Monday, August 31, 2009

sewing some piping tutorial

Piping is the round, decorative trim that is sewn along the seam of a pillow, furniture, clothing, anything really.

I love the look of piping and think it makes everything a bit more finished and professional looking. I used it on this couch cover and think it would look especially silly without it.
I'm in the process of making something else to use piping with and thought I would document the process I use in pictures.

I like to look at pictures, so I'll keep it simple with brief description where needed.

I cut this particular red fabric on the straight grain, Not on the bias. I didn't have much of the fabric to cut it diagonal so I didn't. But typically it is cut on the bias (from corner to corner).
I cut the fabric 2" wide and I needed it to be something like 129" long for my project. So I cute three strips 2" X 45" . So the length will be 135" with plenty extra to work with.
piping 1

sewin piping 2

To connect my 3 long pieces (it's just like making binding for a quilt), I laid them on top of each other like this at the ends. I drew a line in blue to show where the stitching line will be, and then sew on that line. Sewing the strips together like this on the angle (and not straight across) will leave less bulk in the finished product.
piping 3

piping 4

Next, trim of the ends off. If you hold the scissors at an angle when you cut then you will be grading the seem allowance ever so slightly and it will not be so bulky when all is sewn and done. Grading the seem allowance makes one side slightly shorter than the other. See below where I added the black arrow, showing the shorter side is in the back.
piping 5

sewing piping 6

Center the cording on the strip of fabric. Fold fabric over cording and match up raw edges. Sew with zipper foot right up against the cording from start to finish.
piping 7

sewing piping / cording 8

piping is also welting 9

Here is where I came across the first seem connection of two fabric strips. Remember sewing them on the diagonal to create less bulk? This shows how they lay when wrapped around the cording. The green lines show where the seem lays now, not on top of each other. The black shows where it would be if sewn straight, and make bulk right on top of each other.
piping 10

piping 11

All 135" done.
piping 12

Now to attach piping to a pillow cover I start on the edge. I use the front pillow cover piece first and attach the back after the piping is on.
I start sewing the piping about 1" from the end.

(Note: This is just one way to start and stop and to attach the ends, there is another way to connect them but I tend to stick to this way because it's faster and looks just as nice and it's just for me and not anyone else. But if you are interested in reading another way to do it I found an easy way of explaining it HERE.)

piping 13

piping 14

Continue sewing around the edge like so.
piping 15

If you cut your fabric on the bias then when you get to a corner you should have no problem bending around it as you sew. But I did not, so I clip the edges like so and it will bend along the corner just as easy. You really don't need to make deep clips, just small ones will make a difference in the way it bends. Be careful not to cut too close to the stitching.
piping a corner 16

When you come to the end, leave about 1" open and stop sewing, lift your needle and clip threads.
piping 17

Reposition the two ends so they lay across each other like so.
piping one way to finish off 18

I then change my presser foot to the regular one because my zipper foot can't handle the thickness of the two piping pieces. Sew across both cords and reconnect to the beginning.
piping ending

When all is done, you can go back and pick out the stitch showing on the right side of the fabric for a more finished look. For this project I didn't bother.
pipping threads to pick out

To finish, attach your pillow piece back. But I will stop here and not get into a zipper closure pillow or an envelope closure.

I'll show my pillows when I get the pillow forms inside done and stuffed.
I know I didn't really show how to finish the pillow here but I was just focusing more on the piping. Let me know if you have any questions or if anything doesn't make sense.

1 comment:

  1. Hi! I found your piping tutorial so helpful as I worked on a recent upholstry project. Thanks for the excellent tutorial!
    I hope you don't mind that I shared a link back to your post on my blog,