THE SEWING DIVAS sewing, design, fashion

June 5, 2006

Uncorded Piping

Filed under: Designer Inspirations,Gigi,Tutorials — thesewingdivas @ 3:40 pm

by Diva Gigi 

As I was working on my second version of McCall’s 5137, I decided to use my contrasting fabric to pipe some of the seams. This would give me some visual interest without being too busy. Since this is a soft dress and the fabric is drapey I didn’t like the idea of standard piping with a filler cord. Uncorded piping was the answer.

First, I cut wide strips of fabric on the true bias. I allowed plenty of extra width to allow for the narrowing of the fabric during stretching.

Next, I stretched and steamed my bias strips. Be sure to allow the fabric to cool and dry before moving it. You don’t have to muscle the fabric, you simply want to gently remove the stretch.

Here is what I ended up with after pressing:

Once everything is cool and dry, simply fold the strips in half wrong sides together and press, again gently stretching. As you can see, by some happy accident, I ended up with a pretty even 3/4″ wide strip. If you aren’t so lucky, simply use your quilting ruler and rotary cutter to trim the folded strip down to the desired width. You’ll want a finished, folded strip as wide as the seam allowance plus desired piping width. I wanted 1/8″ piping in a 5/8″ seam for a total of 3/4″.

Lastly, I stitched the piping into the seam. If possible, use your stitching as a guide when joining to the opposing garment section.



  1. Thank you for the tutorial. I am planning to use the same kind of piping around the neck edge of the same pattern. Why is the stretching neccessary? Why not just press in half and attach?

    Comment by Janina in Red Deer — June 5, 2006 @ 5:15 pm

  2. Janine, without removing the stretch it will be more difficult to get a nice even piping in a drapey fabric.

    Comment by Gigi — June 5, 2006 @ 5:43 pm

  3. Oh, I see. Thanks again, that is good to know. Janina

    Comment by Janina in Red Deer — June 5, 2006 @ 6:32 pm

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