I love piped seams. It’s the costumer in me. The trouble is that piping can get expensive, but making your own is super-cheap and easy and then you can have silk piping which is, I’m pretty sure, one of the high points of human civilization. If you already know how to make bias tape, you’re half way home!
You will need bias tape (1 – 1 1/4″ wide), some form of pipe-filling, and a few minutes. Now, there’s an official right substance to use inside of bias tape. You can buy it at the fabric store. Sometimes I use it. I am most likely to use plain old cheap acrylic yarn in any kinda pukey color that I can’t imagine knitting with. (I have a lot of spare yarn.) If you want piping that will also be very architectural/help stiffen an edge or hem, try a heavier nylon monofilament. Weed-whacker line works right nice.
Here’s how you do:
Ideally, at least one of the threads in your machine should more-or-less match the color of the bias you are using.
If your bias has joins in it, make sure that these are going on the inside of the piping. If you come across a seam allowance and it is on the outside, go ahead and cut the piping right there. There’s always a reason to need a small bit of piping. There’s never a reason to need piping with the seam on the outside. ;)
brilliant! will be trying the weed-wacker idea for sure. can’t imagine why seasick never took off as a colour sample ;p
Hi, Kurajane – thanks! The weed-whacker/heavy filler trick works really well for droopy straps. You can heat-set it, so a low to medium iron will let you put permanent bends into the line where the strap joins the bodice. If you’d rather not fuss with that, just use the line as a filler for bias that goes around the armscye side of the strap, and use something “normal” for the neckline bias.
As for seasick, I dunno how that’s escaped being the color of the year. Tee! ;)
Hi, Thank you for this post! I searched everywhere and your the only one that makes any sense!
I’ve never made piping but I do make my own bias.
I’m wondering if jute twine would be an ok type of cording . I’m putting piping on a jacket/blouse.
THANK you again,
Hi Kat! :) I’ve certainly used jute twine in cording. Whether or not it’s appropriate depends on the weight of your blouse/jacket material and the weight of the twine. If the piping is going to provide structure to the garment, you want it to be slightly heavier/stiffer than the prepared fabrics used in construction. If it’s just decorative, you want it to match the prepared fabrics or be a little lighter. (Prepared fabrics means the fabric with any interfacing/interlining/structural thingamajobbies applied.) I hope that helps, and I’m very sorry for missing your comment for so long!