- Piping is a technique in sewing where a cord or tube is inserted into a fabric seam to add structure, definition, and a decorative touch to a garment or home decor project. It can be used to accentuate edges, create texture, and add contrast. Piping can be made from a variety of materials including fabric, cord, or even leather.
- A piping foot is a sewing machine foot that is specifically designed to aid in the insertion of piping. It has a groove in the center that allows the cord or tube to pass through easily while guiding the fabric underneath it. This foot helps to create an even and professional-looking piping finish on a sewing project. It also ensures that the piping is sewn straight and close to the edge of the fabric, making the process faster and more efficient.
Preparing the Fabric and Piping Cord
- Choosing fabric and piping cord
First, you’ll need to choose the fabric and piping cord for your project. The fabric should be a medium-weight cotton or a fabric that’s suitable for the type of project you’re working on. The piping cord should be a size that’s appropriate for the size of the project, typically between 1/8″ and 1/2″ in diameter.
Cutting fabric strips and piping cord to appropriate size
Next, you’ll need to cut the fabric strips and piping cord to the appropriate size. The fabric strips should be cut on the bias, which means at a 45-degree angle to the grain of the fabric. This will help the fabric to stretch and curve smoothly around corners. The width of the fabric strips will depend on the size of the piping cord and the seam allowance you plan to use. For most projects, a 1 1/2″ wide strip of fabric is appropriate. The piping cord should be cut to the length of the seam you’re piping, plus a little extra for overlap.
Attaching fabric strips to piping cord
To attach the fabric strips to the piping cord, fold the fabric strip in half, right sides together, around the piping cord. Pin the fabric in place, and then sew along the edge of the piping cord, using a zipper foot on your sewing machine. When you reach a corner, clip the seam allowance of the fabric strip at an angle to help it turn smoothly around the corner. Once you’ve sewn the fabric strip to the piping cord, you’re ready to use it in your project!
III. Attaching the Piping Foot to the Sewing Machine
Certainly! Here are the steps for attaching the piping foot to your sewing machine:
- Ensuring the correct piping foot is selected
Before attaching the piping foot to your sewing machine, make sure you have the correct foot for your piping cord size. Piping feet come in different sizes, so choose one that matches the diameter of your piping cord.
- Removing the standard presser foot
To remove the standard presser foot from your sewing machine, raise the presser foot lever and slide the foot out of the foot holder. Depending on your machine, you may need to press a release button or lever to remove the foot.
- Attaching the piping foot
To attach the piping foot, slide the foot into the foot holder, lining up the small groove on the foot with the pin on the foot holder. Lower the presser foot lever to secure the foot in place. Make sure the needle is in the center position and adjust the needle position as needed to ensure that the needle will stitch close to the piping cord.
Once the piping foot is securely attached to your machine, you’re ready to start sewing with piping!
Sewing Piping Using the Piping Foot
Of course! Here are the steps for sewing piping using the piping foot on your sewing machine:
- Placing the piping cord into the groove of the piping foot
Start by placing the piping cord into the groove on the underside of the piping foot. Make sure the cord is snugly fit into the groove, and that the fabric strip is positioned on top of the foot.
- Aligning the fabric with the piping cord
Next, align the fabric strip with the piping cord so that the raw edges of the fabric are even with the edge of the cord. Pin the fabric strip in place along the seam line where you want to attach the piping.
- Adjusting needle position if necessary
If your piping foot has adjustable needle position, adjust it as needed so that the needle will stitch close to the piping cord. This will ensure that the stitching will catch both the piping and the fabric.
- Sewing the piping
Lower the presser foot and start sewing along the seam line. Keep the piping cord snugly in the groove of the piping foot, and make sure the fabric is aligned with the cord. Use a regular stitch length and sew slowly, removing the pins as you go.
When you reach a corner, sew up to the corner and stop with the needle down. Lift the presser foot and pivot the fabric strip and piping cord around the corner. Then lower the presser foot and continue sewing along the next seam line.
When you’ve sewn all the way around the project, trim any excess piping cord and fabric strip. Then, your piping is complete!
- Tips for successful piping using a piping foot
To ensure successful piping using a piping foot, make sure you choose the right size foot for your piping cord, and use a fabric strip cut on the bias. Pin the fabric strip in place carefully, and adjust the needle position if needed to ensure the stitching catches both the fabric and the piping cord. Sew slowly, and pivot carefully at corners. With practice, you’ll be able to create beautiful piping with ease.
- Encouragement to try using a piping foot
If you’ve never used a piping foot before, don’t be intimidated! Using a piping foot can seem tricky at first, but with a bit of practice, you’ll quickly get the hang of it. Piping can add a professional-looking touch to all kinds of projects, from clothing to home decor, so it’s definitely worth trying out.
- Acknowledgement of personal preference and experimentation
Of course, everyone’s sewing style is different, and what works best for one person may not work as well for another. Experiment with different fabrics, piping cord sizes, and piping foot styles to find what works best for you. With some trial and error, you’ll find the perfect combination for your projects.
Overall, using a piping foot is a great way to add a professional-looking touch to your sewing projects. So give it a try, and happy piping!
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