Tutorial - Sewing a piping

Piping is an embellishment finish.

It is a cord-edging, covered in fabric or just a decorative cord. Piping is often applied to trim the seams or edges. If used in contrasting colour, it emphasizes the decorative effect.



In foreword, you might make your own piping or buy it at haberdashery. To make it, cut a bias strip, wide to cover the cord + seam allowances (approximately 1 1/4'' = 3 cm). Wrap the strip around the cord with right side out (add a thin fusible interlining in case of fine fabric). Fit a special piping foot or a zipper foot at your sewing machine. the foot will allow you to stitch close to the cord. Baste by hand first to tack the cord; then straight stitch with the sewing machine.

How to sew the piping on garment?

  1. Place the wrapped cord / piping on the fabric piece, with right sides together and at raw edges. Pin
  2. Fit the special piping foot.
  3. Baste first or straight stitch directly along the cord with long stitches.
  4. Place the second layer of fabric over (with right sides together); the piping is sandwiched.
  5. Shorten the stitches and straight stitch along, close to the cord and through the layers.
  6. Open the work on right side. In case of edge, fold flat, the piping is on the outer edge and press with iron. In case of seam, press the seam allowances open at each side.
  7. Topstitch along at edge of the piping as an option.



Sewing tips:

Sewing a piping in a curve:

Place the covered cord while curving it slightly to align it to the fabric piece curved edge. Grade / layer the seam allowance, and snip and clip in "V" shape into the seam allowance.

Sewing a piping at a corner:

At corner, snip and clip in V into the seam allowance of the piping and of the fabric piece, cutting close to the stitches. Mark with the nails the corner to adapt the shape.It is recommended to baste and tack the piping before sewing at edge of the cord.

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