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Learn how to sew Bias Binding with our bias binding tutorial!

I’m working on producing a library of sewing tutorials for Maven Patterns.

They will all be here in one place, updated to keep relevant with each new pattern release and covering every technique on a pattern by pattern basis.

That way you can look up new stuff if you want to, do your own thing, or do what I do…look it up and then do my own thing anyway, because there is always more than one good way to sew anything 😉

It will also help to keep the Maker Instructions with each pattern concise, clear and relevant. You only need to learn how to do binding once, what you don’t need is a massive pattern file on your computer taking up space!

So in support of my next pattern, here is a lovely big binding tutorial! (If you just want to know How to Sew your binding CLICK  HERE for the condensed tutorial.)

The Big Bias Binding Tutorial

How to cut, make, join & stitch bias binding

Bias binding is a great way to finish the raw edge of a garment. It is hugely versatile and can be used on necklines, armholes, hems, pretty much anywhere really. You can buy ready made binding from your local haberdashery shop or make your own and use up some of those scraps!

There are really two types of binding for our purposes:

DOUBLE BIAS BINDING is on show from the right side of the garment and can be decorative if made in a contrasting fabric.

SINGLE BIAS BINDING: It can be used in lieu of a facing on an armhole or neckline, and apart from a row of topstitching, only be seen on the inside.

Prepare the Binding

If you are using a Maven Pattern, I always include a pattern piece for each bias strip needed so just use that and be sure to follow the grainline as it must be cut on the BIAS GRAIN of your fabric.

How to cut your own bias binding

Your strips need to be cut on the bias grain of your cloth, so they will stretch around curves (armholes, necklines etc) and lay flat once stitched.

(There are times to use binding cut on the straight grain, usually for the edges of quilts, but if in doubt cut on the bias.)

TIP: If my fabric is a little unstable I’ll either tape it to the table to stop it moving, or pin the fabric to paper, at the marking stage before cutting the strips.

First you will need to find the TRUE BIAS (often just referred to as the bias grain) of the fabric. The bias of the fabric runs at a 45 degree angle to the lengthwise grain (along the selvedge) and the crosswise grain (the width of the cloth).

MAVEN PATTERNS BINDING TUTORIAL- how to layout fabric ready to cut bias binding

To find the true bias: square off one end of your fabric. Fold the fabric diagonally so the crosswise grain is parallel to the selvedge/lengthwise grain (forming a triangle shape as above). Press the fabric along this fold to mark the bias grain.

MAVEN PATTERNS BINDING TUTORIAL - cut out your binding on the bias grain of the fabric

Open the fabric out and using your pressed line as a guide, mark out your bias strips to your desired width, keeping them parallel to your fold line.

Your strips need to be 4 times your finished width, I usually find cutting 4cm wide for a finished binding of 1cm works well. Cut as many bias strips as you need to complete your project. You can mark with a fabric marker pen, but if you are careful and mark on the reverse of your cloth, I’ve found a pencil or ballpoint pen works well as they give an accurate line and you don’t lose your marks too quickly. But do make sure you do a test first!


To join to ends of binding together (or separate pieces if you need a long continuous strip)

Lay your binding strips on top of each other with Right sides together and at 90 degree angle to each other.

Stitch across the diagonal to join as shown in the picture.

Trim away the excess to leave a 6mm seam allowance and press this seam open.

join and sew a loop of bias binding, Maven Patterns Bias tutorial

To finish the sleeve hem on The French Dart Shift Dress, or to bind an armhole, you will need to make a loop of binding as above.

I like to join first and then press my bias strip into binding. I use a sleeve board at the pressing stage to help so it’s not too fiddly. That is just a preference, you may find it easier to fold press your binding first and if you are using a BIAS TAPE MAKER TOOL you will need to make your binding and then join it.

Alternate joining/ finishing method

This is an easy way to join your bias binding, especially if you are not sure of your finished measurement so can’t pre join together before stitching to your garment….

joining bias binding method BINDING TUTORIAL

Fold back starting edge by 1cm to wrong side of binding and then pin binding into place aligning the raw edges of garment with the raw edge of the binding and with right sides facing together.

joining bias binding together BINDING TUTORIAL

Continue to pin binding along edge of garment, and then at the join lay the binding directly on top of your starting point and trim so that it overlaps by 1cm.

Stitch into place and finish as described in the ” How to sew bias binding instructions below”

how to overlap bias binding, BINDING TUTORIAL

You will create a neat little overlapping finish. It is suitable for many fabrics but you may find this method a little bulky for thicker ones – then it is preferable to use the diagonal stitch method discussed above.

How To Sew Double Bias Binding


Now you’ve cut your binding and if necessary joined your binding, it’s time to press your strips so they look like binding…

press your bias binding in half ,Maven Patterns Bias tutorial

Take your length of binding, fold in half and press. Unfold and refold each outside edge to meet your centre fold and press.

Fold it all back together and press flat firmly but don’t stretch it.

Alternatively use the handy BIAS TAPE MAKER gadget…

bias binding tool maker and iron image

The handy little gadget that is the bias making tool can be incredibly useful, especially if you are making a lot of binding. Just pull your pre-cut binding through the tool and it will fold it ready for you to press into perfect binding. They come in different sizes, so you can just pick the one that will give you the width you want.

If you google how to sew binding you get 833,000 results…this is my way…feel free to tweak and find what works best for you!

Maven Patterns Bias binding tutorial, attaching the bias tape to your garment

Take your prepared binding and pin RIGHT side of binding to the RIGHT side of garment aligning the raw edges together. Machine stitch along the fold.

TIP: if you are binding a thicker fabric or a few layers of fabric, take a smaller seam allowance so you have extra binding where you need it to help accommodate that extra bulkiness.

Maven Patterns Bias binding tutorial - fold your bias tape to the wrong side

Press binding AWAY from the garment.

Maven Patterns Bias binding tutorial tack or basting your bias in place

Wrap binding over to the raw edge to WRONG side of garment, and position the folded edge of binding so your machine stitching is covered by a few millimetres. Pin to hold. Tack right on the edge of the binding to hold into place – ensure you catch all the binding on the reverse side and just cover the machine stitch while keeping an even distance away from the binding on the front. Take your time to get this right now, the tack line will be a guide to your topstitching!

Maven Patterns Bias binding tutorial close up of bias binding

Two options to finish


Maven Patterns Bias binding tutorial edgestitching bias binding in place
Maven Patterns Bias binding tutorial, how bias binding looks on the reverse or wrong side of a garment

Top stitch the binding to finish: with the right side of your garment facing you, edge stitch on the binding and as long as you stitch to the inside of your tacking stitch and you know you’ve caught the back of the binding!


If you don’t want your stitching to show on your binding try this method…finish your binding by stitching in the ditch (also known as sink stitch).

‘Stitch in the ditch’ is a really useful technique to know, good for finishing waistbands as well as bindings and also the neckline of The French Dart Shift (coming soon!). When stitched in the same colour as your main fabric the stitch line practically disappears as it settles into the seam.

Maven Patterns Bias binding tutorial 11 - stitch in the ditch
Maven Patterns Bias binding tutorial a raw edge finished with bias tape

Position your machine needle in line with the groove (the ditch) of the seam, you are going to stitch right in that ditch, NEXT to the binding but not on it. And as long as you stitch to the inside of your tacking thread, you know you’ve caught your binding on the back 🙂

Just remove your tacking thread, and you’re done!

And another way to attach binding

an alternative way to finish a raw edge

There is yet another way to attach bias binding to finish a raw edge! This way was shared with me by Shelley, one of my lovely testers of the new Maven1832 patterns. Shelley was making the French dart with the bishop sleeve in a slippery fabric and found this was an easier way to attach the binding at the cuff.

It’s pretty similar to the above methods, except you attach to the wrong side of the fabric and flip binding to the right side of the fabric and stitch. This method only works with visible edgestitching but you might find it less fiddly if you are working with a tricky or slippery fabric.

It’s really a personal preference which way you prefer to sew your binding, but it’s always good to have more than one way to stitch something. Different fabrics do sometimes require a different method!


Place the right side of binding to the wrong side of fabric and stitch in the fold to attach.

Fold binding over to the Right Side so all the raw edges are enclosed and the stitch line is covered. You can trim the seam allowance down a smidge if the biding doesn’t quite cover the stitch line.

And then, with the Right Side Up facing up, edgestitch the binding in place.

How to Sew Single Bias Binding

This isn’t everybody’s method. This is the method I was taught by a sample machinist I worked with about 20 years ago, she called it the Cheat Method.

It’s a really nice way to finish a raw edge on a neckline or armhole without using a facing.


PRESS: Just fold your binding in half and press.

how to attach single bias binding as a facing
stitching bias binding or bias tape into place

ATTACH: Line up the raw edges of your binding with the raw edge of your garment, with right sides together.

Stitch with seam allowance to attach.

press the bias binding flat
baste the bias tape to the garment

Press binding and seam allowances away from garment. Understitch (machine stitch an edge stitch through all the layers on the binding close to the seam.) The understitching is an optional step, there won’t be a disaster without it, but it does make the binding roll to the wrong side better and I think it makes the binding stronger.
Tack along the edge of the binding to hold in place, this will also give you a guide line for your next row of stitching.

MAVEN PATTERNS SINGLE BINDING- stitch the bias tape in place

Flip your garment over and topstitch with the right side up. If you stitch inside your tacking line so you know that you will catch all the binding!

(You can make narrower binding if you prefer…simple bit of maths… finished width of binding + seam allowance, x 2 = cutting width of binding.)

I liked the method because it was quick and that binding NEVER frayed no matter how much I washed those garments (kids clothes), must have been the combination of a folded edge and the extra understitching – great for linen fabrics.  I’ve used this many times over the years instead of a having a flappy facing. The only drawback is some fabrics are just too bulky, but just bind anything too thick with a contrasting fabric and make a feature of the inside!

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Make a Peg Bag with our free sewing pattern!

Learn How to make a marvellous peg bag with our free PDF sewing pattern. It’s super easy, is very handy and makes a lovey gift!

Have you enjoyed our Free Eye Mask Pattern? Oh, you have? Jolly good! Well today I’m sharing my peg bag pattern. You see I like pretty things but they do have to be practical. Things you touch and use everyday should not be ugly or annoying. I really took that William Morris quote to heart.

“If you want a golden rule that will fit everything, this is it: Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.”

William Morris

And who doesn’t like their washing drying outside while wafting in the gentle breeze of a summers day? So, it’s very handy that I’m sharing this with you in December. Now, I know not everyone can or wants to hang their washing out to dry, no judgement here, so this just may not be the free sewing pattern of your dreams but it is still quite handy for storage of those odd bits and pieces.

The Peg Bags actually turned out to be a really popular thing as a gift. The handle is big enough to hang over your arm and grab a peg with ease and the popper means you can actually hang it off the washing line for full hands-free freedom.

It’s also a great little skill builder and the perfect project if you are new to sewing and just want to get used to sewing on your machine without having to worry about fitting a garment. The pattern makes a lined/reversible bag, but you could make it unlined by cutting a single layer and just binding the raw edges to finish. And to be very Eco-conscious you could use up scraps of fabric by adding seams (don’t forget to add the seam allowance!) to the pattern so you can use up those smaller bits of fabric. And feel free to embellish your peg bag with embroidery or appliqué to make a really lovely personalised gift.

THE PEG BAG - free sewing pattern. Maven Patterns

How to Make a Peg Bag with our Free Sewing Pattern


  • The Peg Bag PDF pattern – download your free sewing pattern here. It prints on either A4 or US letter paper and there are only 4 pages. You can find the tile layout diagram and test square on page 1 of the pattern. See our Printing Tutorial here.
  • You will need all the usual sewing stuff…a sewing machine, iron, decent scissors, pins, tape measure etc.

Suitable fabrics

MAIN FABRIC Any stable woven fabric will be fine, so have a good rummage through your stash but keep in mind it will need to be sturdy enough to hold its shape reasonably well. I’d suggest Denim, linen, quilting cotton, those kinds of fabric.

LINING/INNER FABRIC you could use the same as your outer fabric or if you have quite a heavy main fabric balance it with a lighter weight contrast fabric. I’m imagining a denim outer with a cotton lawn contrast lining.

Fabric Requirements & Haberdashery

MAIN FABRIC (for outer shell): 1 piece x 50cm deep x 60cm wide (20″ x 24″) 

CONTRAST FABRIC (for lining/inner shell): 1 piece x 50cm deep x 60cm wide (20″ x 24″) 

IRON ON INTERFACING: 1 piece x 28cm deep x 60cm wide (11″ x 24″) 

LARGE PRESS STUD – mine is 2cm (3/4″) but use what you have or you could do a button and buttonhole

MATCHING SEWING THREAD – I’ve used a contrast so it shows in the photos


RST: right side together / RS: right side / WS: wrong side / WSU: wrong side up / SA: seam allowance

01. Prepare your pattern.

Tape your pattern together and cut your pattern out using the black line. The grey line is the stitch line.

You will need to join the interfacing pattern together.

02. Cut

PATTERN A – Cut 2 in main fabric for the outer shell

PATTERN A – Cut 2 in contrast fabric for the inner shell/lining


TIP: At each notch remember to make a small snip in the seam allowance (SA)

03. Apply the interfacing

CONTRAST FABRIC – place interfacing to wrong side (WS) and iron into place to reinforce handle and top edge

04. Time to sew!

Press as you go! I can’t stress this enough for any sewing project but taking the time to press anything you stitch will give you a much better result.

MAIN FABRIC/outer shell – place with Right Sides Together (RST) and stitch with 1cm seam allowance (SA) around the bucket. Press the seam.

Trim the SA down to 6mm (1/4″) at the curve so it will lay flat when turned to RS.

More to Sew …


CONTRAST FABRIC/inner shell – place with Right Sides Together (RST) and stitch with 1cm SA around the bucket STOPPING at the notches to leave an opening in the base. Press the seam.

Trim the SA down to 6mm (1/4″) at the curve so it will lay flat when turned to RS.


Turn the shells through to RS and press seam.


Turn the inner shell inside out so WS is facing you.

Slide the outer shell inside the inner shell so RST, aligning the raw edges, notches and at the seams.

Stitch with a 6mm SA. Press the stitch line.

TIP: If you’ve taken a slightly bigger seam allowance on the curve of the strap or have bulky fabric trim the SA down to a scant 6mm (1/4″) at the curves so it will lay flat.


Turn through to Right Side (RS) by pulling the outer shell out through the hole left at the base of the inner shell.

The straps can be a bit fiddly to turn through but you can use a chopstick or something similar to help poke them to the RS.


If you are making a reversible bag the seam should sit exactly on the side so it neither favours the inner or outer shell. If you are making it as a lined bag roll the inner shell lining slightly to the inside of the bag.

Press the seam.

I’d normally do an understitch to help hold the lining but it’s quite fiddly so I’m happy to skip it on this occasion and just give the seam a good press.

If your fabric doesn’t press well, giving you a nice sharp edge, or doesn’t stay flat, consider edgestitching/topstitching around the opening and handles.


Close the opening in the base of the inner shell with a slipstitch.

free sewing pattern - attach a popper

11. Stitch the press stud securely in place. Or use a button and buttonhole if you prefer.

A quick final press and you’ve finished!

You’re going to make someone very happy with your lovely handmade peg bag!

I really hope you’ve enjoyed making your peg bag. Have you seen our other free sewing pattern – The Eye Mask PDF Pattern? Take a look HERE.

shop Maven sewing Pattern CTA

More to Sew …

free sewing pattern - free peg bag pattern
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indie sewing pattern sale, Maven Patterns

SEW MORE FOR LESS with 20% off!

We don’t have a sale very often.

We do, however, always run a ‘show offer’ on those occasions when we venture out into the real world and get the chance to meet our lovely Maven Makers and fellow sewists at the sewing shows. 

But, we are having a little change this year. The shows are brilliant fun, but quite expensive to attend. So, as we are not at The Knit and Stitch Show at Ally Pally as usual this year, instead we thought …

let’s have a bit of a SALE and then that’s a winner for everyone; for us, for you, for everywhere, anywhere in the world!

Use the code flashmaven at the checkout to enjoy 20% off anything that takes your fancy!

*discount code must be used at time of purchase / Excludes Pattern Collection bundles /

*Sale ends on Sunday (9.10.22 at 11.59pm BST)

We don’t have a sale very often. We do, however, always run a ‘show offer’ on those occasions when we venture out into the real world and get the chance to meet our lovely Maven Makers and fellow sewists at the sewing shows.But, we are having a little change this year. The shows are brilliant fun, but quite expensive to attend. So, as we are not at The Knit and Stitch Show at Ally Pally as usual this year, instead we thought …let’s have a bit of a SALE and then that’s a winner for everyone, everywhere!Use the code flashmaven at the checkout to enjoy 20% off anything that takes your fancy!*discount code must be used at time of purchase . Excludes Pattern Collection bundles. Sale ends on Sunday (9.10.22 at 11.59pm BST)

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The Somerset T-shirt | details

So, here she is…our newest PDF pattern, the Somerset t-shirt!

20-22nd December | This weekend, to celebrate the release of our latest pattern we will be donating 50% of all sales of THE SOMERSET T-SHIRT PDF pattern to in support of their work in providing refuge against domestic violence.

I have a thing for a bateau neck (or slash neck, if you prefer) t-shirt, always have, always will! I find the neckline is a really flattering shape and I have had various incarnations over the years all of which became staples of my daily wear. So, my mission for this pattern was to create an every day, hard-working pattern that would be a useful foundation piece for any capsule wardrobe.

The Somerset is a slim-fitting t-shirt, designed to fit closely fitted through the shoulders and bust area while skimming, rather than clinging to your body, through the hips and waist. As she is a multi-sized pattern in UK sizes 8-20, you blend between the sizes to create your perfect fit. She has been designed for knitted fabrics with approximately 40% stretch (around 5% elastane) but we have included a handy stretch guide in the pattern, to make sure your knit is suitably stretchy. The elastane content (Lycra and spandex are the same thing) will help your t-shirt retain its shape after wear.

And of course, we want you to get multiple uses from your pattern so we have 4 different sleeve options.


STRAIGHT SLEEVES | Opt for the classic 3/4 length or the long sleeve which is perfect as an everyday t-shirt or for layering.

BISHOP SLEEVES | make a statement with the cuffed bishop sleeve, which comes with a choice of a short cuff for a 3/4 length sleeve or use the deep cuff option for a full-length bishop sleeve.

SIZES UK 8-20 | SKILL LEVEL: ADVANCED BEGINNER | designed for knitted fabrics with 40% stretch (approx 5% elastane)

| available as a PDF pattern for instant sewing fun! Paper pattern to follow soon |