Piping requires extra time. No doubt about it. But it is one of those things in life that is worth the extra effort. It really makes my pillows and duvet look almost professional. The captain requested matching piping on the duvet – one way to get a perfect color match. I grumbled at the work. Piping for a queen sized duvet is measured in miles, not feet. But I took the time to make it. Luckily the fabric had some give making a bit easier to work with. I hate it when he is right, which is most of the time. It looks great. It wasn’t that hard either.
Making custom piping – I used a cotton cording 12/32″. The strips of fabric were 2″ wide as long as I could make them. I sewed the sections together at right angles as the Sailrite video suggests. Using the right-sided pressure foot with the needle to the left, sew the piping into the fabric with the right side of the fabric out. As Julie Gifford recommends in Canvas for Cruisers initially get the cord sewn in the fabric. You can do a second row of stitching to tighten it in. When you get to a seam of the piping fabric, Sailrite recommends turning both seam edges to one side. I’m not so sure that it might not be just as good to open the seam ends up. I’ve tried both ways and I decided it just depends on how thick the fabric is.
Sewing on the piping – I mark the seam like with water soluble pen on the right side. Sew the piping on to the fabric as close to the seam line as possible. If you have a 1/2″ tail or selvage on pre-made piping, the piping, you can line it up with the edge of the fabric and skip the marking step. Use a right-sided pressure foot and move the needle to the left. Cut very small cuts at the corners to help with the turn. Make sure the selvage doesn’t tuck under. It will show on the outside. (Trust me. Seam ripper alert.) Stitch slowly. Rounding the corners will help a lot.
To sew the seam it sounds easy, but you need some accuracy here. Pin your other decorative piece right sides together. You may have to pin inside of the piping on the main area of the project just to hold the pieces in line generally if you can’t pin at the edge. With the width of the cording you loose a bit of fabric, so you may find that the edges don’t match perfectly or at least mine didn’t! Sew your seam. Again as close as you can get to the piping. Very slightly feed the fabric at an angle so you are heading into the piping without sewing it. Check how the seam looks from the right sides. You may have a gap and see the stitching or the piping selvage. If so, this is a trick from Julie Gifford’s book. Turn your piece over and sew it again as close to the piping as you can. By turning it over you see the first stitching line and you can tug gently against the piping. It really helps get a tight fit.
Turn your project right side out and enjoy your decorative trim!