Adding piping into seams gives a lovely professional finish to bags and other sewn items. People tend to shy away from using piping as they think it may be difficult or fiddly, but it really is a simple technique and one that is well worth trying out!
1). To make piping you will need a length of fabric that has been cut on the bias. You can either purchase pre-made bias tape and iron out the folds to make a flat straight length of fabric, or cut some of your own fabric on the bias (cut diagonally against the grain of the fabric). As a rule of thumb, you need the width of your unfolded bias strip to measure twice the width of your cord + twice the seam allowance of your project Therefore, if you are using a 5mm (1/4in) cord and a 5mm (1/4in) seam allowance, your fabric strip should measure 2.5cm (1in). I like to add a little extra to be on the safe side – you can always trim it later. I would therefore use a 3cm (11/4in) strip in this instance.
2). Lay your cord along the centre of the bias strip. Starting at one end, fold the fabric onto itself, enclosing the cord. Pin in place intermittently.
3). Now attach the zipper foot to your sewing machine and use a thread colour to match the piping fabric. Starting at one end, sew the bias fabric together very close to the piping to fully enclose it all the way along the length. Once fully stitched, your piping is now ready to use in your project.
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