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Let me give you a tip. When attempting to make bias-binding for the very first time, it is not advisable to wait until 9.30 in the evening after you have spent all day staring at figures, have eaten a large evening meal and are therefore just a teensy bit tired. Should you ignore my advice and attempt this anyway then it is highly likely that your fabric strips will be just that bit wonky, you will try numerous times to thread your sewing machine and you will bang your knee on your sewing desk. If you laugh in the face of adversity and continue on regardless then it is possible that you will discover, like I did, that you have sewn your strips together in opposite ways and therefore have to start all over again. Or perhaps that’s just me…

Why would I try to make my own bias-binding you may wonder? Apparently, when attempting to make piping for a cushion, you should cut all fabric strips on the bias to ensure a smooth finish. I therefore found this simple tutorial from By Hand London and decided that it couldn’t be that difficult. Sadly the sewing fairies were not present and, following my disastrous first attempt, I shoved the wonky bias strips out of sight so that I wouldn’t be reminded of my fabric failure….

I couldn’t hide from the piping conundrum forever, however, and I finally found a bit of energy today to have another go. During my second attempt, I discovered the following:

  • Making bias-binding is much easier on a Sunday when you’ve had a bit more sleep, the sun is shining and you may have also had a raspberry and mint martini at a summer market…
  • This is a zipper foot:

 Zipper foot

  • This is what it looks like when attached to my sewing-machine:

 Zipper foot attached to machine

  • You need to use your zipper foot and adjust the needle on your machine so that you can sew reasonably close to your piping. If, like me, you have never done this before then your manual has idiot-proof diagrams that make it a bit easier to understand:

Sewing piping cord 1 Sewing piping cord 2

A few tips for those who would like to attempt making piping:

  • When making bias-binding to use for piping-cord, it’s probably a good idea to cut out strips that have an approximate width of 1.5 inches. Binding that is only about an inch wide isn’t quite wide enough to comfortably fold around your cord and you’ll end up shouting at your sewing-machine when you don’t have enough fabric to sew the join together.
  • Pin your cord at each end and leave the pins in place after you’ve finished sewing your piping. If you don’t leave them in, the cord will come out. Cue more shouting and possibly a few choice words that I can’t include here.
  • Use small pins to fasten the fabric around the piping cord. Larger pins will make it more difficult to sew the fabric together and will result in more frustration of the sort mentioned above.
  • When sewing the piping, position your needle so it is a few millimetres from the cord. This will allow more accurate sewing when you put the piping into the cushion (this was a really useful tip from a fellow sewing enthusiast).
  • If all else fails, you can just buy bias-binding…

Here is a picture of my finished piping. It’s nowhere near perfect but I’m proud that I have achieved something:

Finished piping cord

The next challenge of course is to successfully attach it to the cushion.

I haven’t had a great deal of sewing time lately but I did manage to sew a few EPP diamonds whilst on the train one day:

EPP diamonds 1 EPP diamonds 2I may have also accidentally wandered into Fenwicks again one lunchtime and, I swear, this fabric just fell into my bag:

New fabric June 2015


See you again soon 🙂