Let me show you how to make your own piping and how to sew it in a seam. It’s an easy process and you’ll be wondering why you didn’t try it sooner!

Supplies:

  • Piping fabric
  • Cording
  • Zipper foot or piping foot
  • Pins
  • Thread

Making your own piping

Step 1: Cut a strip of fabric (usually on the bias) to fit your piping. You’ll want to consider the circumference of the cord and your seam allowance. My cord is 1/4″ so I cut the bias strip 2 inches wide by the length of my project. You might need to combine several strips together to get the length you need.

The strips will be folded in half and once the cord is sewn in, it will leave a 1/2″ seam allowance.

Step 2: With the wrong side facing up, lay the cord down the middle of the fabric strip. Fold the fabric in half longways with the cord sitting in the fold. Pin in place.

cord laying on bias strip
cord pinned in bias strip

Step 3: It’s time to sew the cording in. You can use a piping foot for this or a zipper foot. Since I don’t have a proper piping foot, a zipper foot is what I’m using for this tutorial.

Set your machine for a basting stitch (the longest stitch length setting). Place the cord up against the zipper foot. Starting at one end, sew along the cord to encase it in the bias strip.

sewing machine need in fabric

Sewing piping into a seam

Now that you’ve made your own piping, it’s time to sew it into a seam.

Step 1: The piping will be sandwiched between the two fabrics you are joining. Lay one piece of fabric right side up, then lay the piping on top, matching up the raw edges.

piping lined up on edge of fabric

Step 2: Lay the other piece of fabric right side down on top of the piping while lining up the raw edges. Pin in place.

fabric layered on top of piping
piping pinned between two fabrics

Step 4: Using the same zipper foot, start at one end of the seam and sew along the piping as close as you can get. Take your time and stitch it as cleanly as possible. You don’t want the piping to be loose in your seam.

sewing machine needle in fabrics

This is how your seam should look once it is sewn.

piping sewn into the two fabrics

Step 5: Press the seam open. Be careful not to put too much weight on the piping if it’s made with a soft cord. We want the cord to stay rounded and full.

iron pressing seam open

Turn your fabric over and inspect the right side of the fabric to ensure your piping is sitting in the seam nice and tight. Press any wrinkles.

finished piping in a seam

You have now made your own piping AND sewn it in a seam!