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Bias Sewing for Couture Garments | Video

Video: Threads magazine

“Bias is very challenging to sew, but it is also very rewarding,” couture sewing expert Claire B. Shaeffer observes in this episode on the basics of bias sewing. In her no-fuss, clear manner, Claire gives sewers of all skill levels an overview of couture bias sewing for complete garments and for specific details, such as trims at the neckline

Find and mark the bias

Claire explains how to determine the lengthwise grain, which is essential to finding a fabric’s bias. Armed with marking tools, such as an isosceles right triangle, she shows how to find the bias and mark it properly. Because the triangle drafting tool is not a common implement, she also shows how you can find and mark bias with a standard envelope. Then she demonstrates how to cut, baste, and sew bias-cut material. 

Claire walks through how to find the true bias, which runs at a 45-degree angle to the lengthwise grain. This grain is critical in creating trims, bindings, button loops, and ties. With the correct techniques described in this video, you’ll be able to keep these elements from twisting.

Prepare and sew bindings and tubes

Frame-by-frame, Claire takes sewers through the intricacies of preparing and sewing bindings and tubes, also known as rouleaux. She details how to handle basting, stretching, sewing, and seams. Plus, you’ll get key step-by-step guidance for turning tiny tubing used for making button loops and ties. 

She shares helpful tips throughout the episode, from sizing up strips to how to cut straight. Claire recommends using spit (yes, spit) at one point to ease the way. She shows alternative methods to handle items and encourages sewers to figure out what’s easiest for them.

Learn from Claire in this video, and take bias sewing from challenge straight to reward.

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About This Video Series

This video series features three hours of insider tips and secrets for creating high-end couture garments and home accessories. See an expert at work as Claire Shaeffer illustrates the basic techniques that take sewing to the next level -- from hand sewing and machine stitching to marking methods, pressing, and hemming.

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