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how to make your own piping/cording

So to tag along with the outdoor bench post I thought I'd make a tutorial on how to make custom cushions for it. We looked into buying some manufactured ones, but we're picky and hate not fond of color and the price was waaay too much for what we need. Since I know how to sew I decided to make my own cushions for the outdoors, and the first step... making my own piping.

(I know some of you are thinking, umm.... buy that shit, and you're right I could buuuut I'm looking for a heavy duty canvas in my color and to be honest piping is pretty darn easy)

Mission: making your own piping/cording
Duration: 1.5+ hours
Ninja Level: 3 (beginner)
Estimated Cost: cost of chosen fabric plus cording/clothes line $5-$20
Weapons Needed: 

  • 1/2 yard-1 yard of fabric
  • thread
  • cording (I got mine at Joann's here)
  • rotary cutter
  • cutting mat
  • ruler

1) Take your selvaged edges and fold them together in half. Fold it in half again and a few more times if you can. Once you have it folded take it to your cutting mat and line it up super super straight with the grid lines on the mat, place your ruler as straight as possible on the edge. Then using your rotary cutter, cut the access leaving you with a straight edge.

2) Now that there's a straight edge to work with it's time to cut the strips for the piping. I've found that 1.5" works for most pipping projects and with lighter weight fabrics you can go down to 1". Measure out 1.5" of fabric with your ruler on the mat, line up your other ruler and cut with your rotary cutter.

3) Keep cutting until you have enough fabric strips to cover your project. I can't lie, I totally guestimated here and kept cutting and cutting strips.

4) Time to sew the strips together. Now we're not going to sew them directly with end facing end. If you do this the seam will be a lot more noticeable, chunky and won't have a good 'bond' to each other. What you'll do instead is sew it together the way you would binding.

Place the edges together by putting the top edge of one strip to the side edge of another strip. Pin the strips into place and mark on a diagonal (from the top corner of and edge to where the opposite bottom edge hits). Sew on this mark, trim the access and iron out the seam. Repeat this step for all strips you sew together.

Pro Tip: Make sure you are paying attention to which way your raw seams are facing. Nothing is worse then finally getting all your strips sewn to noticed that one seam is sewn the wrong way.

5) It's fiiiiinally time to case our cording. Simply place the cording in the center of your strip and fold in half.

6) Using a zipper foot sew as close as possible to the cording. Keep sewing until you're all done with your strip.

7) VOLIA! You just made your own piping, now treat yourself to a drink!

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