One of the classes that I teach is Machine Finishing for Embroiderers'. It is all about how you get a good finish when you make up your work. Now some embroidery doesn't need you to use a sewing machine to put that work together but things like cushions or anything that needs a zipper is something that does. A shoddy finish can spoil all that hard work.
One of the things that I often get asked is how do I put piping around my cushion? Well, first you have to ask are you using commercially bought piping or making the piping yourself? It is a lot cheaper to make your own, if a bit fiddely, and, you can match it to the back of your cushion. So here is a short tutorial on making and attaching the piping. Tomorrow I will post one way you can insert a zipper and attach the back of the cushion to the front.
1. The first thing I do with the cushion front is mark the distance I want to leave around the embroidery on the fabric. I use tailors chalk to do this. Then I measure how much piping I will need using this mark. I always allow extra fabric and cord. You can cut it off but it is hard to add it on.
2. The next thing is to cut and join the bias strips needed to cover the cord. Make sure these are cut on the true bias and that they are joined on the bias.
3. Using my zipper foot I sew the cord in the bias strip to make the casing. Not up too close, leave a little space for movement.
4. Leave the ends un-sewn so you can join them to fit.
5. Most instructions will say "Pin the piping into position just inside your marked line." Now that leaves out a lot. Just how much you need to use will have to take into account the thickness of the cord and what about the corners?
Square corners can be done but it is easier to round your corners off. When you do this make sure your 'snip' the casing so that the piping 'walks around' that corner.
6. Now that you actually know how much piping you will need to go right around that cushion you have to join the ends of that bias strips, on the bias. Why don't you just sew it straight across? Doing that will restrict movement of the piping and could pull it out of shape.
7. Put some sticky tape on the cut ends of the cord so it doesn't fray out.
8 Put the ends together. Sometime if the cord is very thick or I think the ends will pull apart I will put in a hand stitch to keep them together but most commercial establishments use this end to end method without hand stitching.
9. Finish by sewing the casing in place. I then attach this to the cushion front. Using my zipper foot I stitch just inside the casing stitch line.
Now I am ready to attach the cushion back.