Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Pretty Piping

Tutorial on Pretty Piping!
To me, there is nothing that finishes a garment better than piping, and for most children's clothes (and adults) I prefer petite or mini piping.  It is refined and adds a small detail that says quality!  Susie's Ready to Smock and Children's Corner both carry mini-piping that is already made, but many times I can not find quite the right color or I don't have time to wait for it or I want something a little bit different.  The sample I am showing here goes the next step beyond basic petite piping (also known as mini-piping). I used the fabric design to create a pattern in the piping - polka dots down the center of the cord.

To start with, you have to have the correct cord.  The very first time I made my piping, I used what was handy...............postal twine from my kitchen junk drawer.  Let's just say that was not the best idea!  Did you know the postal twine is not pre-shrunk?  Need I say more?  I used to use JP Coats Speed Cro-Sheen, but they donot make it anymore.  They now have a product called Aunt Lydia's Crochet Thread.  Eventhough it is supposed to be the same size, I find that it is too fine for piping.  I carry the piping cord that is uded in pre-packaged mini-piping and it works quite well.

I cut out the bias strips specifically to accomodate the design element that I wanted.  You can see in the picture that there are 5 rows of dots.  The uneven number lets me have the center row follow along the cord.

I placed the cording in the center if the bias.

If I am making piping where exact placement is crucial to the finished look, I will use my Wonder Clips to hold the cord in place.

It is a bit hard to see, but when I am making the piping, I use a 5 groove pintuck foot, placing the cord in the 2nd groove from the left, and I put my needle position 2 (out of 5) positions to the left.

When I finish stitching, the dots wrap around the cord.

Next comes attaching to the first fabric.  Again, I use my 5 groove pintuck foot.  I put the cord in the 2nd groove from the left and keep the needle position 2 to the left of center.

You can see the stitch line is right on top of the piping stitch line.

Once the piping is attached to the fabric, I pull out about 1/2 inch of the cord on each end.

I clip off the cord and then pull the piping to pop the cord in.  This will give you 'empty' piping at the ends. so there will be less bulk in the seams.

You can see the stitch line on the wrong side of the base fabric.

Next you are going to attach the top fabric to the base fabric/piping.  When you make this stitch line, you want to stitch as close as you can to the piping without actually stitching on the cord.

I stitched the 2nd pass (base fabeic/piping to top fabric) with red thread so you can see that the last pass (in red) is closer to the cord than the first pass (white).

Tah dah!  You can see the polka dots on the piping are right along the cord!

Happy Stitching!

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