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Tips & Techniques > Vilene bias tape substitute

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Posted by: Seamingly Simple

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Posted on: 11/19/07 1:29 AM
Review Rating: Helpful by 7 people   Very Helpful by 33 people   
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Many Burda World of Fashion magazine patterns call for Vilene Bias Tape, a product that is unavailable where I live. I did some searching and found that this elusive product, which comes in black or white, is a 12 mm (1/2") wide fusible bias tape with a row of stitching 4 mm (1/6") from an edge. The stitching is apparently what controls the amount of stretch and protects stabilized edges from distortion.

The sleeveless dress pattern I am working on calls for Vilene Bias Tape along the armhole edges. I decided to try faking it with available materials: packaged plain bias tape, temporary spray adhesive and a row of stitching.

My fabric is rather sheer, so I chose red bias tape to match the fabric as closely as possible. I pressed the bias tape open and used my rotary cutter to cut it into 1/2" strips the length of the armhole plus about 1". I sprayed the underside of the strips with temporary spray adhesive. Then I positioned the tape on the wrong side of the fabric 1/4" from the raw edge, pulling the tape snug (but not too taut) as I eased it into place. Then I stitched it in place 1/2" from the raw edge, using a stitch length of 2.2 mm. Finally, I cut off the excess length of bias tape at both underarm edges.

When the lining was positioned and the 5/8" seam sewn, the bias tape held the seam nicely. I clipped the curve to the seam line (including part of the width of the bias tape), turned and pressed. The resulting armhole has lovely shape and doesn't sag!

I have heard that strips of fusible interfacing can be used in place of the Vilene, but bias tape comes in more colours. Also, the temporary adhesive allows lifting and repositioning the tape until you've got it where you want it. I'll do it this way again.

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Frogstitcher said...
Well done. The idea of using bias tape + temporary spray adhesive vs. fusible interfacing makes perfect sense especially where color matching is involved.
11/19/07 10:52 AM
Mufffet said...
Thanks for the great tip!
11/19/07 1:14 PM
lilyofthevalley said...
Excellent detective work and very inventive in your solution. The armholes look first rate.
11/20/07 2:58 AM
vasallese said...
Wjould a glue stick work?
11/20/07 6:45 AM
Seamingly Simple said...
A glue stick probably would work, but you'd have to be careful not to distort the bias tape as you drag the glue stick along. The bias tape is a little fragile because it's only 1/2" wide. Maybe just dot the glue stick in a few places.
11/20/07 10:01 AM
SewVeryTall said...
The last sentence of paragraph 3..."cut off the excess bias tape" you mean the excess between the stitching and inside edge, so none of the bias tape is stitched into the 5/8" seam when joining the lining?
11/20/07 10:33 AM
Seamingly Simple said...
Actually, I mean cutting off the excess length. I'll clarify this by editing this tip. Thanks for pointing out this ambiguity.
11/20/07 11:06 AM
Patzee said...
Very helpful! Thank for the good photos!
11/20/07 2:49 PM
SewVeryTall said...
Ok, I see what you meant, thanks :)
11/21/07 10:25 AM
Diane E said...
Terrific way to create custom stabilizing tape. Beautiful armholes!
11/24/07 12:12 PM
nickie63 said...
you are a very smart young lady.
12/1/07 4:39 PM
bkool said...
Just want to note that Burda WOF calls this product 'Vilene/Pellon Fuse and Fold. ' According to someone from another sewing website, this is because of a translation error in the German-to-English rendering. To summarize: Vilene/Pellon Fuse and Fold = Vilene Bias Tape. Seamingly Simple, this was a VERY HELPFUL tip. Thank you.
12/7/07 12:55 PM
Seamingly Simple said...
Interesting, bkool. The December 2007 BWOF has a helpful Vilene/Pellon summary table on page 47. This table provides descriptions, widths and uses for "the most important" Vilene/Pellon products; it describes the Bias Tape but not Fold and Fuse. I looked up Fuse and Fold at the same place I found a picture of Vilene Bias Tape. It appears that Fuse and Fold is wider, but I'm sure the same technique could be used to mimic it.
12/8/07 11:15 AM
chloeE said...
This was very helpful and a clever solution for a notion Burda always mentions.
12/18/07 4:18 PM
ryansmumAria said...
wow- that is brilliant - thanks SO much
7/23/08 8:35 PM
mj312b said...
Good report and helpful!!!!
9/18/08 9:28 AM
auschick said...
Thanks - I ended up doing this, but cutting strips of fusible interfacing instead. worked a charm!
8/23/09 10:49 PM
designingpatti said...
You are ingenious! I used your directions for substituting with fusible interfacing and it worked like a charm! ;p Thanks so much!
12/17/09 0:48 AM
Lillian Martin said...
Question: Is this the bias tape that comes folded over cardboard in those little packages? That stuff seams so stiff!
6/9/12 10:58 AM
Sewing Princess said...
You can also use interfacing. Follow this tutorial from a pro!
8/4/14 6:58 AM
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