When you want to add piping to a project, the first thing you need to do is make the piping! I find this tutorial quite helpful: http://www.sew4home.com/tips-resources/sewing-tips-tricks/pillow-personality-fairfield-processing-how-make-and-attach-piping

How much piping do I need? Well for me I am still working on my 18″ pillow covers. So I need 19″x4 = 76″ length of bias tape. I add about 4 inches to that just to make sure I have enough.

I bought 3/16″ cording from the store. I am using a 0.5″ seam allowance. So the width of my strips needs to be (3/16″ x 2) + (1/2″ X 2) = 1 3/8″ wide. I cut mine 1.5″ wide because I am just learning how to do piping.

How to make Bias tape

  1. Lay your fabric flat on top of your cutting mats, right side up with the selvedge at the bottom.
  2. Fold the fabric diagonally so the cut edge and selvedge are parallel and press on that line.IMG_20170420_095628123
  3. Open up your fabric and cut along that pressed line. Sorry for the blurry picture. This is what my 45 degree angle looks like.
  4. Now cut strips of fabric 1.5″ wide
  5. Luckily this fabric gave me exactly the length I needed for each pillow. I did join pieces of bias tape together since I am making 3 pillows. To join the strips together, you want to join them at 45° angles. Place one strip on a flat surface, right side up. Place a second strip on top of the first one at a right angle. Then draw a diagonal line from corner to corner and pin in place. Sew along this line and trim the seam allowance to 1/4″. Press seam open.

Insert the cording

  1. Place the cord in the center of the strip.
  2. Wrap the cording in the fabric by folding one selvedge edge to the other.IMG_20170420_144016887
  3. Put your zipper foot on your machine and move your needle position all the way to the left.
  4. Place your fabric and cording under the zipper foot and slowly stitch until you reach the end.IMG_20170420_150522823

Adding the cording

I like to start close to the center of the pillow. I start by pinning it in place and pin all the way until I get to the corner.


When I reach the corner, I take my scissors and make a 45° angle cut on the cording.

Then I continue pinning until I make it all the way around to where you started. I cut off the bias tape at least 1″ longer than what it should be. Next I open up the seam so I can cut out the excess cording.

Next I fold over the excess fabric and use it to cover the piece where I started pinning. I pin the piping down to the pillow fabric.

Now it is time to sew! Here is what it will look like when you are done.


To attach the second side of the pillow, I lay the side with the zipper correct side down on the piece you just sewed and I really pin it all the way around. When you are sewing, you still use your zipper foot and stay as close to the piping as possible.

Once I finish sewing, I put my regular #1 foot onto my machine and I zig zag around all the way around the edges of the pillow. You can also do that to each piece before, but I found it easier to do it at the end. This helps the integrity of the pillow plus when washing the edges will not fray as much. I also cut the zipper to the right length at the end.  I also cut a 45 degree angle at the corners or do a slightly rounded corner.

Inside out your pillows, put your pillow form in, and you are done! These pillows below show the front of back of the pillows I made during this tutorial!

Note: These pillows are going to be used outside. You can buy pillow forms that are specifically for outside use; however, I bought regular pillow forms and then I bought these waterproof pillow protectors at Target. I then sewed them to be the correct size, and now my pillow are waterproof also!

Please feel free to leave any comments or questions you might have! Happy sewing!