Piping’s fun to play with, but the choices at the fabric store can be a bit dismal.
Making your own piping opens up a world of possibilities. You can go subtle with piping made from your garment’s fabric, or bold with contrasting or patterned piping.
Today, you’ll learn how to make piping with a seam allowance. This is similar to the piping you’d buy at the store, and is meant to be sewn right into a seam.
- Bias tape, either purchased or made from your own fabric.
- 1/8″ wide cording
- Zipper foot
1. For bias tape, use store bought tape or tape you’ve made with this handy tutorial on making your own bias tape. Either way, it should be wide enough to encase the cord and leave enough fabric to be sewn into the garment’s seam allowance.
For this tutorial, I’m using 1/8″ wide cord. I want to make piping that has a seam allowance of 5/8″, so I can sew it into a seam later.
To ensure the tape is wide enough, double the width of the cord (2 x 1/8″) and double the seam allowance (2 x 5/8″). Added together, the total amount is 1 1/2″ for the width of this bias tape. Follow this little math equation:
(2 x cord width = _____ ) + (2 x seam allowance = _____ ) = total width of the bias tape.
Note: If the final seam allowance is a little short, don’t worry! Simply mark the seam allowance line on your garment and match up the finished piping by pinning in place.
2. Place the cording in the middle of the bias tape strip. The wrong side of the fabric should be facing the cord.
3. Fold the tape over the cord. Pin in place with both edges of the bias tape matched up.
4. Attach the zipper foot to your sewing machine. Place the cord as close to the needle as possible. Sew slowly, making sure to keep an even line close to the cord.
That’s it! Practice a bit to really get a hang of sewing close to the cord before using it on your final fabric. Stay tuned for a tutorial later on about how to sew piping into a seam.
And if anyone has more tips or ideas for making piping, let’s hear them!
Some related posts you might be interested in:
- Tutorial: Flat Piping: A great tutorial showing how to sew in flat piping on a curve
- Tutorial: Surface Cording: Surface cording is very similar to rouleau, but it’s usually sewn in a design straight onto the fabric. Here’s a tutorial on how to do it.
- Detail Inspiration: Piping: Some beautiful examples of piping in vintage and modern garments.