Thursday, January 31, 2013

Kristen: Making Piping

As a somewhat-newbie to reenacting and sewing, I find myself constantly relearning different processes, slowing down so that I can do it "right." One thing that I have unintentionally missed in the past was piping...
A minor but beautiful detail (The Graceful Lady)

Luckily, I have wonderful Becky to answer my endless questions, so it wasn't too bad. Things I learned about piping? It was used to finish the collar of a dress. It was placed on the armscyes to strengthen the fabric and make the dress last longer. It could also go on the waist. Overall, a fairly obvious thing that I should not have missed. Now comes my lesson...

 An old bodice I tore apart for study
Here is the piping up close
And here it is torn out of the dress! ***Gasp

First of all, this whole cutting on the bias thing confused me. What do you mean, "cutting on the bias?" I had to learn what selvedge was, now I have to be opinionated when cutting???

Cutting on the bias just means to cut diagonally on the fabric so it doesn't fray. And let me tell you, these sewing people where not kidding when they said to cut on the bias. It totally works!

After you cut on the bias, pull out your 1/8 inch (about) wool or cotton yarn and lay it on top like so...
 My fabric was about 2 inches wide, but next time I'll go wider

Next, fold the fabric over the yarn so that the yarn is at the fold. Proceed to pin...

The yarn is just underneath the pins in this pic

And then run a basic stitch as close to the yarn as possible. Mine was not too small, not too large. Just enough to hold the yarn in place. Voila! There you have piping!
 Not pictured: Me poking myself with a needle

I'll show how to attach piping in another tutorial. In the meantime, here is my lovely work again!



  1. The other benefit of the bias is that it will lay around the curves nicer. Notice how stretchy the bias is? Bias is more forgiving. You can't do that on the straight grain. The collar looks beautiful :)

  2. Thank you so much! It was my first go at it, and I was impressed with myself. Now I just need to keep motivating myself to work on it...



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