Piping Tricks for Seam Allowances

We had a wonderful time in Atlanta this week at our School of Art Fashion Boutique! Thank you, thank you, thank you to all of you who joined us – we had “sew” much fun sewing and serging and laughing with you! Our next in-person event will be our “The Perfect Mix: Sew, Serge, Embellish” teacher licensing in Palm Harbor, FL July 21-26!

This week I’d like to talk a little bit about piping. Piping is used to frame collars, cuffs and bodices, and when done well it can add such great detail to your projects. Working with piping can be tricky though, particularly on seam allowances. Here are a few great tips from Nancy McEvoy for eliminating bulk that occurs when piping meets at a seam. These and more great piping tips from Nancy are included in our Sew Beautiful: Favorite Heirloom Sewing Designs special edition:


Eliminating Bulk
1. Prior to sewing across a seam where piping meets, pull the piping cord out of the bias casing. Cut off enough of the cord to generously clear the seam allowance (for a 1/2-inch seam allowance, cut off 5/8-inch) (Photo 1).

2. Pull the bias so that the piping cord draws back inside (Photo 2). NOTE: Pin indicates new location of cord end. This creates a flat seam allowance.


Make Collars Meet
1. Prior to attaching the collar to the bodice, place both halves of the collar together and tack them just inside the seamline (Photo 3).

2. Sew the collar to the bodice in the normal fashion.

Butt Piping in a Seam
1. Remove the cord from the seam allowance; refer to Eliminating Bulk.


2. Prior to stitching the side seam, isolate the piping between the two pins to align both sides together and baste within the seam allowance (Photo 4).


3. Sew the seam in the normal fashion and press open (Photo 5).

Want to stock up on pre-made piping for your upcoming projects? We are having a big sale this weekend on all of our piping, bias, laces and other trims – click here to shop!

We pray for the men and women serving our nation in harm’s way, and for all of you.

Much Love to You All & May God Bless,
Kathy McMakin