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How to make your own piping


Piping is a decorative trim made from folded bias strips of fabric. It’s often filled with cord to give it a rounded look. Piping adds emphasis and outlines areas of the garment, adds a touch of contrast color and adds structure to seams. You can buy premade piping in solid colors, or you can make your own!



Piping on Tofino Pants

Piping on Tofino Pants


Piping can be added to just about any seam! You can insert it along seam lines or along edges. Piping looks great added to a waistline seam, across the neckline, around collars and lapels, inserted between the facing and lining, around cuffs, in between a ruffle and a skirt on a hemline and along princess seams. Piping can be tonal and match the garment, or it can be a contrast color.

Adding solid piping is a nice way to outline a printed garment. Piping is sewn to the garment pieces before the seam is sewn or before the facing is attached.

Tips + Notes

  • Striped or plaid bias tape will make neat diagonal striped piping!
  • Piping can make seams a little stiffer, so keep that in mind when adding piping to your garments. Stiffness is good for waistlines and necklines, but not so good for seams that cross the body, as it will restrict your movement.


How to make your own piping (1)


Start with a length of bias tape. (See page link for instructions on making your own bias tape.) Cut a length of cording to match the bias tape. Look for cording that’s 1⁄8″–¼” (3mm–6mm) wide. Fold bias tape around the cording with the wrong sides together. Line up the raw edges.

Baste close to the cording with a zipper foot.

How to make your own piping (2)


You can skip the cording step to make flat piping, if you prefer the look. To make flat piping, fold bias tape in half lengthwise, wrong sides together, and press. Baste along raw edges.


How to sew piping into seams (1)

Baste piping to one side of the seam, with the right side facing up. Place the piping along the stitching line, so that when you sew a 5⁄8″ (1.5cm) seam, you are sewing as close as you can to the piping. This may mean the raw edges of the piping are not in line with the fabric’s raw edges. If you are sewing piping between a gathered and straight edge, baste the piping to the straight edge.

How to sew piping into seams (2)

If you are sewing piping to a curved seam, clip or notch (page link) the piping so that it can curve around the corner without puckers. For inside curves, notch the piping seam allowance to reduce bulk and eliminate the chance of puckers.

How to sew piping into seams (3)

For outside curves, clip the piping seam allowance around the curved area so it can form around the corner.

How to sew piping into seams (4)

When sewing piping around a corner, clip into the seam allowance at the corner point and bend the piping at a 90° angle.

How to sew piping into seams (5)

Place the other side of the seam on top of the side with the piping attached, right sides together, with the piping sandwiched in between the two layers.

How to sew piping into seams (6)

Sew close to the piping using a zipper foot or a piping foot, if you have one.

How to sew piping into seams (7)

Trim the piping to 1⁄8″ (3mm) between the seam allowances. Trim or finish seams as desired.


If you are sewing piping in a circle, for example around a neckline or a cuff, overlap the ends and curve them toward the seam allowance.
If you are sewing toward an edge that will be enclosed in another seam, curve the piping toward the seam allowance just before the seam line of the crossing seam.

Piping curved toward seam allowance

Piping curved toward seam allowance

Source : The Sewtionary An A to Z Guide to 101 Sewing Techniques + Definitions
About the Author : Tasia ST. Germaine