Sunday, December 4, 2011

The Möbius Band As A Continuous Bias Strip

Upon studying the instructions for vintage Vogue Pattern # 1071 (View A) last night, I was perplexed by the instructions for creating a long bias strip to use for binding the neckline. The pattern piece looks like this:

Here are the written instructions:

With right sides together, pin ends of CONTINUOUS BIAS together, matching symbols. Stitch. NOTE: Edges will not be even at ends of seam.  Starting at one extending end, cut along cutting line, forming one continuous bias strip, as shown. 

As shown? As shown??? The illustration provided in the instructions was worse than useless. All I could do was cut out the fabric, play around with it, and see what I could come up with. I was delighted, upon fitting the two ends of the pieces together in the only way that would possibly produce one long continuous strip of fabric, to find that I had constructed a Möbius Strip, which is a strip of paper (or fabric, in this case) with the ends of the strip fastened together after giving the strip a 1/2 twist. The resulting strip has only one boundary, which you can prove be drawing a line along the length of the strip starting at the seam. The line will end up at the seam, but on the "other side" of the strip.  Here's the way the fabric looks:

Instead of trying to mark the cutting lines on the fabric, I pressed them into the fabric. This made it a bit difficult to produce a completely even edge, but that shouldn't matter, since the raw edges will be hidden within the seam. When I cut along the 3 cutting lines (all in one long cut), I ended up with a long, continuous strip. Is that cool or what!


  1. Hmmm. The way to join the fabric would be in a loop, with the starting edge sticking out of the top, and the finishing edge protruding from the lower edge of the seam, and the continuous bias strip is cut out of it like a spiral.

    But that is a pretty cool loop you have created!

  2. Barb, I made a recent vogue top that had exactly the same instructions for making bias binding - they were really vague/ basically useless . Collette patterns web site has a couple of much better tutorials for making your own bias binding but I found my silky material really hard to work with.