Sewing piping can add a finished 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.
Piping can also be used on sewing projects and clothing where you need a pop of contrasting colour.
Did you know?
You're able to purchase ready to go piping kits from most craft stores.
These kits generally contain thin cord and a range of coloured plain fabrics. Which is great if you're looking to quickly finish off a project.
However, for something interesting or that really pops, you really do need to make your own.
Make your Own Piping.
Martyn is going to walk us through making our own piping using our 'Love Cushion Appliqué Sewing Pattern'
We start our piping project with some strips of fabric, these strips are not bias cut. For soft furnishings, edges of quilts, mug rugs and other such projects you can simply cut your piping fabric across the piece of the fabric.
Cut these into 4cm/ 1.5 inch width strips.
To ensure that you have enough length for your project you can sew your fabric strips end to end.
Join Fabric Strips.
Lay the end of your fabric strips together, laying them corner to corner. Right sides together.
We are then going to draw a line at a 45 degree angle, on the overlapping fabric corners, to stitch over.
Stitch along the 45 degree line to join the two strips of piping fabric.
Once the fabric strips for your piping are joined simply cut the excess fabric from the join corner so that you have 1cm or 3/8 inch excess fabric from the stitch line.
After you have cut off the excess fabric, press this seam open so that this lays flat.
Pop a Zip Foot on your Sewing Machine.
The Zip Foot.
A Zip Foot can be used for inserting zippers as well as making and inserting piping or cording into projects.
The Zip Foot allows the needle to stitch close to a raised edge such as the thickness of cording we will be using for our piping.
Get your joined lengths of fabric, lay your cord in the middle of this fabric, fold the fabric over so that the edges are even. With your Zip Foot stitch right up against the edge of the cord.
Now it is time to sew the length of your piping.
We use a longer stitch when sewing our piping. You can use pins or clips to keep the cord in place and the edges even.
Just take your time and slowly make your way down the length of your strip.
HINT: When you get to the fabric strip join, ensure that the seam stays pressed flat. Some fabrics that are a little thicker can cause a little bit of a lump at this seam. Be aware of where this seam is going when using this section on your project as it could cause excess bulk in areas.
Once you have finished stitching your piping, clip off the end of the cord.
Note: The Cord is quite loose inside the stitched fabric strip You should be able to pull this freely through the fabric (back and forth - do not pull this too hard as you may lose one end of your cord).
Lastly, and this isn't something that everyone does, but Martyn likes to do.
Switch your normal Sewing Foot back onto your machine, and stitch along the line of your cord. This line is just 1.5cm or 0.5 inch out from the previous line.
This is to ensure that when you go to trim up your piping, by hand, that you have a nice even line to trim along.
You can trim this up by hand with a pair of sharp fabric scissors.
Otherwise, if you have a piping ruler you can always make use of this.
Piping Ruler: Martyn is using a "Groove and Piping Trimmer" by Susan Cleveland.
There is a ridge along the undersides of the ruler that you place along your piping, which is 1.5cm or 0.5 inch, this allows you to sit the ruler on your piping and cut the excess fabric with your rotary cutter.
And there you have it, nice even 1.5cm or 0.5inch piping. We generally make this 1.5cm or 0.5 inch piping as that is the seam allowance we use for most of our sewing patterns.