no going back.) Or maybe you found yourself in some sort of silly situation that requires 20 or more yards of bias tape, and payng 3.59$ for every 3 yards of the stuff just failed to look like a good idea. Whatever your reason, here’s how you do it….
Felled seams are sturdy and utilitarian. We’re mostly familiar with them as the re-inforced seams on our jeans, but felling is a very old technique. It was a handworked finish for seams centuries before sewing machines were invented, and was often seen in traditionally home-made items like shirts and chemises. A seam allowance can be felled after the fact. It’s a good finish for both hand and machine sewn seams, and, properly done, is completely invisible from the outside of the garment.
According to my handy-dandy stitch dictionary, this is also called the “open chain stitch” or “Roman chain stitch”. This is a nice, relatively simple, geometric decoration. Because it has a straight edge, you can work it right on top of a machined hem to hide the machine stitches. (I believe in cheating.)
This is a very basic embroidery technique that will serve you well. It’s sometimes called a french knot or a bullion knot. It’s a nice decorative touch. It’s also the absolute fastest way to tie off a thread when you’re sewing – just make the knot on the inside of the garment instead of the outside, and bury the threads!
Sometimes, fabrics don’t play nice. Like, you have a wonderfully soft, light weight, breathable, utterly perfect fabric you want to use for a chemise, or you found the perfect silk chiffon for a veil, and it’s all wonderful-roses-happy-puppies-GLORIOUS… Until you try to cut it, and shifts all over the blasted place and you can’t get a straight line. Oh, bother… Time to pull a thread. I find this the most tediously annoying process in the entire history of ever*, but there are times when it is the only way you’re going to cut a straight line.