Sunday, February 25, 2024

How-to Make Your Own Piping Video Tutorial

Follow this video tutorial to make your own custom piping to match any sewing project. Piping is a crisp, classic way to add structure and define the edges of a handmade bag. The Wholecloth Patterns Fairmount Bag uses piping to define the bottom curve of view A, that might otherwise be easily crushed out of shape. It's also used on the Logan Bag to strengthen the circular bottom seam, and help hold its bucket shape. You could buy piping, but it's easy to make and gives you complete control over the look and quality of your finished bag. 

Tools for Making Piping

The only semi-specialty tool you need to make piping is the zipper foot for your sewing machine. The zipper foot allows you to sew right up against the edge of the piping cord when you're sewing the piping and when assembling your bag. The foot I use in the video is the Bernina #4. You'll want to find the foot that works with your sewing machine.  A zipper foot is essential for sewing bags, and is included with most sewing machines. 

In addition to the zipper foot you'll need a few very basic sewing tools. We'll use scissors, a marking tool, and a ruler. 

Supplies for Making Piping

Piping is basically a string wrapped in fabric. From light weight cotton lawn to upholstery fabric, any woven fabric can be used to make piping. Keep in mind that heavy fabrics will work best with thicker piping cord, and lighter fabrics will give the best coverage to thinner piping cords. In the video I'm demonstrating with light weight denim from Joann. I've also made bags piped with corduroy, or canvas. 

Of course, the filler in piping isn't actually string (although I've used yarn in a pinch). For the most predictable results use the specialty product called piping cord. My favorite is a cotton filler cord surrounded by polyester braid. The cotton is sturdy but easy to work with, and the surrounding braid allows the cord to move smoothly inside the finished fabric cover. The piping cord in the tutorial is from Great Lakes Cordage on Amazon. You can buy small quantities of many sizes of cord, and variety packs of multiple sizes. This variety pack has all 3 sizes discussed in the tutorial. It's a great way to experiment with the scale of your piping to the fabric and project. Once you try piping cord you'll never improvise with yarn or string again. 

DIY Piping is used on the Wholecloth Patterns 
sewing patterns. 

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