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Tips & Techniques > Piping or cording; making it fast without stitching

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Posted by: Janie Viers
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About Janie Viers star
Member since: 4/8/02
Reviews: 61 (tips: 29)
Skill level:Advanced
Favored by: 5 people
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Posted on: 5/16/05 8:35 AM
Review Rating: Helpful by 2 people   Very Helpful by 21 people   
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If you are making piping or cording and hate that sometimes the basting you use on the piping sometimes shows in the finished garment.... I have a solution for you. Plus you can do this without your sewing machine! If you have a rolling leather foot for your machine or a piping foot that accepts larger piping, this may not be as big a problem for you.

Cut your piping cover as usual (bias, normally). Then put down stitch witchery or steam a seam down on the fabric wrong side along one long raw edge of the bias strip. Lay your filler in the middle and fold the raw edges over to match to the other raw edges. Iron the fabric so that the glue melts and secures the fabric together around the filler. This way you never have to worry about any basting stitches showing. Plus you can do it in front of the TV away from the sewing room! (Or in a hotel!)

Another choice would be to use fabric glue (the permanent kind). If you glue with a temporary glue it might be ok if you are doing what I call immediate and unprepared sewing (I do a lot of that when genius strikes or family requests!) You can get a Bernina "leather" foot (also commercial feet) that has a roller bar that pushes the piping away from the needle, but I begrudge spending time a)sewing the piping and then having to resew to the item and b) worrying about hiding the piping stitches in the item. (Now can we all say together, "JANIE IS VERY LAZY"?)

This also works nicely when using "barely there" filler, like fine yarn or string. I had problems "sewing into" the finer filler when speeding along the length (I know I should pay more attention but I get caught up in a zillion stitches per minute when I am making trim!)

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jkm said... (12/14/08 8:16 AM) Reply
Excellent tip that solves a real problem for me.
Flying Seamstress said... (12/7/08 6:28 AM) Reply
This is a great idea that I'm going to try today...need 12 yards of welting...Thank you so much for the tip!
MelissaB in WA said... (1/11/08 10:31 PM) Reply
Thank you, this tip helped me so much today!
fabricrazed said... (1/5/08 9:56 PM) Reply
Your timing is impeccable. I was just thinking about a design element for the ruffle handbag from hot patterns. Piping was the thought I had in mind. Great idea!!! I even have steam a seam on hand. No trip to the fabric store (I have no self control when it comes to new fabrics). Thanks for sharing.
Diana M said... (6/2/05 3:37 PM) Reply
Absolutely fantastic. I may now attempt my first project with pipint!
Clev said... (5/23/05 12:20 PM) Reply
I'm making piping this very moment--welting it's called when applied to home-dec. Rather than baste I sewed the normal stitch lenght with matching thread--then when I sewed it on the cushion it wasn't an issue at all. Thanks though for the tip, may use it in the future.
Karla Kizer said... (5/18/05 6:36 AM) Reply
Well, dang. All these years of sewing and a recent-years addiction to Steam-a-Seam, and this method never occurred to me. Janie might be lazy, but "lazy" has given us things like dishwashers and vacuum cleaners - and easy piping. I say lazy is a Good Thing.
flowermama said... (5/18/05 3:54 AM) Reply
I avoid piping because of the very issues you noted. Thank you for this tip!!!
MaryF said... (5/17/05 10:59 AM) Reply
What a terrific tip. ...And now we'll all say together, "JANIE IS VERY INGENIOUS!"
iblondie said... (5/17/05 10:52 AM) Reply
I needed you this weekend! I opted for spraying temporary adhesive to do the same job - messier than yours, but it got the job done. Thanks for the tip, this is one I will remember!
Deepika said... (5/17/05 7:27 AM) Reply
I've never made piping before but your tip sounds great. I'll have to try this. I love steam a seam and have all kinds of widths in it.
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