How to Create Pillow Slipcovers with Piping - dummies

How to Create Pillow Slipcovers with Piping

By Mark Montano, Carly Sommerstein

If you have created slipcovers for your sofa pillows to update tired furniture, adding piping gives your pillow slipcovers a finished and professional look. Sewing the piping is not all that difficult. Before you start, you need the following items:

  • Your cushion fabric, cut and pressed but not yet sewn

  • Cloth measuring tape

  • A few yards of cord-filled piping for each sofa cushion

  • To figure out how much piping you need per cushion, just measure the length of each seam in which you intend to insert the piping and add a few inches for turning corners. For one 24 x 24-inch cushion from an average-size, 87-inch-wide sofa, you need 5 to 6 yards of piping.

  • Iron and ironing board

  • Scissors

  • Sewing machine with appropriate color heavy-duty thread

  • Straight pins

Follow these simple steps to have beautiful piping in no time:

  1. Iron all your fabric well so your piping and cushion fabric attach smoothly.

  2. Working on the right side of the fabric, chalk your 1/2-inch seam allowance line all the way around the edge of the fabric where you’ll be applying the piping.

    Marking fabric with chalk.

    Start on the back of the cushion, so you end your piping in an area out of sight (your cushion looks more streamlined).

  3. Line up your piping on the right side of the fabric so that the piping’s seam allowance is aligned on the cushion fabric’s seam allowance.

    Lining up the piping on the right side of a pillow slipcover.

    The piping’s raw edges need to be oriented toward the raw edge of the cushion fabric. The tube part of the piping needs to be just over the 1/2-inch chalked line.

  4. Pin or machine baste the piping and fabric together to keep them in place.

    If you prefer to hand baste the fabric together, you can do that instead.

  5. Place the corresponding layer of fabric over the top of the pinned or basted layer.

  6. Using your zipper foot, sew at the 1/2-inch seam allowance, getting as close to the piping as you can.

    A pillow slipcover with piping.

    Doing so traps the piping in between the two layers of fabric, and when you turn the cushion cover right side out, all you see is the piping. The piping’s seam allowance is caught in the cushion’s seam allowance.

  7. To finish the piping, simply overlap the two ends where they meet and stitch them into place, or you can snip out a bit of the cord and bend it toward the edge of the fabric and stitch it.

Add piping around the bottom part of the cushion as well, to match the top section. That way you can flip your cushions (great for hiding stains!).