Unique gifts: Heart Hotpads - how to sew bias tape the proper way and the cheating way

Valentine's Day just around the corner, hearts were in order.
Sewing patterns

Using these cheap potholders from IKEA and the thrift store:
In this tutorial, we'll walk through the proper way to sew bias tape and the short-cut cheating way.
So let's get started.
Grab a potholder. I purchased these white ones at IKEA for $2. Wash/dry them first as they tend to shrink significantly.
Place a piece of paper over the potholder and free-hand draw half of heart, then cut out the entire heart. Trace this onto the potholder and cut it out.
And you're half-way done! If you prefer making your own potholders, you can use two layers of fabric with quilt batting inside.
Okay, now grab your 1/2 inch-wide, double-fold bias tape.
The PROPER way to sew on Bias Tape.
Sometimes I sew bias tape the proper way....and sometimes I take the lazy short cut. Both have benefits. But I won't deny that sewing it on the proper way always looks nicer. So here's the right way to do it.

Unfold the bias tape. And starting with the slightly wider side of the tape (discussed in the bias tape tutorial), pin it to the back side of the potholder. Go all the way around and when you get to the top/middle of the heart, overlap the tape over a bit to create a crease. If you're sewing a normal shaped potholder, you don't need to do this.
When you get to the bottom of the potholder, sew the two ends of the bias tape together. For this potholder I was lazy and simply sewed a straight line across. In the next potholder below, I sewed the two tapes together in a zigzag line and it created a diagonal finish that matches up with the point of the heart.

Okay, start sewing the bias tape onto the back side of the potholder. Sew your line on top of the first folded line on the tape (which is still visible from when it was all folded together)...this is about a 1/2 inch in from the edge of the potholder.
When you're done, flip the potholder over and fold the bias tape over to the front side. Pin it all the way around and overlap/tuck any excess bias tape in at the top and bottom of the heart. There are more fancy ways to tuck these in but this is the simple, semi-handmade version. I'm all about easy. If pinning doesn't work for you (and keeps poking your fingers), trying holding the bias tape with bendable hair clips--the cheapy kind--you can buy them in the quilting section at a craft store or at Target/Walmart stores.
Finally, sew the bias tape down on the front side of the potholder. Shift your needle over to the left a bit so you can sew close to the edge of the bias tape. The benefit to sewing bias tape with this method is that you don't have to worry about whether you've sewn through to the back side. Meaning....there won't be any gaps where you might have sewn on the front side but missed the back side of the bias tape....because the back side is already sewn in place! This may sound confusing but once you do it, it'll all make sense.
And you're done!
The Cheating way to sew on Bias Tape:
This is the method I use more often than the above. It's a little tricky with this particular design, since it's a small-ish heart. It's better suited for blankets and straight sewing. But here's how it goes. Place the wider side of the bias tape on the back of the potholder and just sandwich the edge of the potholder inside the bias tape. Pin it down all the way around, overlapping in the very middle top of the heart.
When you get to the bottom, sew the two ends closed in a zigzag formation. This is the same method used in the Sweater Vest Tutorial. This creates the perfect diagonal casing for the point of the heart.
When everything is pinned down, sew down the bias tape! Sew as close as you can to the edge and remove the pins one by one right before you get to them. This will help the bias tape sew-down nicer. When sewing around the curves, periodically lift the presser foot to keep the bias tape from folding and creasing.

Other ideas that may help:
* Iron the bias tape around your potholder before sewing to help it form to the shape of the potholder.
* Use bendable hairclips to hold the bias tape in place, instead of straight pins. Remove them one by one as you sew.
* Avoid pins all together and sew slowly around, fixing/pulling/and making sure the potholder is sandwiched inside as you go.
* Use a zigzag stitch to sew around the bias to ensure that you catch all parts of the bias tape as you sew.
If you have a little label, add it in.
And there you go! Two heart hotpads.
Examining the backside, the proper sewn hotpad looks much nicer. The cheating method on the right has a few spots where I missed sewing through to the backside of the tape. As I said, it's a better method for straight sewing, rather than curves. If this was a gift, I would pick those parts out and resew them. But eh, it's just for me; the underside can be wonky.
Because on the front, they both look cute!...and make me want to bake up Coconut-lime Banana Bread.
I heart bias tape.
Just had to say it, right?
Source: dana-made-it.com


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