You will need:

  • length of cord, or multiple lengths of cord, depending on how long you need the piping
  • to be, or how many individual lengths of piping you need
  • your fabric cut into 1½”-wide bias strips as long as the cord or pre-cut bias binding
  • regular zipper foot for your sewing machine

This post is sponsored by Janome. Find out more about the first 100 years of your favourite sewing machines!



To cut your own bias strips, you’ll need to lay out the fabric and identify the grainline and the bias: the grainline runs parallel to the selvedges (the vertical woven edges of the fabric that come infinitely off the roll, as opposed to the edge that is cut horizontally off the roll), and the bias is an imaginary line that runs at a 45° angle to the grainline. Anything cut on the bias will have more stretch or give and is therefore ideally suited to things like slinky skirts, bias binding and piping that need to make their way around curves and corners smoothly.
Use a long ruler to mark out the bias strips on the WS of the fabric and carefully cut them out. If needed you can join multiple strips together just like when making bias tape.


Take the length of cord and lay it on the WS of the bias strip. Fold the bias strip over the cord and, making sure that the two raw edges lengths of fabric meet, pin together so that the cord is held snug.



Switch to the regular zipper foot on your sewing machine – this will enable you to stitch nice and close to the cord.
Start by running a couple of horizontal stitches over the end of the piping to anchor the cord in place.
Using a long straight stitch, sew the piping, making sure that the stitches are going in directly to the left of the cord and are getting close to the bulge, but not too close – we’ll be going right up close and personal when we come to applying the piping to a seam, so we don’t want these original stitches to show.


You’re now ready to apply the piping to your project! Piping is an ideal addition to waistlines, princess seams and shirt details like yokes, collars and cuffs.


The whole point of piping is perfection – its sole purpose is to show off and accentuate a beautifully sewn seam, and in order to do so, it has to be applied flawlessly.
The first thing to do is to mark out the seam line on one of the layers of fabric to be piped. I’m going to use a waistline as an example, so I will be marking out the seam line along the bodice.



Pin the piping into place along this first layer of fabric, using the pins to anchor the piping directly along the seam line and super snug close up to the cord. Baste into place, using the original piping stitches as your guide (we still don’t want to stitch the piping super snug, but we do need the piping to be aligned right and ready to be sewn up close when we get to the actual seam).


Lay over the second layer of fabric to be seamed and pin carefully into place.
Still using the zipper foot, stitch the seam with the first layer facing you so you can see those basting stitches and be sure to get that little bit closer to the piping for a perfectly close seam.
Open out the fabric and press to reveal the perfectly piped seam! To finish, you can go about neatening the raw seam allowances inside with your preferred technique, and relevant to the seam placement – for waistlines and/or straight seams overlocking or binding works a treat, or for curved seams such as princess seams, grading and trimming will help to reduce bulk.

This post is sponsored by Janome. Find out more about the first 100 years of your favourite sewing machines!


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