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How Much Bias Binding Can You Cut From A Square Of Fabric

By Marian Lewis If you have been frustrated in the past trying to figure out how much bias you need and how much fabric you need for it, here is a simple formula to help you determine just how much bias you can cut from a square of fabric no matter what width of bias you want. Keep this handy in your sewing notebook for future reference. Bias Formula To Determine How Much Bias You Can Cut From A Square Of Fabric
1. Multiply the length by the width of the fabric square.
2. Divide this number by the width of bias needed. This will tell you the number of inches of bias that you will get.
3. To find the number of yards, divide the number of inches by 36 (the number of inches in one yard). Here is an example of how to do your calculations for a sewing project: Determine how much bias you need for your project. Let's assume that you are sewing a set of placemats and you want to sew a half inch binding around them. This placemat measures 18 inches by 12 inches. (18 + 18 + 12 + 12) = 60 inches around one placement. Eight placemats (8 x 60) = 480 inches plus a little extra to overlap the ends of the bias on each placemat. For this example, we will add an extra 2 inches for each placemat or 16 inches. 480 + 16 = 496 inches is the total length of bias that you need for this project. To get the number of yards of bias that you need, divide 496 by 36 (the number of inches in one yard).
That gives you 13.7 or about 14 yards that you need to bind all 8 placemats. Determine the width of the binding that you will cut. You must cut the binding 4 times the finished width. So, for a one half inch finished binding, you must cut the binding 4 x 1/2 inch or 2 inches wide. Now you know how many yards of binding you need and how wide you must cut it. The next question is how many yards of 2 inch wide bias can you cut from a 36 inch square of fabric. Use the above formula to determine the yardage in a 36 inch square:
Step 1. 36 inches x 36 inches = 1296 inches
Step 2. 1296 inches divided by 2 inches (the desired width of the bias) = 648 inches
Step 3. 648 inches divided by 36 inches = 18 yards So, if a 36 inch square will give you 18 yards of 2 inch wide bias, you will need an extra yard of fabric to make the half inch bias binding for 8 placemats.
FYI: A 45 inch square makes about 28 yards of 2 inch bias (for one half inch finished bias binding). With this information, you can easily calculate all your bias requirements. No more guessing! It just makes sense! =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
©2009 Marian Lewis - All Rights Reserved 1st Step To Sewing Success Marian Lewis is a sewing instructor and the creator of an amazing new fitting method for hard-to-fit sewing folks. In her ebook, "Common Sense Fitting Method For Hard-To-Fit Sewing Folks Who Want Great Fitting Skirts And Pants", find out step-by-step WHAT you really need, WHERE you really need it and HOW to apply that to a commercial sewing pattern. It just makes sense!

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Comment by Bettijo on July 26, 2009 at 2:18pm
Thanks for the information on how to measure for how much fabric you will need for bias tape. It sure beats "guessing." I sometimes need a "lot" of bias tape when making window treatments. I make "continuous" bias tape. This is SOOO much easier than joing all those little short pieces together! Just now I looked on Internet to see if there was a site I could refer you to for this technique. It turns out there are quite a few. This one looks good because it has photographs.
Try it, you'll like it. And you will wonder why you ever did it any other way.
Comment by Athena's Grove on June 17, 2009 at 3:02am
I was just thinking this afternoon about creating my own binding for a project...gotta love that timing! Thanks for a great article.
Comment by Audrey on June 16, 2009 at 1:43pm
To Kat,
You asked why would we need an extra yard. I read the instructions and was confused, then when I read your comment I went back and re-read that part of the instructions and now am not confused. I, like you thought we were being told that we need extra fabric. The wording is the problem. We don't need extra fabric than the math gives us, We just need the fabric for making the binding. So it could be said that when all you have to do is put the binding on, you need to know how much more fabric will be needed to accomplish this. THAT is what she means by extra. In this example we would need a yard.
Is that any help?
Comment by Irene Thieman on June 16, 2009 at 10:22am
Thankyou !!!!!!!!!! :)
Comment by Maggie Browne on June 16, 2009 at 10:12am
Thank you!! Wonderful tutorial.
Comment by Nell Caldwell on June 16, 2009 at 9:59am
I have been teaching this is the Okla. City area for about 20 years. Sure makes it easy.

Comment by babeagogo on June 16, 2009 at 9:03am
Great info!
Comment by immerBeginner on June 16, 2009 at 8:27am
Excellent! Thank you very much for this!
Comment by Kat on June 16, 2009 at 8:15am
That gives you 13.7 or about 14 yards that you need to bind all 8 placemats. 36 inch square will give you 18 yards of 2 inch wide bias. Why would you need an extra yard?
Comment by Mary on June 16, 2009 at 7:15am
Excellent tutorial. Hi Marian, do you remember me? I am the owner/editor of the old SWN. : )

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