The search is over. No more endless hunting, trying to figure out whether the colors match, pondering whether the price is really worth it! Since it seems so unnecessarily difficult (and costly!) to find piping that fits with the upholstery fabric you chose, I’m sharing this quick tutorial to show you how to sew piping – even double piping! – and it turns out to be super easy. It will take you 30 minutes to make yards of piping using the exact fabric you want!
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- Fabric of your choice
- Jute twine or cotton cord around 3mm thick
Step 1: Prepare the fabric
To begin, cut out at least two 2″ strips along the whole length of the fabric. I’m going to be fully transparent here and admit I didn’t even take out the ruler or mark out a line… I thoroughly eyeballed it, and that’s fine! As long as the strip is not ragingly wonky, it’s okay.
Now, place your two strips together with the good side facing in like in the picture above, assuming your fabric has a good side like mine (it’s upholstery velvet with a felted backing). On one end only, sew a line across the strips. Unfold your two strips which should now make up one single extra long strip of fabric. If needed, you might want to press it with a hot iron to flatten the seam.
Step 2: Sew the first piping cord
Before you begin, insert a zipper foot on your sewing machine. It’s okay if you don’t have one, just use the normal foot but the zipper foot helps a fair bit by letting you come as close to the cord as possible.
First lay your strip with the wrong side facing up. Place your cord on the strip and fold the left side of the strip over the cord. Add a pin to hold it in place and insert it under your zipper foot. Sew a seam down the entire strip to enclose the cord in fabric, making sure the cord is tightly tucked in.
I’m using jute cord here because I find that it doesn’t slide around and stays put while sewing due to its rough nature. If I were sewing double piping with a thinner fabric, I would probably use a smooth cotton cord though, in case the jute was too bumpy and it showed through the fabric.
This is how your yards of fabric strip look like once you have finished sewing the first piping cord. You will notice there is a small “lip” of fabric which we will have to cut short before inserting the second piping cord.
Cut as close to the cord seam as possible to prevent a bulge when we add the second cord.
Step 3: Adding the second piping cord
At this point, you will swap out your zipper foot for your normal sewing foot.
First, lay your strip with the wrong side up and the first piping cord on the left. Lay your second jute cord on the right of the first and fold the first cord over the second like in the picture above. Secure the folding with a pin and insert the fabric strip under your sewing foot.
Place the strip so that the needle goes down between the two cords. Sew a seam down the middle along the entire length of the fabric strip, enclosing the second cord tightly next to the first.