Sewing 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. Now you have learned how to make piping, you need to learn how to sew piping into a seam.
Sewing Piping – How to Sew Piping
Piping conjures up all sorts of delicious ideas – piping hot dinners and piping the icing on the cake. In the sewing world, piping adds the topping to your favorite sewing ensemble. Sewing piping shows off lines and curves in a very fashionable way. Even the humble cushion can become a fashion statement in your home with a bit of piping.
Make it, sew it, and use your own sewing piping and ‘’voila’’ you have the ideal haute-couture finishing touch for anything you wish to design and make.
Now you can bring stylish sewing into your home simply by making your own piping. Show off the curves, emphasize the voluptuous, and pipe your own cushion. Don’t be afraid to go bigger and better as you learn how to sew piping.
When to Use Sewing Piping
Sewing piping adds definition to cushions and other décor items. If you can’t buy what you want, don’t be shy…make your own. It’s really that simple. Easy as one, two, and three…three steps and you are able to show off the ultimate finishing touch to cushions and other sewing projects.
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 Sewing 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 bias tape needed, consider using the continuous bias tape method. The reason bias strips are used for sewing piping instead of fabric cut straight on the grain is so it can curve around corners and curves without wrinkling.
Cushion generally looks better with thicker piping cords whereas small-sized cord is found in clothing so it moves with the body.
Further Reading: How to Make Piping
What Foot Do You Need for Sewing 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 sewing machines come with a zipper foot but if you have lost yours, consider a cheap aftermarket one from eBay or Amazon.
My 3 Part Sewing Piping Series
Learn how to make and sew piping in my 3 part series.
HOW TO SEW PIPING – Sewing Piping step by step
This tutorial will show you how to sew piping into a seam.
Step 1 – Basting the Piping
On the right side of your fabric, machine baste the piping facing inwards matching the raw edges.
When sewing piping, 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.
IMPORTANT: Make sure the piping doesn’t stretch or pull when you are sewing it on or you will end up with wrinkles in your seam.
Starting and Stopping Sewing 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.
Sewing Piping Around a Curve
If you are sewing piping around a curve, simply put a few clips into your piping edge being careful not to cut across the stitching. Don’t clip the fabric underneath until after your item has been made up as it would make it more difficult to sew.
How to Sew Piping Around a Corner
For a sewing piping around 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. Once again, don’t cut through the underneath fabric.
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 it below.
Sewing Piping in a Cushion
Piping is the classical trim, for the practical cushion. Everyone loves to have cushions in their homes. When you have learned how to sew piping you will be amazed at how simple it is. Piping will add the edge to your cushion and you will be so proud of your ‘’haute couture’’ fashion statement. It’s all about success in the home and adding the finishing touches to the things you love.
This cushion with piping has an envelope back so there is nothing tricky in the pattern. The tutorial will show you how to make a pattern for different sized inserts and give you cutting instructions for some common sizes.
Read the full article – How to make a cushion cover with piping
Sewing Piping – Easy as pie….ping!
I hope you enjoyed this tutorial on how to sew piping. It looks easy in the tutorial and it is … as easy as pie….ping! Try out a few samples for yourself to boost your confidence.
MORE ARTICLES ON BIAS TAPE
There are several ways to make bias tape for sewing piping. Here are some articles on bias tape.
- How to Make Bias Tape with a Bias Maker
- How to Make Bias Tape with no Special Tools
- How to Sew Single Fold Bias Tape
- How to Sew Double Fold Bias Tape
- How to Make Continuous Bias Tape
- How to sew Mitred Square Corners with Bias Tape
- Types of Bias Tape
- Bias Bound Seam
- Hong Kong Finish
- Sewing Bias Tape
- How to Sew a V Neck with Bias Tape
- Types of Bias Tape