Christine Carson | Date posted: April 11th, 2012
One way to add interest and sophistication to a project is by adding piping. You may have guessed I’m not referring to the piping a plumber uses or even a dog in a smoking jacket with a pipe in his paw (although if it’s a well-made smoking jacket it may very well have a piping trim)!
Piping in the sewing world is a strip of fabric wrapped over a cord that is sewn into seams. Piping helps define seams and highlight style lines and is widely used in home textiles, garments, and accessories. Pre-made piping can be found with the trims and embellishments in most fabric stores, but you can also make you own piping.
The greatest advantage to making your own piping is that you will not be limited to the selection you find in store. To make your own, cut fabric into long bias-cut strips. It is important to cut and sew the strips on the bias so that the piping navigates corners and curves smoothly. Wrap the cord and sew the fabric over the cord very snugly (think going-steady snug, not first-date snug!) leaving a fabric allowance that will be used to sew the piping snugly into your project seam.
Piping is best made with a foot that allows you to get the stitch right next to the cord. In a pinch, use a zipper foot, but if you plan on making and using piping on a regular basis consider purchasing a machine foot made for this task: a cording/piping foot, such as the one Janome offers for its machines (Part Number: 200314006). The Janome piping foot has two grooves on the underside that hold the cord while allowing you to sew the fabric cover. With a little practice, you, too, will be piping hot! (Pun intended!)
Sewing has always been a part of Christine's life, One of her earliest & fondest memories is that of her mother sewing in the family room. Christine started making doll clothes by hand at a...