Today I am excited to share a special project that I have been working on over the past couple of weeks- a tutorial and closer look at working with bias tape!
Sewing with bias tape is one of my favorite methods to finish off the neckline or to use as an accent on a new garment. Bias tape is also showing up more and more in the patterns from our favorite indie pattern designers. Something I have noticed, however, is that it seems like everyone has a different method for joining the ends and finishing it off. I couldn’t help but wonder why that is and why people haven’t taken a tip from their fellow seamstresses- quilters!
Before I really dove into garment sewing I was a quilter. I still dabble now and then but my sewing focus has really shifted over the last couple of years. One day it hit me, why can’t I use the same methods I used all the time on quilt bindings on my garments? Couldn’t I just apply the same methods to other sewing projects? After a little experimenting and a collaboration with Sew Mama Sew, I put together a tutorial to share some secret quilting tips and tricks with my fellow garment sewers. Check it out HERE over on Sew Mama Sew’s blog!
As part of my tutorial, I used Colette’s Sorbetto tank as my sample garment. A great tank for summer, it is perfect on its own or even layered with a cardigan or jacket. Not only is the pattern free, but it also has the potential for any number of variations. A few months ago, I tested out the Sorbetto tank pattern as is and quickly realized that is was much to short for me and my 5′ 9″ frame. For this project I played around with lengthening the pattern and removing the from pleat- both proved to be really easy changes!
To lengthen the pattern, I simply used the lines that already existed on the pattern pieces at the natural waist. Cutting along this line and moving the pieces 3″ apart, I lengthened that pattern by 3″. You can either slip a bit of pattern paper between the pieces and tape it in place or trace a whole new piece. Use a ruler to fill in the gap in the pattern lines and you are good to go. For removing the front pleat, I simply used the “pleat” line as my new center front. I didn’t even need to cut this portion of the pattern off, I just folded it to the back side!
I finished my Sorbetto off with matching bias tape made from the same fabric and I am really please with the results. It was a actually a really quick sew and I couldn’t help but sew up another one immediately!
For this my second version I used this stunning shibori rayon challis that just arrived in the shop. Paired with some pre-made navy jersey bias, I had another incredible Sorbetto in about an hour. Due to the layout of the double border on this fabric, I did have to shorten my pattern piece a bit so that I could get the design just the way I wanted. It made the tank a bit shorter but totally worth it, don’t you think?
Don’t forget to to check out the tutorial with tips for sewing with bias tape! You might pick up a few tips to add to your own secret stash of skills. You never know when they might come in handy!
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