How to Sew in Piping: A Step-by-Step Guide

Sewing in piping is a great way to add a professional touch to your projects. Whether you’re making a pillow, a garment, or even a bag, piping can add a pop of color and definition that takes your project to the next level. But if you’re new to sewing, or you’ve never worked with piping before, the process can seem intimidating.

Don’t worry! In this step-by-step guide, we’ll walk you through the process of sewing in piping, from choosing your fabric and piping to attaching it to your project. By the end of this article, you’ll be ready to tackle any piping project with confidence.

Choosing Your Materials

Before you can start sewing in piping, you’ll need to choose your materials. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Fabric for your project
  • Piping cord
  • Piping fabric
  • Thread
  • Sewing machine
  • Scissors
  • Pins

When choosing your fabric, keep in mind that the piping will add bulk to your project. Choose a fabric that can handle that extra thickness without becoming too stiff or difficult to work with.

Piping cord comes in a variety of sizes, from very thin to very thick. Choose a size that matches the scale of your project. For example, if you’re making a small pillow, you’ll want a thinner cord than if you’re making a larger cushion.

Finally, choose a piping fabric that coordinates with your project. This fabric will be visible, so you want it to look good with your main fabric.

Making Your Piping

Once you’ve gathered your materials, it’s time to make your piping. Here’s how:

  1. Cut your piping fabric on the bias. This means cutting it at a 45-degree angle to the selvedge edge. Bias-cut fabric is more flexible and easier to work with when making curves.
  2. Cut your piping cord to the length you need for your project, plus a little extra for overlapping.
  3. Place your piping cord in the center of your bias strip, right side up.
  4. Fold the fabric over the cord, wrong sides together, and pin it in place.
  5. Using a zipper foot on your sewing machine, stitch as close to the cord as possible.
  6. Trim the excess fabric, leaving a little extra for overlapping.

Congratulations, you’ve made your piping! Now it’s time to attach it to your project.

Attaching Your Piping

Attaching piping can be a little tricky, but with some practice, you’ll get the hang of it. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Pin your piping in place on the right side of your main fabric, with the raw edges of both fabrics aligned.
  2. Using your zipper foot, stitch as close to the cord as possible. Take your time and make sure you’re stitching through all layers of fabric.
  3. When you come to a corner, clip the fabric of the piping at a 45-degree angle, being careful not to cut the stitching.
  4. Fold the piping to match the curve of your project, and pin it in place.
  5. Continue stitching until you reach the end of your project.

Congratulations, you’ve sewn in your piping! Admire your handiwork and enjoy the professional-looking finish it adds to your project.

Tips and Tricks

  • If you’re having trouble getting your piping to stay in place, try using a glue stick to hold it in place while you sew.
  • Take your time and go slowly, especially around curves and corners.
  • Make a practice piece before starting on your final project, so you can get a feel for how the process works.
  • If you’re having trouble seeing your stitching line, try using a washable fabric marker or chalk to mark your fabric.


Sewing in piping is a great way to add a professional touch to your projects. With a little practice and some patience, you can create beautiful, finished pieces that look like they were made by a pro. Remember to choose your materials carefully, make your piping with care, and take your time when attaching it to your project. With these tips and tricks, you’ll be sewing in piping like a pro in no time.

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