While most shops have a great variety of bias tape, it is generally harder to find nice piping. The solution – learn how to make piping! Piping is a great decorative finish on all kinds of projects such as cushions, clothing, handbags and home decor. It adds a bit of class, a pop of color and best of all stops the edges from wearing.
Here is how to make piping for your sewing projects.
How to Make Piping | Supplies
You can also purchase bias tape already made but it is generally only available in plain fabrics and in limited colors.
If you are making your own bias strips then fabrics with a small scale print look the best.
More about Bias TAPE
You can purchase specialized piping cords which come in different thicknesses for different projects or use any other cord you find in your sewing room. I misplaced the bag of specialized cords I purchased for this tutorial so just used a firm colored cording which worked just as well.
As you will need to sew really close to the cord, a zipper foot is needed.
How wide do you cut your bias strips to make piping?
The bias tape should wrap around your cord and have the appropriate seam allowance on either side. Measure the circumference of your cord and then add the seam allowance on either side.
I needed piping with a seam allowance of 1/2 inch (12mm) so my bias strips need to be 1 1/4 inch wide to allow for the 1/4 inch thickness of the cord.
How to Make piping | Instructions
Step 1: Press Open
If you have a pre-purchased bias, then press open the folded edges of the bias strips. If you have made your own bias strips then you are all ready to go!
Step 2: Wrap the Bias Around the Cord
Wrap your piece of bias around the piping cord and pin it in place matching the raw edges. I like to use pins placed vertically but this is personal preference.
Just be careful that you have a long tail of cord so there is no chance of you accidentally pulling the cord out of the casing before you have finished. Putting a pin through the cord at the end helps prevent pulling.
Step 4: Baste the Bias
Hand baste along the edge of the piping with a large running stitch (up and down stitch).
You could skip the hand stitching but I find that by basting first I get a much neater finished piping with the stitching nice and tight along the cord.
Step 5: Stitch the Piping
Using your zipper foot, stitch along the edge of the piping. Stitch as close as you can to the edge of the cord without piercing through it.
Step 6: Remove Basting
Remove your basting and…Voila! Lovely handmade piping.
What are you thinking of adding the piping on? Share below.