Making Bias Tape, A New Dress, and a Fabric Haul!

Happy Thursday everyone!

So last week I was telling people about how the only way to really understand how patterns work and how to change them is to tear them apart and experiment. To make my newest dress I had to do just that. I used the Ruby dress pattern from Sew Simple patterns. I do have another version of this dress I just haven’t put in the zipper and hemmed it yet. It’s actually technically more complete with the added facings but even then I didn’t add the interfacing like it said. I think that I like it best without facings or interfacing if the fabric is a nice cotton but if I did this in a different fabric I’m guessing I’d follow all the instructions.

The dress pattern, so cute!

The dress pattern, so cute!

Unfortunately the pattern didn’t fit me well, at all. Instead of an angled dart I had to change it to a straight dart. I didn’t realize how bad it was until it was finished but the back also needs to be adjusted for some gaping. It’s not as bad as the front was though so I’m fine with it for now. I also had to use nearly an inch for the seam allowances because otherwise it’d be like a sack on me.

So ultimately I am not very happy with the pattern but the dress did turn out great. See what I mean? Also this is the blog premiere of my new haircut! It was about to my boobs and now it’s so nice and short! Needless to say I’m very please with the change.  🙂

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The full dress, striped socks included. This fabric was originally meant for a fun apron but my boyfriend Mackey liked it so much as a dress…well, it stuck!

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This is actually a great fit because it is close to the skin yet somehow still roomy. I’m not sure how much ease it has but it’s a very comfortable dress.

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I love the low cut back but like I already mentioned it does gape a little. I know how to bring it in now though so next time I make this back I’ll fit it nicer.

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Cute bow! I wanted to add this detail because why not! It’s actually a huge continuous piece of bias tape that circles all around the neck and down the back.

For this project I also got to make bias tape! I was really excited to use my new bias tape maker…but it didn’t happen. I’m not sure how wide the fabric has to be to get it right so I have to experiment a little. The tool says 2mm on the front so I guess I’ll look up what size strips would be best and go from there. I did remember that I had Simplicity 1250 though, and that actually had a pattern piece for bias tape! It was a little wide but that worked out really well for me. I connected the strips and made a really long one so that I could turn it into a cute bow at the back. I’m really pleased with how that turned out and I think it’s super cute. I also stitched in the ditch for the first time and it came out nearly perfectly! I went incredibly slow and it was worth the extra time for how neatly it came out.

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I marked it out a couple different times. Pro tip, get at least a yard to avoid having lots of tiny pieces. It worked out well for this dress but for other projects you’d probably rather have longer strips.

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I would also recommend using a rotary cutter instead of scissors. It’d create a cleaner edge which would make things easier for when you go to sew.

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This shows that I did make a couple of mistakes but look how insignificant they are! This only happened a couple of time too so I’m really pleased with how this turned out.

So for those reading this asking what the heck bias tape is, it’s fabric cut along the bias of the grain. I’m going to take a wild guess and say that didn’t make things clearer. You don’t have to be a fabric expert, I know I’m not, so I’m going to make this as simple as possible:

Fabric is woven together of strings basically, so when you buy a yard of fabric, there are strings running up and down, and side to side.  The sides of the fabric that are finished at the factory (usually the longer side) are called the selvage. The straight grain is made of the strings going up and down along the selvage (parallel to the selvage), and the cross grain goes side to side (perpendicular to the selvage). The bias is at a 45 degree angle to the straight grain. We make bias tape on the angle because it has the most stretch, and for woven fabrics/projects, this stretch is great for shaping it to neckline and armhole curves. If it were stiffer it wouldn’t mold very well and just be difficult to sew.

Cross Grain

Why make your own bias tape? Well honestly I just think the results are better. The bias tape I buy at the store is very stiff and even after washing it is just not very fun to work with. Making your own bias tape also means you can have fun bias tape in fun fabrics and prints, not just solids. Making bias tape out of the same fabric you made the garment with can also be a nice finishing touch if you don’t want a contrasting color.

Now on to the fun stuff…the fabric haul!

I went to Joann Fabrics just for black fabric for said bias tape I made and left with some patterns, and more fabric. I think I did really great with this haul though so I’m really excited. Since buying it I’ve already started using some of it so I will have completed garments for next week!

Pretty yellow scalloped fabric:

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Pretty white sheer fabric:

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AMAZING black fabric with flowers:

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The patterns:

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I’m actually really excited about the vintage wrap dress patterns. They seem really comfortable. The only downside is that they are fabric hogs using about 5 yards of fabric each! That’s going to be insane but hopefully worth it.

I’m also excited about the shirt dress because not only will I work with softer, sheer fabrics, there is so much pleating. I’m hoping that this will really challenge me and improve my skills.

So has anyone gotten any good fabrics lately? Been on a shopping spree? Please, share your hauls with me I’d love to see them. I’m hoping to have a skirt and dress finished to show you next week, I’m definitely getting bogged down with work and school but am still finding time to make new clothes.

Until next time!

—Bethany Out

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9 thoughts on “Making Bias Tape, A New Dress, and a Fabric Haul!

    • Thanks! Bias tape was one of those things I never understood. More than that, I didn’t get why people made it themselves…but now I am confident I’ll never buy bias tape again. Unless it’s from this shop called So Biased. She makes it herself so there’s lots of cute options.

      Liked by 1 person

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