Spaghetti bias can add super-cute detailing to a simple garment. It can meander around necklines, over shoulders and around hemlines. Or it can be shaped into flowers and other fun designs.
When designer Khristal Jouett was given an assignment for Sew Beautiful to use this versatile trimming, she wanted to think out of the box or, more to the point, off of the edge. She decided to do something reminiscent of an heirloom technique adapted to add interest to more casual children’s wear. Follow the step-by-step tutorial below to learn how to create Khristal’s beaded bias loop trim and interlocking looped bridging. The how-to originally appeared in the July/August 2011 issue of Sew Beautiful (issue #137).
- Apply to any pattern – Sample shown is the “Ultimate Apron” from Sew Beautiful July/August 2010 (issue #131)
- Corded cotton pique fabric
- Spaghetti bias by the yard:
- 3 times length of edge to be trimmed for single loops
- 6 times length of edge to be trimmed for interlocking loops
- Pony beads with holes large enough for bias
- Two buttons for back closures
- Blue wash-away marking pen
- Regular construction thread
- Wonder Tape (or water-soluble fabric glue)
- Wash-away basting thread
- Launder fabric and spaghetti bias, placing bias in a mesh bag or pillowcase to machine wash and dry. Press when dry.
- Spaghetti bias must be at least three times the length of the edge to be trimmed.
- Wrap a little piece of clear tape tightly around end of bias on which to thread beads.
- String more beads than you will need.
- Sew pattern pieces together so that you can work in one continuous line (i.e. sew one side seam and leave one open).
Beaded Bias Loop Trim:
The instructions that follow are general and can be done on a straight or curved edge. This garment is lined, but you may also use a cut facing or bias facing. Refer to figure 1 for steps 1-7.
1. Work on right side of fabric between seam lines.
2. Mark a reference line 3/4 inch away from raw edge. Mark 1/4-inch seam line.
3. Mark vertical guidelines 1 inch apart on fabric edge.
4. Place Wonder Tape over 1/4-inch seam line (you should be able to see markings through tape).
5. Thread desired number of beads plus a few extra onto strip of bias.
6. Place end of bias tube next to side seam and press to fuse to Wonder Tape. Slide a bead down and shift remaining beads to right. Place bead centered between 1-inch marks and make a loop with seam of bias to inside of curve. You may bend bias at bottom and work loops with a continuous bias strip, then trim ends flat later, or you may cut ends even with raw edge as you go. Choose what is easiest for you.
7. Slide another bead in place and continue loops across fabric edge (fig. 1).
8. Place lining or facing over bias and beads; stitch along 1/4-inch seam. Turn lining or facing to inside; press. Edgestitch to secure.
Interlocking Looped Bridging:
1. Create a contrast banding for bottom of tunic and pants. For tunic, cut 3-1/2 inches off bottom of pattern following shape of curve. Cut two for front and two for back. (There is no need to add seam allowances; seams will be 1/4 inch on top and bottom edge finishing band 3 inches wide.) For pants, overlap front and back at side seam line and cut a 1-3/4-inch band in same manner (fig. 2). Cut two for each leg.
2. Follow steps 1-7 above to make beaded bias loops on tunic and pants edge; refer to figure 1.
3. For interlocking loops, thread second piece of bias tubing through each pony bead of loop trim (fig. 3). NOTE: Try to keep the seam of the bias tube towards the wrong side.
4. Sew one seam of tunic bottom band to create one long band. Repeat for band lining.
5. Sew band and band lining together along bottom edge with 1/4-inch seam.
6. Now sew top edge with wash-away basting thread. Turn band right side out through end of tube; press. Steam and starch top edge to dissolve basting thread; pull seam apart. This leaves a cleanly pressed, perfectly matching edge. Repeat for each pant leg band.
7. Fold band down and mark 1-inch reference lines on wrong side of band lining. Place Wonder Tape on folded edges of band and band lining (fig. 4).
8. Pin garment piece with beaded loops flat to an ironing board or shaping board to secure while you work.
9. Position band lining 1 inch below garment with wrong side up under beaded loops and align 1-inch marks with beaded loops. Pull loops down from threaded bias; press into tape. Continue until all loops are complete.
10. If you did not trim ends of loops, do so before covering with outer band.
11. Finish side seams of dress and lining; refer to “Ultimate Apron” instructions in issue #131. Separate band and band lining to sew remaining side seam with right sides together.
12. Fold outer band up over loop ends and align fold edge to top of band lining. Press to secure Wonder Tape. Edgestitch to catch both sides of band.
Here is a helpful video tutorial of this technique in action:
That’s all there is to it! Have fun applying beaded bias loops to any pattern you’d like.
Click here to shop patterns and more in our online shop. If you want the adorable “Ultimate Apron” pattern as shown in the sample, the pattern (sizes 2-10) is still available as part of the 2010 Sew Beautiful Collection.