Tutorial

Tutorial: Make your own piping

I love piping. It is fun and easy to make, and piping in special fabrics add an instant polish to any garment. Piping is an easy way to finish shaped hemlines (as on my Japonisme jacket ), to outline appliqué (as seen on my chinoiserie skirt) as well as to provide detailing and support in seams (as seen in many Victorian bodices, and Rowena’s 1840s bodice).

1903 chinoiserie inspired promenade dress thedreamstress.com

To make 1 metre of self-fabric piping you will need:

1 metre of piping cord in your choice of size (you can find this at most sewing and haberdashery stores. It comes in sizes from teeny tiny to very large, depending on the effect you want).

Make your own piping tutorial thedreamstress.com

1/2 metres of a fashion fabric of your choice. Thin, tightly woven fabrics work best.  You can use velvet and corduroy for piping, but I would recommend starting with a fabric with a smooth finish and easy handling. I do not recommend beaded, sequined or embroidered fabrics.

1. Cutting bias strips:

You’ll be cutting bias strips about 1 inch wide (I just use the width of my ruler as a guide) from your fashion fabric until your strips, added together, equal just over 1 metre.

Make your own piping tutorial thedreamstress.com

To find the diagonal bias, first find the lengthwise grain of your fabric and mark a line along it.

Then find the widthwise grain of your fabric and mark a widthwise line which intersect with the lengthwise grain line. Your two lines should form an exactly 90 degree angle.

Make your own piping tutorial thedreamstress.com

Measure out and mark 5 inches from the point of the intersection along each line.

Make your own piping tutorial thedreamstress.com

Lay the edge of your ruler so that it connects the two points, and draw a line.

Make your own piping tutorial thedreamstress.com

Ta da! You now know how to find the exact bias of the fabric. You can follow this line to make your bias strips:

Make your own piping tutorial thedreamstress.com

Make your own piping tutorial thedreamstress.com

2. Sewing your bias strips:

Straighten the ends of your bias strips so that each end is cut precisely along the grain of the fabric.

Make your own piping tutorial thedreamstress.com

Sew the bias strips end to end, right sides together, until the strip is one meter long.

Make your own piping tutorial thedreamstress.com

Make your own piping tutorial thedreamstress.com

Iron the seams open.

Make your own piping tutorial thedreamstress.com

3. Sewing your piping:

Fold the bias strip over the piping cord, wrong sides together.

Make your own piping tutorial thedreamstress.com

Set your piping foot or zipper foot (or any other foot where you can get the needle on the outside of the foot) down on the fabric part of the fabric and cord sandwich. The edge of the foot should sit right next to the cord and the cord should be pushed right to the fold of the fabric. Make sure your needle is positioned so that your stitch line will fall close to, but not on, the bump of the cord.

Make your own piping tutorial thedreamstress.com
Sew along the piping, keeping the foot pushed against, but not on, the bump of the cord. Backstitch when you get to the end of the bias strip, and cut off your excess cord

Make your own piping tutorial thedreamstress.com

Make your own piping tutorial thedreamstress.com

Ta da! You have piping in whatever colour and fabric you desire!

Make your own piping tutorial thedreamstress.com

As inspiration, here are a few of my projects that feature piping.

An underbust corset with seams highlighted with piping:

Underbust corset thedreamstress.com

 

My chinoiserie skirt, with the appliqué outlined in piping:

 

The 1903 chinoiserie skirt thedreamstress.com

Rowena’s 1840s ensemble, with piped detailing on the bodice:

1840s inspired evening dress thedreamstress.com

The Polly Oliver jacket, with gold piped seams:

The ca. 1885 'Polly / Oliver Perks' Terry Pratchett inspired ensemble thedreamstress.com

Image courtesy of Sarah of Capital Adventures http://dianavilliers.livejournal.com/486765.html

 

3 Comments

  1. Rosaline says

    Merci pour ce tutoriel de passepoil,
    il sera très utile,
    bonjour de Paris (France)

  2. Kim says

    Wondering why all the photobucket pics are gone on MANY websites. Curious if it’s the Windows XP users (like me), or if this is affecting everyone. Darn Microsoft!

    I’d love to see these pics for the tutorial. Thank you for sharing.

    • It looks like Photobucket is down for maintenance, so I’ve uploaded all the photos via WordPress, so you should be able to see them now 🙂

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