Making piping for pillows and cushions

  Today I’m going to show you the first part of a project I’m doing for our bedroom.  As I’ve continued in my organizing, less and less things have been strewn all over the place…and now my bedroom looks, well, a little empty.

  The bed, especially, looks rather…blank.  I was pregnant with G when we moved here, so decorating wasn’t exactly high on the priority list.  A few weeks ago though, I saw this post on Desire to Inspire.  Suddenly my bedroom needed to be redone!
  The Mr. thinks I’m hilarious.  I go on these tears semi-regularly where out of the blue something all the sudden becomes a crisis.  He’s used to it.
  I already went on a rant at him about how the previous lamp on our desk was completely the wrong size and, this past summer, in a fit of “left alone with the baby for a week” craziness covered all of my books in tracing paper dusk jackets (it was nuts, but it looks so pretty!)
  Now, I’m taking the “glamping” post as my starting point and running with it.  I have lots of ideas for what I want to do, but first I’m making giant, fuzzy, faux fur shams for our pillows.
  Our office looks like a bunny murderer’s lair.
  I’m trying to make a point of taking my time with projects and taking all the proper steps to make something I really, truly love and that will last a long time.  My instinct is to just do it as quickly as possible, but I’m working to get over that.  Because I want them to look more polished, I’m putting piping on the pillow shams.  I think it will add a nice finish to them to have that dark, clean cording on the edges.  My hope is that it will help them to look more “West Elm” and less “Limited Too”.
  So, before I can do any sewing on my pillow shams, I have to create my piping.  To create your own, start by purchasing (or retrieving from your stash) the width cotton cording you would like to use.  I considered using some 3/4″ cotton rope I had on hand, but came to the conclusion it was far too narrow and would be lost in the fur.  I measured my pillows and determined I needed approximately 6 yards of piping.  I went to the store (I know…that never happens!) and purchased 1 3/4″ cord.  At something like 75 cents a yard, I think the difference it makes will be well worth the investment!
  Next, decide on the fabric you will use for your piping.  I’ve seen lots of gorgeous pieces with contrasting piping, but for my shams I decided to use the same dark brown twill I’ll be using to cover the backs.
  To cover your cording and create your piping you will need to cut strips of your fabric on the bias.  I’m going to repeat that: it needs to be on the bias.  I’m terrible about taking short cuts, but this isn’t one you can get away with.  The bias is the only way your fabric will wrap correctly around your cording.  To determine how wide your bias strips need to be, measure your cording and then add your seam allowance times 2 to that number.
  For example, my cord= 1.75″ and my seam allowance=5/8″ so my strips were 3″.  1.75+2(5/8)
  Once you’ve finished cutting the strips, it’s time for the really tedious part.  If you’re working on a typically sized pillow like I am, you now need to pin 100 inches of bias stripping around 100 inches of cording.  For each pillow.  And then stitch it shut.
**Please note, after a LOT of swearing, I’ve come to the conclusion this is the wrong way to pin piping.  Place your pins parallel to the cording, not perpendicular.  It will save you a lot of hassle.**
  To get the best results, break out your zipper foot, slide the cording as close as possible and go slowly.  I’ve gotten bored several times in this process and made myself walk away from the sewing machine to keep my impatience from ruining it all.
  It’s definitely slow going over here, but I think it’s going to make a huge difference in the end product.  I’m not sure if I’ll be finished with the shams in time for my post Friday, but I’ll certainly update you on how far I’ve gotten!
Do you have ideas for projects that would use piping?
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