Sunday, December 29, 2013

Piping Pillow Tips and Tricks!

Do you see unwanted stitching when you add piping to pillows?

Do you have to resew areas missed?

Do your "piped" corners look wonky? (Wonky is a technical sewing term)

Do you find that piping pillows takes too much time?

Let me help you quickly whip up a pillow using a few time saving tips and a link to my free piping video.

Here is the secret to my piping success:
Left is the Piping aka Cording Foot, Right is the Zipper Foot
The groove in the cording (piping) foot holds the cording and fabric strips in perfect alignment while making the piping.

Square Pillows
Give yourself room to play.  For a 1/4" foot, cut fabric strip for the piping 1-1/2" wide. For the length simply multiply 4 x the length of 1 pillow side. Add a min. of 4" to the length of that total. Strips of fabric cut on the bias are always nice but for a four sided pillow, it is Not a MUST do. Yay, that saves time! One more tips: round the corners with a small saucer as a template.  It is so much quicker and easier to stitch piping around a slightly rounded corner then to have to actually turn a corner!  Your pillow will still look square once done.

I have a short video explaining the process but sometimes it is nice to have a pictorial walk through first!

Sandwiched in the folded strip is the cording. You can see how nicely the groove holds the fabric, and that the needle will stitch to the right of the cording through the hole. The piping will look beautiful yet not too snug.  That snugness (another sewing technical term) will be added later when it is needed for that perfect finish!

Because of the foot's placement, it makes sewing piping easy with little "steering effort" of the fabric. You will then keep this foot on the machine to stitch the piping to the front of the pillow fabric. It's a fabulous foot available in different depths to accommodate several widths of cording. Many generic ones are on the market and very inexpensive compare to other feet you may own.

You will give yourself an inch and a half of unstitched area when you begin and end the piping for tucking raw edges away to create a beautiful finish.

Can you see that rounded corner up on the top right?

Another tip, if you use a pillow form when making a square pillow, you can always add a little polyester fill to perk up the corners. No one but you will know!  Cool right? Lets look at the  how to finish the piping when you get to where you started.

First let me apologize for the worst photo and the failure of hand cream on a cold blistery day!

The beginning and ending points of the piping do not get stitched in place until you do the following:

The cording on one side is trimmed to butt up to the other side, and then you fold the other side strip about an inch and tuck it under.  (see right side end? The edge is folded under.  If you run your hand on it, you would feel where the cording is butted up inside.

It looks quite nice and at this point you will switch to the zipper foot to add the back panel. The secret is to butt the zipper tightly against the piping with the machine needle as far to the left as you can.  That stitches in the piping snuggly.  Yes, that is snugness! If you feel skeptical, use a basting stitch first until you see how nicely it all works. The video has more tips and pin avoidance except where needed.
Watch the entire process on my channel for free on YouTube at CookieSews! Under Meet Your Feet and also under Sewing Matters!

 Pillow Supplies:
Ribbon to tie the pillow like a package
3 - 8x8 inch squares (Front, Back, and 5 1-1/2" strips pieced together with scant 1/4" seams - totally cheating)
Small saucer to round the corners
All purpose sewing thread
Polyester filling
1/4" cording, cording foot, zipper foot, scissors

 Look what I found for you, a piping foot exactly like mine in a set of three just incase your dealer doesn't have it in stock.

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