Bias Ribbon Tutorial


I recently started making these for my 7-year-old daughter. She has decided that she is too old for traditional bows. So, we have moved onto new ways to accessorize her hair. I really love these ribbons more than traditional grosgrain or satin ribbons. First, because of the variety in designs you can have. Secondly, because this technique utilizes the bias grain of the fabric to make a somewhat stretchy ribbon that can be tied tighter around hair. This is great for my daughter’s fine, slippery hair. We have also discovered that the stretch of the bias allows you to use the ribbons, as headbands. This technique could also be used to make fun shoelaces, too. Bias fabric ribbons can be made at just about any length and this is a great way to utilize fabric project leftovers. The other great thing about this tutorial is it can be a no sew projects, as well as, a sewn one.


½ yard to 1 yard woven fabric (You can use left over fabric from previous projects)

Rotary cutter

Cutting mat

Yard Stick Ruler or other ruler


Sewing machine-optional

Pinking Shears-optional

Fray check-optional

Step One:

First, iron your fabric. Then lay it out in a single layer on your cutting mat. Find the bias of your fabric. The bias is the 45-degree diagonal direction of the fabric.


Step Two:

Use your rotary cutter and a metal ruler to make your first cut. I made my strips 20 inches long. You can make these any length you desire. (As an alternative to a rotary cutter, you could draw your 45-degree lines on you fabric then cut with scissors. I prefer the speed and clean edge of the rotary cutter.)


Step Three:

Make your second cut. This will determine the width of your ribbon. I went with a width of 1-½ inches.  You can make your ribbons very narrow or really wide.


Step Four:

Repeat steps three and four to cut as many strips as you want.


Step Five:

Cut the ends of your ribbons at a 45-degree angle. This will help with fraying and I personally prefer the way they look.


Step Six:

Ribbon Finishing. You can choose any of the following ways to finish your ribbons.

For a no sew finish, you can use fray check or pinking shears.

For a sewn finish, you can straight stitch, zigzag, or serge (not pictured) around the edges. I personally prefer a zigzag with a stitch setting of 2 lengths and a width of 1.5.

You could also, stitch together 2 fabric strips together for a thicker ribbon. When doing this make sure to use the zigzag stitch to insure that the fabrics will stretch together (not pictured).








Happy Sewing


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