How to make self covered piping

January 31, 2018

Adding piping to your seams can add such a special touch. It's worth the extra bit of work as it can make your seams more prominent and beautiful. 

Piping comes in lots of different colors and is usually in a basic cotton fabric, but it looks extra fancy when you create piping covered with self-fabric. Whether your pattern calls for it or not, you can add piping to seams if you want to spruce up the design a little. Here's a tutorial to show you how to cover store-bought piping with self-fabric.


self covered piping on Simone dress

I used it here in the Simone dress because I wanted to add prominence to the seam lines of the front placket. I broke up the monotony of the blue fabric by adding a running stitch in anchor threads to match the piping to integrate the colors.


  • Store bought piping
  • Self-fabric
  • Ruler
  • Scissors or rotary cutter
  • thread
  • Regular zipper foot
  • Pins


cutting fabric for self-covered piping

Cut a bias strip of self-fabric, long enough for the length of your piping. Determine the width of the strip by the piping diameter and the garment's seam allowance. If the piping is 1/4 thick, and the seam allowance is 5/8", then calculate: 1/4" + 1/4" + 5/8" + 5/8 = 1 3/4"                                                                                 


offsetting piping strips

If the piping is very long, you may need to cut multiple strips and piece them together. In that case, cut the ends of the strips should at a 45-degree angle. Lay the strips together and offset them by the seam allowance, which should be about 3/8". This way, once you've sewn them together, the edges will be flush.


trimming piping strip seam allowance
Trim off the seam allowance edges.


wrapping fabric strip around piping
Place the piping on the wrong side of the bias strip. Wrap the bias strip around the piping, matching raw edges and pin along the length of the strip.


sewing self-covered piping strip


To sew close to the piping, use a regular zipper foot with the needle set to the right side. Sew along the length of the strip.


piping covered with self-fabric

Voila, you can now use it wherever you like!


Store Bought Decorative Cord Piping

But we're not done yet! You can also purchase decorative cording that has seam allowance


Decorative Cord Piping
You'll often find the cording seam allowance won't match that of your garment.


sewing decorative cord onto the garment


To get around this, on the garment, draw a chalk representing the sew-line. This is where the cording will be sewn. Place the cord along the chalk line, and using a regular zipper foot, staystitch the cord in place

decorative cord piping sewn onto garment piece

It will be correctly positioned for when you sew the adjoining garment pieces together




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