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Whether on the lapel or neckline: piping and bias tape perfectly emphasizes seam lines, and finishes edges. We show how they are sewn here!

Pre Made Bias


With finished or pre-made bias tape, fold the bias in half lengthwise and iron (if not already pre-pressed). Push the edge of the cut fabric between the folded tape, pin it down and stitch close to edge. Attention: The edge to be finished with this technique is always cut without seam allowances. This also applies to the bordering with self-cut bias strips (see below).

Self Cut Bias


Cut strips of the desired fabric with the width = 4 times the finished border width. If the length of the strip is not long enough – cut several strips and place them right sides together so they form a right angle. Sew edges together in a straight line, and iron the seam allowances open. Now lay the bias strips on the fabric, right sides together, then stitch 1/4 of the width away from the edge. Flip the bias over the edge and pin from the inside just covering the first seam. Sew on the bias by hand or topstitch close to the seam from the right side making sure to watch the inside fold.

Border Piping 1


Step 1: Piping is available in many colors and thickness – but you can also create it yourself. For this you need a cord in your desired piping thickness and bias strips in double your cord with plus 3 cm seam allowance. Fold the bias strip in half lengthwise and push the cord to the folded edge. Using a piping or zipper foot, sew along beside the cord. If you prefer a flat piping, just omit the cord. You can then do without the stitching beside the cord.

Step 2: For sewing in the piping or attaching the piping around a corner – at the corners you cut the tape to close to the cord so it lays flat, then the piping is tightly stitched next to the cord with a piping or zipper foot. The piping is also basted to the right side of the fabric before the other layer is placed on top (see below).

Border Piping 2


Step 3: Now the pieces of fabric are sewn, right sides together and stitched along the piping seam.

Step 4: The seam allowance is then graded/cut back at the edges, then the piece is turned to the right side. Topstitch close to the piping edge.

Border Piping 3


Step 5: If the piping is at a seam (not finishing edge), the seam allowance is pressed to one side and topstitched close to the seam.

Edge Finishing


Edge piping is the quickest (and prettiest) way to finish an edge. To do this, place the piping on the right side of the edge so that the cord is next to the marked seam line. Sew it close to the cord using a one-sided sewing machine foot like a piping or zipper foot. Trim the seam allowance – not the piping – close to the stitching line. Flip to away from the seam to the right side and topstitch close to the seam from the right side.

Try these techniques on these patterns:

Patterns with Piping
top left: Piping Coat; top right: Pleated Blouse; bottom left: Piping Dress; bottom right: Piped Seam Dress

Happy Piping!

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