Learn how to create your own piping (fabric covered cord) to add a "decorator's touch" to your pillows. Use contrast colors for
more definition. Although ready-made piping can be purchased, you can really save money by making your own, plus you greatly increase your choice of fabrics.
For added interest, I used cut-out fabric for the pillow front. I placed a piece of red fabric directly under that, so the red showed through
the cut-outs in the top layer. The red under-layer and the green piping added colorful contrast to the black pillow.
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* I used one 16.5" piece of black fabric with flower cut-outs for my pillow front, one piece of 16.5" red fabric to place under the
cut-out fabric for the front, and one 24.5" x 16.5" piece of solid black fabric for the pillow back. If the front and back are all made from
one layer of the same fabric, you need just 1/2 yard total.
Thread (to match background)
Fabric glue (or thread to match piping - for closing off end of piping)
Tape (to wrap around ends of cut cord to prevent fraying of cord - scotch tape works well)
Note: all seams are 1/4 inch. Always iron between steps.
1. Cut Out Pillow Fabric
Cut one 16.5" x 16.5" piece of fabric for the pillow front. (OR if you are using two layers for the front: cut one 16.5" piece of outer fabric with cut-outs, plus one 16.5" piece of fabric to place under
the cut-out layer)
Cut one 24.5" x 16.5" piece of fabric for the pillow back (NOTE: I used a solid black piece of fabric for the pillow back).
2. Create Bias Binding
Go to Create Continuous Bias Binding for free instructions on creating
your own bias binding. Follow the basic instructions on that page, with the following exceptions.
Start with a strip that measures 10" x 44" (rather than 5" x 44"). Draw segments 2.5 inches wide (rather than 1 inch wide).
NOTE: This creates piping that will have a .5" seam allowance (after piping is stitched), rather than a 1/4" seam allowance. I found this worked fine with my pillow; the fit of the cover was snug, but not too tight.
If you want an exact 1/4" seam allowance on your finished piping, cut your segments 2" wide.
Continue on from step 4.
3. Start Piping Press under 1/4" on one end of bias binding strip. Wrap scotch tape securely around each cut end of cord if you haven't already done so.
Lay cord onto wrong side of bias binding strip, near the end of the strip.
4. Baste Piping
Fold bias binding around cord. Baste layers together about half way between the cord and the edge. For clarity, the basting line is drawn in white
in the photo on the right.