Monday, April 28, 2008

Piping Tutorial

I decided to make my own piping since I wanted it to match the fabric I had used in the baby shoes. Since I had never made piping before, I went to my local fabric store and asked a very knowledgeable lady there to help me through the process. With the right equipment, some decent instructions and lots of courage, piping is quite easy to make!

First, for the right equipment: You need the

  • fabric,
  • cording* and a
  • "piping" or tricot foot for your sewing machine.
*The lady at the fabric store told me that in a pinch she uses yarn instead of cording if she's making piping for clothing.

Second, for the instructions!
  • First, decide on your seam allowance for sewing the piping into the article of clothing. On the dress I made, the seam allowance was 1/2 inch. So I cut my fabric into strips just wider than 1 inch. Then I sewed the strips together to make one long strip that was the length of piping I would need for the project.
  • Then I put the cording or yarn in the middle of the strip lengthwise and folded the fabric over the top. There should be at least a 1/2 inch of fabric after the cording to account for your seam allowance. I needed a long piece of piping for the two dress I was making. I didn't want to pin the cording into the entire length of the fabric, mostly because I'm too lazy. Instead, I had the ball of yarn on my lap and adjusted the fabric around the yarn as I went along.
  • Now for the sewing. Arrange the fabric-encased cording underneath the tricot foot. Adjust the needle of the sewing machine so it is one or two positions to the outside of the cording. Feed the fabric/cording combo into the notch of the foot until you have sewn the entire length of your strip of fabric.
Last, muster all your courage to plunge into this seemingly formidable task!

Once you've sewn the piping, you'll find lots of enthusiasm for getting it into your project, at least I did. You can use the tricot foot again to sew the piping into your project. Line up the rough edge of the piping with the outside edge of your fabric. The piping should now be as far in as your seam allowance calls for. I did take the time to pin my piping to the first layer of fabric. Then I added the second layer over the top of the piping and repinned it.

All these layers can be carefully shoved under the tricot foot. Adjust the needle one or two positions back toward the piping. This will make the seam on the piping remain hidden in the seam allowance and not show through. I used the finger on my left hand to feel for the piping through the layers of fabric and to guide it through the tricot foot as I sewed. This was slightly more difficult because the layer on top was gathered so it was hard to feel the piping through the folds of fabric. But, since it was pinned and I followed my seam allowance, the tricot foot pretty much took care of the rest! Easy, peasy, lemon squeazy.

Good luck with your piping projects!

add to kirtsy


Newer Post Older Post Home