Time savers: Use a pin to fold bias tape


I’ve written before about my love of the Clover bias tape makers for folding bias tape.

Here’s another quick and easy way to fold bias tape, using just a pin and you’re ironing board.

First, fold and press the beginning of the bias tape to get it started. Lay it flat on your ironing board and insert a pin on your ironing board cover, on each side of the folded tape (see the photo).

Now simply pull the tape under the pin as you press. The pin will fold the tape for you perfectly, and it’s very easy to see what you’re doing. I love this trick, and it doesn’t require any special tools.

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Sarai Mitnick   —   Founder

Sarai started Colette back in 2009. She believes the primary role of a business should be to help people. She loves good books, sewing with wool, her charming cats, working in her garden, and eating salsa.

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Comments 29

Nina toftsnummulite.blogspot.co.uk

Does it really work as well as the Clover gizmo? If so, I can stop collecting all the different sizes!

Sarai colettepatterns.com

It might be a little tricky to use this tip for larger sizes, unless you have some pretty long pins! But for this size, I found it worked just as well, actually.


Thanks! I’m going to try this!

Kerry kestrelfindsandmakes.blogspot.com

Clever! I’ll be giving this a go.

Elise Lin eliselin1.blogspot.com

That’s a smart tip, thanks!

Hana velvetribbonsew.blogspot.com

That’s brilliant :-)


I have used this technique before it is great. A handy tip to do whilst doing this is to have starching liquid in your iron steamer. I made my own by adding corn starch to water. It makes the bias temporarily ridged, keeping its pressed shape and it’s really easy to work with.

Sarai colettepatterns.com

Excellent tip, Fiona! I’m going to try this next time.


Thanks, you have given me plenty of amazing tips, so I am delighted to be able to give you something back!

Marina von Koenig

This is brilliant! Thanks for sharing )


fantastic idea! thanks so much!

Jess sometimessewist.wordpress.com

Never would’ve thought of that! Great tip.

[email protected] itunes.apple.com

Re earlier questions and different sizes of Clover bias tape makers (I’m a fan of the Clover ones, the rest are junk)….you do want different sizes. For example, the bias tape on a quilt will be different from one used for a garment. I think the pin trick is in addition to to the tape-maker, am I right? Another thought – use the bias glue tape (strips found in a roll usually in notions) to keep the fabric tape from unfolding. Iron to unleash the glue’s goodness onto the fabric tape!

soisewedthis soisewedthis.blogspot.com

Genius! i wish i had thought of that, but i will be trying that from now on!


Oh, rats!

I spent *hours* last night ironing bias tape to make boning channels for a dress I’m making. I wish I’d seen this yesterday! But I will definitely keep it in mind for the future. Thanks for the tip!


I’ve seen this before and it’s the only way I do bias tape, as I don’t own a Clover maker. I do frequently feel frustration with this method, though, particularly for larger sizes, as I feel it’s hard to keep the tape even. I haven’t tried a Clover, so I can’t compare, but I did ask for one for Christmas, because I don’t feel this method to be good enough.

Anne Sharkey tulleandtweed.com

Yes, I had a recent trial with sheer silk as even with feeding it through the bias tape maker it was very fiddly. I think this would have been a better approach. Thanks for the tip.

lisa g notesfromamadhousewife.blogspot.com

i’ll have to try this since i don’t have a bias tape maker. genius!

Bea cancuncookies.com

You are soooo clever! Will try it soon! Thanks :)


No really? I have this T-Shirt waiting for me. Does this really really work? Adding this to the must-try pile!

Angela bonnechanceblogspot.blogspot.com

Wow that is a great tip, I can’t wait to try it!


I used this last night when or king on the binding for a quilt for my grandson. It took a little time setting it up but was so worth it! I will use this often. Thank you for your wonderful tips!

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Joyce flickr.com

I have done this forever and even though I have the Clover gismos I usually use the pin. I need to remember to use starch next time :-)

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[…] to make a sorbetto, you can find a tutorial on making your own bias tape (what I did) here and how to use a pin instead of a bias tape maker (also what I did, although I ironed the folds after pulling the fabric under the pin).  And in […]

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[…] tutorials about how to do just that by using the ironing board and a sewing pin, like this one from Coletterie. Which was surprisingly easy and even, dare I say it, a little bit fun […]

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[…] bound the centre back seams before putting in my zip. This didn’t go that well. I used the pin method to fold my bias tape as I don’t have one of the maker thingies and it was pain in the arse and didn’t really […]

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[…] Making bias tape with a pin (or two pins) […]

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