Learn how to sew piping and how to make piping to use it in any seam. You can sew piping with a piping foot and you can sew piping without a piping foot.
I love the look of piping. It’s something really easy that really adds details and depth to the sewing project. It’s a classic look and it helps your pieces fold nicely at the edge!
In this tutorial I show you how to make piping from scratch and how to use two different sewing machine feet to sew piping. I’ve made piping with both feet so it definitely is possible.
I wanted to make myself some comfy and classic pajamas for the summer, but I love classic pajamas with piping. Piping does add more time and work when sewing, but it looks so amazing with piping!
I did not buy a specific pattern for these classic pajamas, but instead used patterns I already had. I used the Willamette Shirt pattern and added the piping on the collar, front, and the sleeve cuffs. I sewed the front closed and skipped buttons and buttonholes.
I used the Tierras Woven Joggers pattern for the pants. I cropped them and added cuffs with piping. Now that I’m writing this post, I’m realizing that I’ve paired these patterns together before! I made a Cotton + Steel outfit with the Willamette and the Tierras Woven Joggers.
How to Make Piping and How to sew piping
- woven fabric
- zipper sewing machine foot or piping sewing machine foot*
- scissors, marking tool, and ruler OR rotary cutter, cutting mat, and ruler
- sewing tools
Cut fabric strips 1 1/4″ cut on the bias. The bias is when you cut fabric at a 45 degree angle to the grainline and crosswise grain.
You might need to cut the bias strips wider or thinner if you are using a larger or smaller cording.
Sew the fabric strips together so you get one long line. When you cut on the bias the ends are at funny angles so it’s a little tricky to sew them together.
Cut the cording the same length as the bias strips.
Take the fabric strip and cording and wrap the fabric around the piping. Pin the fabric so that it stays on the cording.
Put in your piping foot and keep the needle in the middle. The cording will run along the tunnel underneath the foot.
Sew the bias strip around the cording. The piping foot gets much closer to the cording.
Sandwich the piping between two layers of fabric with right sides together. The raw edge of the two layers and the raw edges of the piping allowance should all match up.
Keep the piping foot in the machine to sew all the layers together.
When you flip the fabric right side out you will have beautiful piping.
How to sew piping without a piping foot
Cut fabric strips 1 1/4″ cut on the bias.
Sew the fabric strips together so you get one long piece.
Take the fabric strip and cording and wrap the fabric around the piping. Pin the fabric around the cording. Pin the fabric so that it stays on the cording.
Put in your zipper foot so that you can get right next to the round edge. Move the needle to the left, and the left is the side where the cording will go.
Sew the fabric around the cording. I push the cording from the left towards the foot to keep it from slipping away.
A zipper foot doesn’t get as close to the cording, but it does okay.
Sandwich the piping between two layers of fabric. The raw edge of the wrapped piping should line up with the raw edge of the layers of fabric.
When you get to the end of using piping you will overlap the piping ends and have the edges go into the seam allowance. (At the left in the picture.) You will have to sew over the round edge to tuck the ends under.
If you make something using this sewing project, I’d love to see! Please share it on social media with the hashtag #heatherhandmade and tag me!
I believe small sewing moments can create great joy. Find your own “right” way to sew. -Heather