Now you have made your piping, you need to learn how to sew piping into a seam. Piping can add a professional touch to the edges of cushions, bags and purses, quilts and even clothing. It is both decorative and functional as it protects edges and makes seams both durable and beautiful. In the last tutorial, we learned how to make piping using bias tape strips.
How to Sew Piping
When to use piping
Piping can be used on the edges of cushion covers, bags and clutches. It can also be used on sewing projects and clothing where you need a pop of contrasting color.
Consider adding piping to jacket collars, dress seams and pant sides. The chunkier and more colorful the better.
How to find piping
Piping can be purchased ready-made from your local fabric shop or you can make your own piping using bias tape strips. Generally, the piping found in shops only comes in with thin cord and plain basic colors so, for something interesting, you really do need to make your own.
For large amounts of tape needed, consider using the continuous bias tape method. The reason bias strips are used instead of fabric cut straight on the grain is so it can curve around corners and curves without wrinkling.
What foot do you need for piping?
When sewing piping, all you need is a zipper foot. A zipper foot allows you to get closer to the cord in the piping as you can have the needle on one side.
Nearly all machines come with a zipper foot but if you have lost yours, consider a cheap aftermarket one from Ebay or Amazon.
LEARN HOW TO MAKE AND SEW PIPING IN MY 3 PART SERIES
HOW TO SEW PIPING steps by step
Step 1: Basting the piping
On the right side of your fabric, machine baste the piping facing inwards matching the raw edges.
Make sure the stitching on your piping is aligned with the seam allowance. In this case, my piping edge was 1/2 inch (12mm) and my seam allowance was 1/2 inch (12mm) so the raw edges were aligned.
Use your zipper foot to baste the piping just on top of the piping stitches. I used a darker thread for illustrative purposes but it is better to use a matching thread in case any shows at the end.
Starting and Stopping Piping
If you have a continuous piping edge such as that found on a pillow, cross over the ends gently tapering them off the edge.
Position the overlap in an inconspicuous place and ensure that they are at least 2 inches (5cm) away from a corner.
How to Sew Piping Around a Curve
If you need to sew piping around a curve, simply put a few clips into your piping edge being careful not to cut across the stitching.
How to Sew Piping Around a Corner
For a corner, put a few clips into the corner to release the tension and bend it around. Like the curve, just be careful not to clip past the stitching lines.
Step 2: Sewing piping in a seam
Pin the second piece of fabric with right side down and raw edges matching.
Once again with your zipper foot, stitch along as close to the piping cord as possible.
Step 3: Pressing
Turn your seam to the right side, give it a press and there is your beautifully piped seam.
What are you going to sew the piping into? Please share below.
Next tutorial – Learn how to make a cushion cover with piping around the edges. This is a good way to practice sewing continuous piping and is a fun and easy way to update a tired couch.