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  • Writer's pictureSew Retro

Tutorial for making Piping using Bias Binding

Updated: Feb 13, 2020

Hands up if you love a traditional pair of pyjamas. They remind me of a bygone era where time stood still, allowing you the luxury of reading the broadsheets at a breakfast of kedgeree or kippers!

This tutorial explains how to make piping .I have used my piping to contrast and define the edges of the collar, front facing, and cuffs on the pyjama top and shorts.

Piping has lots of uses and is often found on cushions, as well as the edges of pyjamas.

This tutorial shows you how to make piping using your own fabric cut on the bias. The tutorial also shows you how to sew it onto the fabric, and a few tips on how to make the sewing easier and get a professional finish.

I had a shirt pattern for the top and this pattern for the shorts (as I had them in my stash) however this pattern would work well if you need to buy a pattern,

What is the bias?

The bias is when the fabric is cut at a 45% angle; it is where your fabric has the most stretch.

How do I find the bias?

You can find the bias by using the selvage as you guide. Lay you fabric on the flat and with the selvage on the right as shown above, fold the corner up to the middle at a 45% angle, smooth this line with your finger, then cut along the fold you have just made.

Use this edge to cut 3cm stripes to cover the piping cord. 3cm is wide enough to cover a thin cord, if you are using a wide cord you will need to cut wider strips.

How do I join the bias strips to create a longer binding?

Place two binding strips right sides together with the diagonal edges aligned. Slide them so that the ends extend ¼". Sew a ¼" seam across the cut edges. Press the seam allowances open and trim off the parts that extend beyond the edge of the binding. Trimming the points will reduce bulk in the finished binding. Continue adding strips in the same manner until you have enough binding, for your project.

Cut 3 cm stripes on the bias.

Iron the stripes in half and inset the piping cord into the middle of the fabric, pin.

Thread the sewing machine with matching tread and using a piping foot or the zipper foot stitch as close to the cord as possible.

Pin the piping cord to the edge of your fabric, with the raw edges of the piping to the raw edges of the fabric, and the covered cord edge facing in. Pin into place. Using the piping foot or the zipper foot attach the piping cord to the fabric.

If you need to pipe around a corner, pin the cord to the fabric and carefully clip the bias tape to allow you to get around the corners, (Be careful not to cut the stitching) this will allow you to achieve a crisp corner.

Pin and stitch into place.

Where possible make enough piping so you do not need to join your piping, however there are times when you will need to join the piping, for example when making a cushion.

Pin the piping around the edge of your fabric allowing enough for a 1.5 to 2 cm over lap. On the right hand side fold back the piping as show, then place the left hand side on to the folded back section, trim the piping cord on the right hand side to meet the left hand side, and the folded back edge will neatly cover the joining (meeting) of the piping, leaving you a clean edge that will not fray. Pin, and then stitch the piping onto the main fabric.

Now that you have attached the piping cord to the areas that you wish to pipe, you can continue to follow your pattern to make your garment or soft furnishing project.

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