There are a couple reasons you might want to make your own piping, one being that it is a lot less expensive than buying it at a store and the other is the fact that the options for sale are limited. Whether you want to save money, customize your project or both it is not hard to make your own piping. First of all, you don’t need to buy cording, I purchased a clothesline and got 100 feet for less than $10, um that is 10 feet for $1. I saw piping at an unnamed fabric store for $7.99 a yard. Made me want to swipe the piping, but I reconsidered and decided to make my own.
How much fabric you need depends on how many yards of piping you want to make. I used 1 yard of 44″ wide roll of white broadcloth to make 10 yards of piping but I admit I was kind of messy. I even had a bunch of little triangles left over….bunting anyone?
Cotton fabric (I would use something kind of thin and inexpensive, it’s tougher with bulky fabric)
Thread the color of your piping fabric
First determine the width you will cut your fabric
There are different clothesline thicknesses, mine is 1/4″ which translates into my fabric strips being 1 1/2 inches wide. Here is the formula using a 1/2″ seam allowance.
(Clothesline width X 2) + (seam allowance X 2) = width
In my case:
(1/4″ X 2) + (1/2″ X 2)= 1/2″ + 1″= 1 1/2″
I am glad that degree I have in math is coming in handy! If you are using 1/8″ clothesline then you only need 1 1/4″ width and if you are using 1/2″ clothesline then you should make them 2″. I will show you how to do that quickly and accurately below. A quick note, it will not hurt to make the strips a little wider. Worse case scenario you will waste a little fabric but if this is your first time, you may want to go with a wider strip as it is easier to work with.
Next Cut Your Fabric Strips on the bias
Cutting on the bias means that you should cut at a 45 degree angle to the selvedge or edge of your fabric….think triangle! Hint: Cut back on waste by starting with perfect squares say 11″x11″ and then cutting into triangles.
Then I use a bias tape cutting ruler, carefully line up on the 1 1/2″ line and cut through
You should have something that looks like this after making a few.
Now it’s Time to Get Sewing!
Pin the strips together to for 90 degree Angles
Then Stitch together
And Iron the seam flat.
You sew the strips together after cutting on the bias because it make the fabric super flexible which is essential for piping.
Now…lay the clothesline in the center of the long strip, line the edges up and pin it together.
The last step is to sew it together with your zipper foot. Get as close as possible to the clothesline without accidentally sewing it to the fabric. I need a manicure soooo bad!
Congratulations! You can now make mountains and mountains of piping!!