Trick or Treat piping tutorial!

Good evening my pretties!  Tonight, I am going to "treat" you to a little "trick" I discovered during the making of my Halloween sewing adventures recently.

You know how sometimes you want to make your own piping but you don't have any cording.  And yeah, you could go out and get some, but it's always a finite amount of cording... what if you run out?!

 A while back I did several failing experiments on substitutes for cording to achieve properly plump piping (gotta love that alliteration, right ;-).  I'm embarrassed to say I tried everything from hot glue to strips of fleece.  Horrible. Just. Horrible.

Then I had a notion (yeay for double entendres!):  yarn.  Not just any yarn would do, so I stalk the aisles of Joann's eying up each and every skein.  Then I found this:

It's fast, affordable, and there is LOTS of it!  So, I put it to the test:

 What do you think?  Totally feasible, right?!  {insert sigh of relief}

So I am not going to do a full tutorial on how to fully make and insert your own piping.  Jess does a great tutorial on that here.  But I'll give you an introduction as to how I used yarn and what it will look like.  

I took a squared off section of fabric then folded it in half (along the bias) to make a triangle.  Then I folded that in half again (making a smaller triangle) along the bias, and began to cut.  The first cut you want to measure half of what you want you strips to be because it is on the fold.  Here, since I wanted 2" wide strips, I did a cut 1" wide on the fold.  If done correctly, you should get one long strip.

For the rest of the strips I used my ruler and, ahem, flashy pattern weights (I got heavy duty nuts at Home Depot for 50 cents a piece), and weighed down my ruler so I could cut with one hand and hold the fabric down with the other.  Make sure you are still cutting perfectly on the bias.

Take a strip of bias and a length of yarn and place it down the center.

And along the pressed edge, look at that!  Plump, pliable, piping!  Machine baste a line of stitching as close as you can to the yarn without stitching into the yarn.

I recommend using a piping foot or a zipper foot for making and using piping.  Huh? Huh?!  How's that for a slice of fried gold?!  And p.s., let's have a round of applause for Thing for helping me with this tutorial ;-)  There.  A midnight tutorial AND an Addam's family reference.  Doesn't get more Bloggoweeny than that!


a couple of quick notes:

  • It may help to baste the top of the yarn to the fabric and make sure the yarn is down about 1/2" from the top of the fabric's short edge. Don't worry about it showing; you can remove it if it shows/bothers you when you're done.

  • For yarn piping, I suggest rolling to find your crease line and pulling the fresh piping ever so gently from the behind the presser foot and a little bit with your guide hand as well because you don't want the yarn to twist and become slack. You want your basting stitches to be as close to perfect as possible so that it doesn't look like you used yard.

stitch extra close!!!  But don't stitch into the yarn!

HA!  Guess which one is store bought and which one is homemade yarn piping!!

If you use this tutorial, I'd love to see how it turned out!  

Okay, more to come tomorrow guys!  

BTW, I finished my skirt! Yeay!!!

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