August 19, 2014

A Piping Tip + More Mid Century Mod

I'm posting early this week as I have something to show you.  While meandering through lots of sewing stuff on Pinterest I came upon a tutorial on how to add piping or cording to a pillow or anything for that matter.  I'm always in the market for helpful hints so I checked it out.  Well, I am hear to tell you I suddenly felt the need to post my own version.  I don't want to disparage the nice person's offering but...

This is the way my mother showed me and she was a real pro.  She did upholstery and slip covers as well as anything else with a needle and thread.
Here is her  simple and nearly invisible way to make the beginning and end of cording on a pillow meet up.

 Leave some fabric at the beginning of your piping unstitched when you make it. Then start pinning it down on your project's edge at the point where inserted piping begins. Pin all the way around.
 When you get back to the beginning point cut your cording and fabric at the end to exactly meet up with the start. They to leave no gap or bump. Then fold over that fabric so no raw edge will show.

 Pin it down.    Now sew down the piping all the way around with your zipper foot. I always sew this down securely before I attach the back side of the pillow.  Sewing all those layers at once is too hard and will not save you time in the long run when it all goes awry.  

 ALERT! I was noticing how close my fingers got to the needle while using this zipper foot.  BE CAREFUL.  I have never sewn my finger...yet! This is the foot from an old Elna (Mom's) that finally had to put to rest.  I resurrected it for my new Janome because the zipper foot that came with the machine doesn't let me get as close to the piping "bump" even when I move the needle position

Notice the difference?

Here's another thing that caused me to wince but not like a sewn finger.  That screw on the right goes up and down with the needle and I have gotten my knuckle rapped a few times.

                                     Here is the nice neat finish.  CAN you see it?

 And here is the project I was working on.

I got into the mid-century modern mode when I offered to make pillows for Peter at Male Pattern Boldness.  See them here or in my previous post.

They were so much fun to do that I decided to get with the trend and make some for my Etsy shop where these are now listed.
Hoping other people like them as much as Peter
and Michael do because I'm going to make more in different colors and patterns.
Backs - The zippers are hidden under the center stripe.

Piping is the finishing touch that makes a pillow go pro.  I have made pillows without but they are never as satisfying.  


  1. Nice tip! And I agree, pillows NEED piping to look right.

  2. My mom taught me the same technique. Love the pillows!