Adding piping to the edge of a cushion or pillow project is a great way to take the style to next level. However, sewing piping on so it looks just right can take a little bit of practice. The aspect of sewing piping that we get questions about the most is how to join the ends together so the piping still looks nice. Today we’re going to go over our method for joining piping ends step-by-step.
This method is great for piping you make yourself with an outer fabric layer or for prefabricated piping like our Deluxe Vinyl Piping that has an inner cord. The method for finishing the ends of decorative piping trim and lipcord is a little different. You can see an example of that in this Chair Pad video tutorial.
How to Join Piping Ends
1. Since you want the piping to join at the backside of your cushion, start your piping at the back of the cushion plate about 2-3 inches past the center point. Leave 4-5 inches of piping unsewn (like a tail). This will make the piping easier to join at the end. Sew all the way around the cushion plate and stop just a few inches short of the center where you started.
2. Carefully peel back an inch or two of the covering on each piping end, cutting any seams or peeling apart glued fabric. The exposed piping cord should overlap when laid down.
3. Lay the cords side-by-side and as flat as possible. Snip both the piping cords (not the fabric covers) with one cut so that the ends will be completely flush with one another.
4. Trim away any excess fabric, so that when the fabric from one end of the piping is wrapped around the other the fabric will only overlap about a 1/2 inch.
5. Match the tails of the piping cord up as closely as possible and fold the longer fabric end over the other.
6. Sew the piping closed, making sure your stitches overlap with your initial stitches at both ends. Be sure to bar tack to lock your stitches in place.
And that’s it! Now you’ll have a nice subtle overlap at the back of your cushion and beautiful trim all around.
To learn more about adding piping to your project and to see this process on video, check out our Learning To Sew Series Part 6: How to Add Piping.
You can find great fabrics and decorative piping for your next sewing project at Sailrite.com.