Pipe Up

I was just working on a project for a future embroidery club and though I would take a break and write up this little tutorial on making your own piping. Have to say, I just love piping! I know, I don’t use it often enough. But when I do, the projects are always fabulous. The piping really defines edges, and if you choose the right fabric, you can add a great pop of color. Of course if you make your own piping you have an endless variety of fabrics to choose from and you can make amazing piping.

Here’s what you need:

1 1/4” wide strips of fabric cut on the bias; length as needed

Piping cord; length as needed

Piping foot

Groovin' Piping Trimming Tool or the Groovin' Piping Trimming Tool Grande.


sew_bias_stripsIf you need to join your bias fabric strips to make the necessary length, stitch the strips on the bias to reduce bulk, as follows:

Pin the ends of the strips as shown, with right sides facing. Stitch from corner to corner. Trim the seam to 1/4" and press open.

Attach the piping foot onto your sewing machine. Select a straight stitch and move the needle position slightly to the right of center.

SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERASAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERAThe Piping Foot is an optional sewing machine accessory. It has a deep groove on the underside. The piping passes through this groove while you stitch it onto your fabric. Be sure to ask your sewing machine retailer for more information.


Wrap the bias strip around the piping cord and pin every so often, to hold. Place the fold of the fabric strip with the cording, under the groove of the piping foot and stitch.

We make the piping first, then attach it to our project. Setting up the needle position this way ensures that this seam is hidden when you sew the piping onto your project.

trim_pipingNeed a perfect 1/4" seam allowance on your piping? Use the Groovin' Piping Trimming Tool.

We used narrow piping that's perfect with the original Groovin' Piping Trimming Tool. For larger piping use the Groovin' Piping Trimming Tool Grande.

Pin the piping onto the right side of your project. Set the needle position atcorners center and stitch the piping all around.

Clip into the piping tape around the corners so that it turns easily; sew to within 2” of a corner, then stop sewing and clip into the tape every 1/4” for a 3” length around the corner. Continue sewing right to the corner. Stop with the needle in the fabric, pivot and continue sewing the next side.


finish_endsTo finish the ends of the piping: leave a 3" length of piping unstitched at the start and at the end. Unstitch a 2" length of the piping tape at one end. Line up the piping ends and cut the cord from the end that you just unstitched so that the cord ends butt together. Fold 1/4” to the wrong side on the overlapping end. Finish stitching the piping into place.