How to Make Double Piping

double piping

Double piping is a couture touch that tells everyone you put the extra effort into your work. It’s suitable for both children’s and ladies’ garments, as well as for home dec and accessories. Two contrasting colors of piping beautifully outline a seam or an edge. With this technique, the two rows of piping are not made separately and then joined together; instead, they are made as a single unit. Using baby cording makes the trim delicate and flexible, and a five-groove pintuck foot makes the technique almost foolproof.

Sue Stewart taught this technique in several of her classes at the Martha Pullen School of Art Fashion, and it was such a hit that she shared the tutorial in her “Sue Says” column in the September/October 2005 issue (#102) of Sew Beautiful magazine. Follow Sue’s tutorial below to try out this technique!

1. Cut a 1-1/2-inch wide bias strip from each of two contrasting fabrics. Place bias strips on top of each other with right sides together, and fabric, which is to be the outer row of piping, on top. Thread machine needle with thread to match top fabric; thread bobbin with thread to match bottom fabric. (Photos shown are stitched with contrasting thread for visual clarity.)

2. Use a five-groove pintuck foot. Place mini cording down center of top fabric (Photo 1).

3. Fold fabric over cord, so that raw edges are even and cord is in fold of fabric. Place fabric under presser foot so the three raw edges are to the right and cord is to the left. Cord should fit into groove just to left of center on underside of pintuck foot (fig. 1). Adjust needle position so that you can stitch close to cord, with fabric snug around cord. Stitch cord in place through both strips of fabric (Photo 2).

4. Now turn strips over, with the side with three raw edges on top. Place another length of cord just above stitching line (Photo 3).

5. Fold fabric, which is now facing up, over cord so that the cord is snug in the fold. First row of piping will be visible. Raw edges will not be quite even. Place this second strip of cord under same presser foot groove as before. The previously stitched row of piping will lie in left outermost groove of presser foot (fig. 2). Use thread in needle to match fabric that is now on top, and thread in bobbin to match fabric that is now on the bottom. Move needle one position to right, so that stitching is not quite as close to cord. Stitch this second row of cord, again through all layers (Photo 4).

6. Trim seam allowances to that specified by your pattern. Move needle one position to left, so it is in the same position with which you stitched the first row of piping. Stitch piping to fabric to which it is to be attached, right sides together (Photo 5).

7. Stitch facing, under-collar, lining, etc. to piped fabric, right sides together, using previous stitching as a guide. Press seam (Photo 6), or facing or lining (Photo 7) as directed.

Sue Stewart worked as a primary designer for Martha Pullen Company from 1990 to 2005, during which she had dozens of featured articles in Sew Beautiful magazine. An award-winning designer of heirloom and machine-embroidered quilts, she has designed and sewn for Martha’s Sewing Room and many Martha Pullen publications. Visit her website at

Want to learn more of Sue’s tips and tricks? Click here for her shaped puffing tutorial!

Check out the Sew Beautiful 2005 Collection for more ideas and inspiration. This download includes all six issues from the 2005 calendar year! The full-color electronic versions of these magazines include easy-to-navigate tables of contents, easy-to-print patterns, how-to articles, designer details, and all the tips and techniques that Sew Beautiful is known for.

Plus, check out these episodes of Martha’s Sewing Room for more piping ideas:



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