9 December 2014

How to Sew Piping into a Seam

How to sew piping into a seam

Sewing piping into a seam is a great way of drawing attention to unusual style lines, such as the raglan seams on the Francoise dress. It’s so easy to do and can lift your dressmaking project from ordinary to extraordinary!

You can buy ready-made piping, or you can make your own by cutting a strip of fabric on the bias (ie. at a 45 degree angle to the selvedges), wrapping it around some piping cord and sewing it in place.

Here’s how to pipe a seam:

How to sew piping into a seam

1) Cut the piping so it’s a bit longer than the seam you want to sew it to. Trim the seam allowances on the two seams that the piping will be sandwiched between so that they are the same width as the fabric part of the piping.

How to sew piping into a seam

2) Pin the piping to the right side of one of the seams (ie. the side that will show on the outside of your garment), with the cord running along the stitching line and the raw edge of the piping aligned with the raw edge of the fabric.

How to sew piping into a seam

3) Attach a piping foot or adjustable zip foot to your sewing machine and set the stitch length to 4mm. (You can use a regular zip foot if you don’t have a piping or adjustable zip one, but I find the latter much easier to use.) Baste/tack the fabric part of the piping to the garment within the seam allowance.

How to sew piping into a seam

4) Re-snip any notches that have been hidden by the piping. Pin the seams of your garment together as normal, with the piping sandwiched between them, matching any notches.

How to sew piping into a seam

5) Using the piping foot or adjustable zip foot, stitch the seams together, with the needle as close as you can get to the piping cord without sewing over it. Like, really close, which is where the piping or adjustable zip foot comes in handy because the foot doesn't get in the way of the needle – push the piping cord right up against the edge of the presser foot as you sew. If your first attempt isn’t quite close enough, no worries – just try stitching another line even closer.

How to sew piping into a seam

6) Trim the ends of the piping, and finish your seams as normal. And you’re done!


Here's one I made earlier!

12 comments:

  1. I love that version; adding piping to the raglan seam transforms a plain dress to something really sophisticated, so that's definitely on my "To Try" list now!

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  2. Hey tilly, I love this black version, it's gorgeous. I think you mean cut at 45 degrees from the selvedge for your bias binding. Hope this helps. Zoe

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    1. Doh! You're absolutely right, that's why you should never write blog posts when you're tired ;)

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  3. Cutting on the bias is at 45 degrees from the selvedge, 90 degrees is on the cross grain

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  4. OMG, the houndstooth buttons. I love this version!

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  5. I love this version, piping makes everything look amazing! I want to try ric rac on my next one, on the collar too!

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  6. Great tutorial! Love the colour contrast on the dress.

    http://zigzagsandhabiliments.blogspot.co.nz/

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  7. so cute! and I love your nail polish in the tutorial picture, very festive!

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  8. Love the piping! Especially the denim and gold combination!

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  9. That dress is so cute! Love the piping and the picture!

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  10. Hi, Tilly. I'm having a lot of trouble sewing a hidden zipper across piping in a dress. Any tips/tricks for making it behave so it will sew in properly?

    Thanks in advance!
    Jennifer

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    1. Eek that does sound a bit bulky! Perhaps remove a little chunk of the piping where the zip intersects it, fiddly but could be worth it! Whack up your foot pressure too so its got a bit more strength to go over all those layers.

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