DIY 4th of July Shirt with Bias Tape

The 4th of July is on of my favorite holidays. I remember every year my mom bought USA themed t-shirts and we would wear them to the festivities which was usually a parade celebration and barbecue. I looked forward to the matching t-shirts we all wore and the bows my mom put in our hair. I've been wanting to create a 4th of July project but wasn't sure what to make until I was testing my Dritz Bias Tape Maker. Bias tape is typically used as binding or facing for projects but as I created these strips with fun prints and colors I thought of so many ideas they could be used for. For my first project I wanted to use them as an embellishment on a t-shirt so I came up with this woven American flag. Get the details below to make your own. 



  • Straighten end of fabric.
  • Fold end to meet selvage.
  • Mark and cut fold.
  • Draw Parallel lines 1 inch or 1 3/4" (if you use the 1") from bias edge.
  • Cut strips.
  • Pin strips right sides together at right angles.
  • Stitch 1/4 inch seam; trim points and press seam open.
  • Wrong side up feed bias strip into wide end of tape maker.
  • Use pin to pull fabric through.
  • Pin end of strip to ironing board.
  • Pull tape maker and press in folds.
  • Keep iron close to tape maker.

  • Make all the red, white, and blue colors. *Tip: use fabrics with smaller prints so you can see the prints on the bias tape. I created 1" and 1/2" widths. I folded the 1" in half and pressed to create 1/2" Double Fold Bias Tape. 

    Create a flag diagram in the center of the shirt (about 5" down) or design your own. I used a Water Soluble Marking Pencil to draw out the design on the shirt. 

    My stripes were about 1/2" apart and 1/2" even slits in between. 

    Before cutting the slits be mindful you are cutting knit so the hole should be very tiny since it will stretch a lot. Mine were barely 1/16". 

    Cut even slits across and weave the strips in and out. I did this in rows but you can do the blue star portion first and weave the red and white strips after. This is up to you. I also did both the 1/2" and 1" bias tape but I fold the 1" in half. The folded one was easier to slide through and stay flat than the 1/2". 

    Before cutting the additional strips on the wrong side you can either knot the bias tape or top stitch little stitches across the knit to secure the strips. I chose to sew as the knots were bulky underneath. You will need to sew all loose ends. 

    Cut the secured strips off from the wrong side. Flip right side out and it's a lovely work of art!

    Next if you want to shorten the sleeves...

    • Use the Dritz Plastic Snap Pliers and Dritz Plastic Snaps to create the "sleeve shortener." I used a bulky t-shirt so I wanted to shorten the sleeves and add a bit of detail at the same time. 
    • First decide the length you want the bias tape to be (mine was 6"). Try on the t-shirt and adjust accordingly. For this I used the 1/2" Bias Tape Maker.
    • Fold over the raw edge of the Bias Tape 1/2". Use the Awl to pierce a hole through both layers (about 1/8" from the folded edge).  
    • Insert the decorative cap through the hole and add the stud over the prong (wrong side). Secure with the Plastic Snap Pliers. 
    • Sew the other end along the seam allowance of the shoulder/sleeve seam (wrong sides together).
    • Repeat for the shoulder seam with the plastic snap but using the round cap and socket. (the socket should be on the right side).
    • Snap together to create a loop around the sleeve.

    I thought this turned out to be a fantastic 4th of July themed t-shirt. I am inspired to create more projects with Bias Tape now that I can make all different prints, colors, and sizes using these Bias Tape Makers.

    *In collaboration with Dritz


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