Making Cording or Piping

I am in the process of making a shabby slip cover for my couch.
Hopefully before the summer is over I will have it done to show the before and after. With work and family events and the fact that it is summer, I am having trouble finding the time to get this done. However I am ever diligent to little by little to get this done!!!!
I have moved on to the one piece cushion, then all I will have left to do is the skirt around the hem edge.
And of course I decided to sew piping around the edges of the cushion. I thought I would try to show you all how to make piping.  My camera is not the best, and I hope I have explained this so you can understand.
Start with a square of fabric

Fold corner to corner, the fold is now the "Bias" or stretch of the fabric,
You now have 2 pieces of bias,
Press this fold,

On this folded edge measure how wide you want each strip of bias tape to be,
I have measured 1 and 3/4, this will give me room to fold fabric over the cord and enough for a 1/4 inch seam allowance. You can make your tape as wide or narrow as you want, I like to work with extra seam allowance. If this tape was for a garment, of course your tape and cording would probably be a smaller size. When I am sewing slip covers I find it is easier on my fingers if I use a larger cord (about 1/4 inch thick) and seam.

After pressing, pin together if you need to, Cut along the pin line,


Open the fold,

Cut on the fold line, you now have 2 pieces of bias tape on a  perfect bias,

2 pieces of bias
Bring up the end of one tape to the opposite end of the other,

Pin together, open and look at it making sure when it will be open after sewing that it lays flat in a straight line, If it does not, then turn one of the pieces over and line up again until the two opposite edges will seam together and lay flat.
You could also just cut the edge to go the opposite diagonal so you can sew it together.  

Stitch together,

Press flat,

Now, place your cording in the middle of the bias tape,

Pin the beginning in place,

Put a zipper foot on your machine.
At the start of the tape and cording, I make sure the start of the cord is in the seam line so I can secure it in place and it won't be loose and potentially slide through the tape as I am sewing the rest of the piping. Also as you sew, the bias tape will want to stretch, just hold it firm , guide the tape around the cord and stitch, getting as close to the cord as possible with the edge of the zipper foot.  

Some of the tape edges are uneven however I can trim up later,
Don't trim too much because you want some seam allowance to use to sew into your project.

Here I have rolled it up, you can see I need to cut more tape for the last bit of cord, I will splice a new piece onto the last piece sewn,
This is how I do piping, it is hard to say how much fabric or cord you will need. It just all depends on how wide you want the seam allowance to be and the size of your cording. I have used scraps from other sewing projects for my piping, and just kept cutting tape and cord as I go along.
I hope you find this helpful. This is the kind of thing that is easier to demonstrate then tell about.
Start off with a scrap piece and practice. Once you get the technique mastered you will be able to go on to your project.  
Please leave me a message if you have questions, I would be happy to answer. 


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