How to Apply Piping to Your Sewing Project
Here is a tutorial on how to sew piping into a seam. This is a technique I used in my Barbour Bag tutorial Make It: Sew a Barbour Inspired Laptop Bag. This was the first time I had sewn this trim and it wasn’t as complex as I thought. It adds a really professional finish to any bag and is definitely something I would use again.
Pin the piping in place
- Pin the piping along the seam on the right side of your fabric piece.
- When pinning to your fabric, place it so that the raw edges are together and so that the cording is facing inward.
- When you reach a corner, clip the raw edges up to the sewn line (but not through the stitching). This helps with the positioning of the piping so it lays flat. I used rounded corners, so made several cuts close together so that it curved nicely.
- When you’ve pinned all the way around, leave a 2”-3” tail at the end.
- I finished the edges of my fabric before I pinned the trim in place.
Sew the piping to the fabric
- I purchased a piping foot to help with this step. I found it helpful to hold the trim in place so that you can sew as close as possible to the cording.
- A zipper foot could be used instead where you place the foot so that it’s next to the cording.
- Sew around your project, following the cording all the way around. Take your time over the corners. Use a long length basting stitch.
If you are sewing along all the sides and want the piping to join so it looks continuous follow these steps:
- Stop sewing a few inches before you get to the end of the tape.
- Cut the cord
- Fold the fabric of the piping inwards by 0.5cm.
- Place the other end of the piping on top. Trim any excess cording so that there’s no overlap and so there is no bulk. Fold the fabric covering over and pin in place.
- Sew over the join to secure
Secure the piping within the seam
- When pinning the fabric together, place the piece without the piping on top of the piece with the piping RST.
- Sew – Use either the piping or the zipper foot. In my Barbour inspired bag I personally found it easier to use the zipper foot due to the thickness of the fabric. Take your time and keep pushing the cording towards the needle. Sometimes when the needle was getting a bit too far away from the cording I changed the needle position to the left. Be careful not to sew through the piping though.
- Check – Turn your project the side out and see how close the stitching is to the cording and check whether you can see any of the raw tape edges. Go back and sew over areas where the piping is a bit loose. You could mark the loose areas with a marker. In my Barbour inspired bag I found it very difficult to stitch close to the cording around the corners, when attaching the gusset to the bag front and back, this was due to the thick fabric. Here I put in a few hand stitches and then sewed over that path with the machine.
That should be it! I hope you agree that this technique can really elevate a project!
Thanks to the below blogs which guided me when writing my own tutorial.