Shirt piping is used to strengthen the overall construction of a piece of clothing. Piping is additionally used to hide seams and stitches which can otherwise make a garment look sloppy. Western clothing pioneered the widespread use of this. T-shirt piping materials can be sourced out in all garment and fabric stores but it is more than possible to make your own piping, especially since prefabricated piping usually comes in limited colors only. To get started on making your own piping, all you need are a few items.
The items you will need are:
- Fabric of choice
- Bias tape
- Zipper or piping foot
Step one: Start with your bias tape. Iron it out so it becomes as flat as possible.
Step two: Fold the fabric in half and place cording in the middle. Fabric must envelope the cording equally from both side. Pin it. As an additional tip, you can leave a little cord sticking out just to make sure it does not slip in.
Step three: Use a zipper or piping foot and be sure to change the needle all the way to the left or right, depending where you are sewing. Position the needle right by the cording to give it a tight fit. Use your fingernail to guide the needle. Keep it as flat as possible to make sure it is always lined up.
Step four: Sew all the way until the end. Make sure to back stitch at both ends for a clean, fine and solid look. If you end up with uneven edges, do not throw away your t-shirt piping materials! Those edges will not be seen and are completely workable.
Step five: Cut a strip of fabric according to bias. For instance, the neckline curve must be followed. This helps ensure a better fit to make your bias conform, provide added strength, and save on material. To aid in getting the right width of bias tape, multiply by two the allowance you are making for the seam. Also, multiply by two the size of cording you are using. Add these numbers up and you will know the correct width for your bias tape.
Additional tips: Getting t-shirt piping materials properly sewn into a garment requires the correct foot. It is commonplace to find people using a zipper foot to attach piping to garments. However, a piping foot is specially designed and has two grooves underneath which hold the cord in place as you make the piping tape.
DIY projects make your garments customized and perfectly fit for you. The use of your own piping also adds to its appeal. You get to color-coordinate piping with the rest of fabric and you get to dictate what goes where. Also, piping can be found in many garments and knowing how to make and install them will prove useful. Baby clothes, formal wear, costumes, and everything in between can all use piping in its details and hems. What are your own piping secrets? Share them below for everyone to see!