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Custom Piping Tutorial

Custom Piping Tutorial

Hi there! It’s Stef here and today, I thought I would show you how to make your own piping to use for sewing projects with this Custom Piping Tutorial. I have been using a TON of piping lately – it adds such a nice finished touch to home decor, garments, anything that you’re sewing!! Using packaged piping that you buy at the fabric store can be quick and satisfying, but sometimes you just can’t find the right color to compliment your project. Custom piping allows you to add really unique embellishments to your projects and ensures that you will have the perfect piping for any project. Here are some projects that highlight how piping can take a sewn item to a whole new level of awesome!

piping dress nursery bedding narita dress simple clutch tutorial


Ready to make your own piping?

It is simple. First, select the fabric you wish to use. You will need to cut bias strips from the fabric, meaning that you will need to cut the fabric on the diagonal with respect to the selvage edge. This is because the fabric has a lot more stretch “on the bias” and will therefore conform to the curves of your project when you use the finished piping.

Custom Piping Tutorial

To cut bias strips, use a fabric ruler and line the 45 degree angle line (usually marked on the ruler) up with the selvage edge. Cut along the ruler. Adjust the ruler 2″ over and parallel to this cut edge and cut again. (2″ wide bias strips are a great general width, but can be adjusted depending on the intended project).

Custom Piping Tutorial

Alternately, you can fold the right-hand raw edge of the fabric down over the rest of the fabric and align it with the selvage edge, thus forming a 45 degree angle with the fabric. Then, cut along that edge to form bias strips.

Custom Piping Tutorial

Once your strips are cut, you will need to join them together to form one long, continuous bias strip. To do this, place the two diagonal ends of each strip together, as shown below. Stitch along the line where indicated by dashes. Open up the strip and press the seam open and flat. Trim away the extra triangle overhang. Repeat with the next strip and so on.

Custom Piping Tutorial

Now it’s time to choose cording to create the piping. You can use cotton rope cording or even rat tail. You will want a length of cording (and bias strip) equivalent to the length of the project (the perimeter of a pillow, for example) plus a few inches extra. Cording is sold in various thicknesses – thicker cording is great for upholstery piping while thin cording may be best suited for fine garment details.

Custom Piping Tutorial

Place the cording in the center of the bias strip and wrap the strip around the cording. Sew a zigzag stitch over the cording on the outside of the bias strip, at the very top, to hold the cording in place.

Custom Piping Tutorial

Custom Piping Tutorial

Using a zipper foot attachment (a piping/cording foot may also be used, but is not necessary), stitch alongside the cording on the outside of the bias strip, making sure the raw edges of the bias strip are even.

Custom Piping Tutorial

Stitch all the way down the length of cording and that is it! You now have gorgeous custom piping!

Custom Piping Tutorial

I used the pink polka dot piping for this cute kitty cat dress:

dress made with custom piping

So, do you have any projects in mind that could use some custom piping to add a little oomph?!!?


Girl. Inspired. bioStef blogs at Girl. Inspired. where she shares sewing projects and tutorials, her latest adventures in cake-decorating and sugar consumption, and any sort of crafty thing she can squeeze into her day. She loves throwing parties and decorating her home with a little vintage and a lot of homemade. Stef and her husband are raising three little girls on their “farm” in Northern California. She loves dance parties with her girls, laughing with her husband, hoarding fabric, photography, and of course, coffee! Stop by and say hi! Find Stef on Facebook, Pinterest, or Instagram for more inspiration!

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  1. Piping is an amazing feature- I used to use it all the time in my former life as a seamstress.
    I had a bear of a time recently trying to insert piping between two layers of a pillow until I purchased a piping foot. It could just be me though because I tend to be a perfectionist 😉 Any tips? Great tutorial!

  2. gosh, i wish i knew how to sew…. i am always so jealous when i see posts like this! soooo cute, love that outfit!

    1. get a sewing machine and some fabric. very easy to learn and then use these tutorials to gain experience! anybody can do it if i can!

  3. I always wondered how to make that and what it was called LOL. I love stuff with that detail. I just wasn’t sure how to get the sew line so close to the cord. Yayyy Now I know! Thanks so much for sharing! Pining for later!!! Hope you have a great week

    Cami @ TitiCrafty by Camila
    Sunday Bewitch Me & Titi {Link Party}
    Thursday Titi’s Spot for the Silly HOP

  4. Just what I’ve been looking for! I know how to do it, have the materials… just needed that inspiration… with pictures and ideas.. thanks!hi

  5. Oh, what a gorgeous and talented lady you are; I love your priorities in life.
    Stay as wonderful as you are and you will make the best of memories for the future and enjoy a wonderful and fulfilled life for not only yourself, but your lucky family. Thank you for being such a sweetie.