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A Better Mouse Trap

Bias tape ties. Yep. I am really starting to despise those things for the masks we are sewing. Making those ties take as much time to make as the body of the mask, maybe more by the time you factor in cutting and sewing. Elastic is still in short supply and we continue to make our own ties.

In a previous post, I shared a DIY tape maker I found online and constructed. While it helps somewhat, it still requires more time that I think necessary. My daytime job is in manufacturing and I have my green belt certification in Lean Six Sigma. No, I don't do karate or ju jitsu but rather I have taken training to learn basic process improvements that help us in manufacturing. My brain is always thinking of faster and better ways of producing masks. We essentially have a mini mask factory in our house.

Any way, back to bias ties. I still have not found my regular bias tape maker tool and was using my homemade jig. I happened to see a video posted by a friend on Facebook that got my attention immediately. After watching the video a few times, I was ready to try it.

My first attempts were not very successful. The paper tore and I could not get a continuous feed going. I finally got a piece of photo paper that was glossy and slick and tried again. While I still cannot get a continuous feed going, I have found my own method of slide and sew to get my ties done.


For now until elastic is more readily available, I will use this method to make my mask ties.

Here are the measurements for my "jig". I cut the finished length to 2". That is what I found that works for me.


Here are my steps:

  • Press ties flat before starting. Pink the ends of the 18" strips.

  • Insert strip (I cut mine to just under 1-3/4" wide).
 

  • Fold over twice.
  • Fold in half. Finger press the end. 
  • Load end into sewing machine and needle down. On my Brother sewing machine, I am using the Overcasting Foot "G". This helps to keep the ties straight. I have my needle position on "3" so I am just catching the folds of the ties together. I also "chain" sew these ties without cutting the thread in between each tie. If you are a quilter, you understand what chain piecing is. I also backstitch at each end of the tie so the stitching will not easily come undone. (Note: the blue masking tape is to help me grip the photo paper better.)

  • Here is a completed batch of ties.  



I hope this helps you like it has me. Maybe you will get the hang of the continuous feed like shown in the YouTube video.

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