I have one of those cool bias tape makers. I'm sure you've seen them and the impressive results they produce. I bet many of you even have experienced such results. Not me. I've been a little embarrassed to say, I couldn't do it. I couldn't get mine to work. Then it happened. The proverbial light bulb went off and it became shamefully obvious why. You see, I have the 1/2 inch bias tape maker.
I expected to get bias tape that measured 1/2 inch when finished.
Pictured above is actually double fold bias tape. The neat little tool makes single fold tape. Now I knew it wouldn't come out of the tool looking like this. I knew it would be a strip with both sides folded in to the center, my problem was making the distinction between the terminology. It may have been wise to read those directions instead of throwing them away. I had been cutting my strips the width needed for 1/2 inch double fold tape. I know, not very smart. Once I had my moment of enlightenment, I cut a strip around 1 inch wide (maybe slightly less) and whatdayaknow, the tool works beautifully!
All that semi-coherent babble isn't intended to be a tutorial, since I'm sure you all understood how to correctly use a bias tape maker, or at the very least would be wise enough to read the directions first. No, the tutorial is for a less fancy, but nearly as effective DIY version of the bias tape maker, and you can easily adjust it to make any size bias tape you like.
All you need is an ironing board, a hot iron, a measuring tape or ruler, and a long needle. A strip of fabric would be nice too. It doesn't have to be cut on the bias unless you will be going around curves.
First determine the width you'd like your bias tape to be (single fold) . For this demonstration my strips are cut about 1.75" and I want the opening under the pin to be 1". This will give me 1" single fold bias tape or 1/2 inch double fold. I am using little sewing gauge to determine the placement of my needle. Bring the needle up through the ironing board cover, go over 1" and push it back through the cover. The needle will run perpendicular to the ironing board.
Cut one end of your fabric strip to a point and run it under the needle wrong side up.
I am left-handed, so this probably looks very backward to you right-handed folks. Now you know how we lefties feel most of the time. I am pulling the fabric through with my left hand, going right to left. Do whatever feels comfortable to you. When you first start the fabric through, you will probably need to work it a little to be sure it is folding symmetrically.
As you pull the fabric through, press the fold in place. Be careful not to burn your little fingers. That's all there is to it. Happy bias tape making, my friends!
Let me know how it works for you.