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Inspirational Details: Bias Bands


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How fun are these bias stripes? You can make your own with this tutorial or use purchased bias tape. Or you could even use a pretty ribbon!

For this detail, I sewed the bias strips across the chest before I sewed the front bodice to the rest of the dress. This way I could sew it easily, without the rest of the garment getting in the way. You can pin or use a washable tape to keep the bias tape in place. It’s up to you as to how many bias strips you want, the color, etc.! I really like the graduated colors on this bodice. It would also look really pretty if you did the same thing along the hem of the skirt.

What do you think? Is this something you would do? Does it give you any good ideas? I really like the simplicity of this and how easy it is to do. I might use it on my next sewing project!

Caitlin Clark   —  

Caitlin is the Colette Patterns design assistant. You can follow Caitlin at her blog, the story girl.

Comments 24


I love this! I also wonder whether you could do one of those 40s/50s scarf treatments where there’s a keyhole or series of slits in a neckline and bodice of a dress that a scarf can be threaded through? I’ve never sewed one before, but always admire them.


That is a detail I really like. It’s a bit sporty. It reminds me of a tennis dress (a vintage style tennis dress, not the modern ones made of high-tech fabrics). The top-stitching is also impeccable!


I hadn’t thought about the sportiness, but you’re completely right!


That is a really cute way to use bias strips! I like the hem idea, too. Or using ones with contrasting fabrics for a little extra fun.


This looks great! I love the fabric the dress is made out of– what is it? I’m trying to work on my fabric vocabulary!


The fabric is just a medium weight cotton broadcloth, I believe. :)


I would kick this up a notch with print bias tape. Or at least alternate it with the solid ones. But great idea in any event! It would also work with printed twill tape. I’ve got some great Baby Phat twill tape that would work fabulously for something like this.


Yes, printed bias tape would be adorable! I’m thinking tiny polka dots, or even stripes!
Time to finally use the bias tape making tutorial :)

Also, I agree with Shannon: more fabric info, please!

Christina Draper

Maybe use some grosgrain ribbon instead for a bit more sheen?


How lovely! Again, it’s simple but adds so much personality to the dress. I like the example of graduated colours, but it all depends on what your primary fabric for the dress is. That could be the pop of colour on a black/neutral dress, a band of solid on a print dress, or as suggested above, a band of print on a solid dress. So inspiring!


This is an awesome idea! It would be very cute with printed bias tape – I’m thinking something with a large design, with the bias tape cut and spaced that the three (or however many) strips still show a larger picture. Does that make sense?

This would be great around the top or bottom of a skirt, too. I wonder how this would look at the top of the Ginger skirt??


Wow, that’s a great (and ambitious sounding) idea. I’d love to see something like that.

Le Petite Hoot

I love Frances’s idea about putting the bias binding at the bottom of a skirt! So going to do that with the next skirt I make.


Thank you! If you do it, be sure to put up some pictures for us to see!


Pretty! I love seeing how you show variations on a theme. So inspirational!


I love it!!!! I am definitely going to have to use this on a version of this dress!

Mary Danielson

Another wonderful embellishment post! I am absolutely loving these, Caitlin. After a year of sewing, I’m just now getting into the fancier tricks of the trade and these posts are so inspiring in that regard. I have some left over Liberty from a few projects, which would be perfect as bias tape rows along a hem. Can’t wait to try it out!


Thanks, Mary! Liberty prints are so beautiful, their fabric is really nice to work with. I’m sure that bias tape will look really pretty :)


Wow! I’m with Mary above… this is such a neat embellishment idea! It looks fairly easy, too – for beginner’s like me. :) Question – are you just simply topstitching the bias binding on top of the front bodice piece? That’s what it looks like to me – and if so, it looks like something I can handle!

I would also like to know the type of fabric you used here as well! Every version of this dress you’ve made is lovely. :)


So glad you like it! Yep, the bias tape is just topstitched on there. You could always hand stitch it if you want so you don’t see the topstitching. As far as the fabric goes, I used a cotton fabric for this project.


I really like this it seems like it would be easy to do yet add a lot to the dress. I just have to practice my top stitching…


I love adding stripes to garments! I find that I can also get similar results using ribbon.

Knitmo portraitofawannabedomesticgoddess.blogspot

I love this detail. I would totally take this detail. It’s simple, yet dramatic — just like me.

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