Hemming tape often looks like lace and comes in a variety of colors. It is frequently used to hem a garment when a perfectly flat hem is necessary, such as on a pair of cuffed slacks, or when the garment’s fabric is sufficiently fluid that a regular hem would be awkward at the bottom, but a rolled hem would not be suitable. It is also suitable for hemming nearly any other garment, as well. If a fabric has a large print or stripe, the stitches for the hemming tape will not show on the outside as much, although it can also be hand stitched so the stitches are not as obvious.
Hemming tape is easy to use. A seamstress simply folds the hem of the garment and pins it in place, then presses the hem to make the crease permanent. The hemming tape is placed across the edge of the hem on the wrong side of the fabric and is stitched top and bottom, to hold it in place.
Bias tape is a sewing tape often used for trim or other decoration. It may be used to trim a neckline or armhole --sometimes in a contrasting color -- or to neatly bind a raw edge of material. Bias tape comes pre-folded and measured, much as hemming tape, but it is usually cut from cotton or cotton blend fabric, on the bias. It is often topstitched for necklines or armholes, but when such stitching is not desired, it can be slip stitched by hand on the garment. Bias tape is also used in home décor projects and as a sturdy binder for items such as towels and potholders. Blanket binding is also a type of sewing tape, used to finish the edge of cotton or flannel blankets.
The third type of sewing tape is stitch tape. This tape is used when a sewing machine is not available, or when machine stitching is not necessary, such as for a Halloween costume or curtains for a dorm room. Stitch tape works much like fusible interfacing. It is sandwiched between two folded-over raw edges, as for a seam, and then pressed together with a hot iron. The stitch tape then adheres to both pieces of material, creating a seam. It is also useful for hemming these kinds of projects quickly.
Sewing tape is handy in any sewing kit, and can serve many purposes in making garments or in crafting.