Have you been enjoying the Glam Your Bed Pillow Sew Along? I know that I definitely have been. Today we’re talking about something that I had never done prior to this Pillow Sew-Along: covering your own piping. If you are participating in the sew-along, we’ll be using this technique on a pillow in a few weeks.
First off, what is piping? Piping is a decorative piece that you can apply to pillows, purses, quilts, etc. To simplify it, the construction of piping is basically a piece of material with some type of cord sewn in between the layers. Take a look at your fancy bed shams or bed spreads- many of them will have accent piping.
You can buy pre-made piping in the store in packages. And it works just fine (I’ve used it for a few other projects), but there are great benefits to making your own:
- You can choose your piping diameter. The pre-made piping that you typically find has a small diameter. I have a hard time NOT sewing over it when it’s covered and I can’t see it. When I make my own piping, I use a larger diameter (like, 1/4) to really make my piping pop!
- Your project looks impressive. Piping that is the same as the pillow fabric can make any project look like an advance level piece.
- You have more control over the colors. Ready-made piping is like ready-made bias tape- you can usually only find it in standard solid colors. Cover your own piping so that it matches your project perfectly!
So here’s how you can cover your own piping! Practice is the best way to learn, so even if you’re not doing the pillow sew-along, try to implement piping in a few projects over the next few months to become comfortable with it!
Gathering the supplies:
Of course, you’ll need a length of piping cord for the center. You can find this at your local sewing store by the yard. It’s sold in different widths. Buy a length a few inches longer than the length of the project.
Next, cut fabric to cover the cord. The fabric that covers the cord with should be cut on the bias. Lay the fabric out flat on the table. Fold one corner up diagonally. The fold that results is the bias line.
Cut a strip of bias fabric to cover the cord. Length of the strip should equal the length of the piping cord. Width of the strip should equal 1″ + the diameter of the cord (in other words, if you have 1/2″ diameter piping, the width of your bias strips should be 1 and 1/2″). The ends should be angled.
Covering the Piping Cord:
Lay the bias strip RIGHT side down. Center the cord on the WRONG side of the fabric.
Fold the fabric in half, keeping the cording centered. Pin.
Using a piping or a zipper sewing machine foot, sew over the folded material close to the cord. The cord should not be moveable inside of the casing.
Be sure to NOT cut the seam allowance down. The seam allowance will be used to apply the piping to the project.
That’s it! Lovely covered piping!
One more thing to cover before we celebrate- what happens if the length of bias strip is too short for the length of the piping? I’m glad you asked- easy fix!
Cut multiple bias strips of the same width. Pin two pieces of bias strips, RIGHT sides together. The edges should be angled- make sure they are at right angles to one another. Sew a 1/4″ seam to join the bias strips. Join strips in this manner until the desired length is reached. Cover piping as discussed above.
Now…..what to do with the piping??? Come back next Friday for a tutorial on Applying Piping Cord to a Project!
Linking to these great parties!