Before You Hem a Bias Garment, Let the Fabric "Hang Out" - Threads


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Before You Hem a Bias Garment, Let the Fabric "Hang Out"

This bias-cut dress, Butterick 5883, flows elegantly over the wearers body for a flattering fit.
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Silk double georgette provides greater elasticity on the bias for this A-line skirt, McCalls 2255.
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One weighting method is to place medium-sized binder clips evenly around a garments hem, just as we did on this bias-cut skirt.
This bias-cut dress, Butterick 5883, flows elegantly over the wearers body for a flattering fit.
Click here for a larger view.

This bias-cut dress, Butterick 5883, flows elegantly over the wearer's body for a flattering fit.

Click here for a larger view.

Photo: Jack Deutsch

In "Teach Yourself to Sew: Bias basics," Threads #172 (April/May 2014) Julianne Bramson, designer and co-owner of FashionInHarmony.com, explains what bias is, how to choose the right fabric and pattern for a bias-cut design, and tips for sewing and handling these garments. Here, we share more information about how and why bias-cut fabric acts differently from on-grain fabric, and how to weight the edge of a bias-cut garment before it's hemmed.

How does the bias work?

Bias

A woven fabric's true bias is at a 45-degree angle from the straight-of-grain, or selvage edge. In the diagram above, the bias is noted by the diagonal line, which delineates the spaces between the warp and weft threads in the fabric. When fabric is used at a 45-degree angle from the straight-of-grain, the threads (warp or weft) lose their inherent stability and transform around air spaces from square to diamond shapes, as shown below. When the fabric is pulled vertically, these diamonds are long and skinny. When the fabric is pulled horizontally, the diamond shapes become short and squat.

Bias collapse

(When fabric is rotated to the true bias, and weight is applied, the collapse of air spaces enables a fabric square to morph into a diamond shape.)

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Comments (1)

Mendez123 Mendez123 writes: I really like the idea you had
Posted: 3:10 pm on February 21st

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