How to make and sew piping
Today we’re going to talk about piping – what it is, how to make it, and how to sew piping. Piping is what you see in the above picture – the white line between the two fabrics. It is a dimensional trim that can be used to accent seams. I’ve got a video showing how to make it and how to sew it into seams below, or if you prefer you can also watch how to sew piping on YouTube here.
It’s basically bias tape wrapped around cotton cording. You can buy it pre-packaged or make your own. The cording is usually in the upholstery section of the store, and it looks like this:
It comes in different widths, from thin to thick. To make your own piping, cut strips of fabric on the bias, and wrap them around the cording.
Using your zipper foot, stitch right next to the cording, like this:
The trick to sewing piping into clothing is to baste it to your fabric first. Just pinning won’t give you good results. So take your piping and place on your fabric so that the stitching on the piping lays right on top of where you want your seam to be. Use a zipper foot on one side of the cording to baste it in place.
I find the easiest way to baste this is to line the edge of my fabric up with the seam guide on my sewing machine, then line the stitching on the piping up with my needle. After basting your piping, you sandwich it into the seam when you sew. Depending on your piping’s thickness, you may or may not need to use your zipper foot at this point. To sew piping around corners, sew to the corner, then clip the tape part of the piping, bend, and continue stitching.
If you get to a place where you need to sew piping together (like when I sewed the cuffs together) , the best way to do this is to pull out some of the cording from the end, then cut off a little more than the length of your seam allowance.
This will allow you to flatten the piping into the seam, reducing the bulk and allowing you to match the piping without offsetting.
Finally, topstitching once your piping is in place helps keep in laying correctly. Again, use your zipper foot.
And that’s it! So if you haven’t tried it, piping is a really easy way to add some pop to your projects.