Wednesday, November 4, 2009

“Seams” Excellent!

Piping adds dimension, personality and strength to your tote or bag seams. You can quickly create custom piping with these instructions; it’s inexpensive and adds some unexpected” pop”!

In order for your piping to easily follow seams and curves without wrinkling and twisting, you will be cutting the piping fabric on the bias (or at a 45 degree angle); find a ruler that has this angle included on it.

You will need Rayon Rat Tail Cording (2 mm) (from your local craft store) and your piping fabric. (This cording is a narrow diameter perfect for smaller accessories; piping for pillows requires a heavier, thicker cording).

Make piping:

Cut strips of the piping fabric 1” wide at a 45 degree angle. Piece strips together to make one long strip, joining at a 45 degree angle.
Place the cording in the center of strip. Wrap the bias strip around the cording, matching the edges.
Attach zipper foot*. Align the zipper foot so the edge of it is against the cording. Sew the seam allowances together to enclose the cording. The needle should be positioned as close to the cording as possible. You should now have piping with a ¼” “carrier” on the side.
*If you have a piping foot for your sewing machine, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for attaching and needle position.

How to use piping? Piping is placed between pieces in the seamline. Position piping along seamline (right side), so that the raw edges match the raw edges of seam. Sew along the seamline; place opposing piece over and follow previous stitching. If you need to sew around a curve, pin the piping in place and clip along piping raw edges – this will relieve the strain on the piping, and create the smooth curve that you want. Be careful not to cut through the original piping stitching.

Use striped fabric for piping – after cutting on the bias, you will have diagonal stripes on the piping.
Use a mottled or small polka dot for piping – everyone will know it’s custom made!
You can add your custom piping on quilts (on right side) before you bind, then place binding at this seam for a different look.

Have fun with piping and send along pics of your results! Enjoy! -Kris

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