Inside: The easiest explanation of how to sew a pillow cover with piping! Even a beginner can do this!
If there is one way I’ve added a ton of color, character, and pattern to my home and saved some cash it’s by taking on the challenge of teaching myself to sew well enough to make my own home decor.
And since pillows are pretty much my favorite thing next to mixing fabric patterns, I thought it was high time I show you the easiest way to sew a pillow cover with piping.
I promise if you can sew a straight line, you can do this. It is that easy.
This post contains affiliate links for your convenience. Click here to read my full disclosure.
I’m excited to be partnering with my go to home decor fabric source, Fabric.com, to bring this easy-to-do sewing project to the blog!
Adding piping around the edge of a pillow is a really fun way to either bring out one of the colors in your fabric pattern or add a really fun pop of contrasting color.
I used to create my piping piece in a completely separate step until I got smart and realized that there’s a much easier (and faster) way to add piping. Not to mention doing it the way I’m about to show you makes it so you will never again have that extra stitch line showing on your finish pillow cover. So frustrating, I know. You’re welcome.
Here’s what you’ll need to make a pillow cover with piping:
- Fabric cut to the size of your pillow form. (For example if your pillow form is 18 inches square, you’ll need a front piece of fabric cut 18 inches square. The back piece will also be 18 inches square if you are making a zippered pillow cover, but if you are doing an envelope pillow cover your back piece will actually be 2 pieces.
- Cording the thickness of your choice and enough to go around your pillow
- Bias tape in the color you want your piping to be. Your bias tape needs to be wide enough to wrap around your cording and still have about a 1/2 inch seam.
- Thread in a matching color.
- Pillow insert in the size of your choice
- (Optional) zipper
RELATED: Instructions for a zippered pillow cover or an envelope pillow cover.
(You can find this really fun flamingo fabric that my little lady LOVES right here.)
How to sew a pillow cover with piping:
Step 1: Fold your bias tape around your cording. Remember you want your bias tape to cover the cording and leave about a 1/2 inch extra when the edges of the bias tape are lined up.
Step 2: Grab the front piece of your pillow cover and place it in front of you, good side up.
Step 3: Starting in the middle on the bottom edge, place the raw edge of your bias tape along the raw edge of your fabric. You want all 3 raw edges to match perfectly.
Step 4: Pin it in place about 2 inches from the end.
On to the machine! You got this!
You will want to use your zipper foot for this so that you can get as close as possible to the cording.
Step 5: Place your piece on your machine and lower your zipper foot right after your pin. (You want to leave about a 2-3 inch portion of your piping unsewn for now.
Step 6: Start sewing with a straight stitch right along the edge of the cording. You can see the lump that your cording creates inside the bias tape. Sew right along that line.
Step 7: When you get about an inch or two from the corner, stop with your needle in your fabric and using your scissors, make about 3-5 snips into the edge of your bias tape. This will allow you to turn the corner without screwing up the cording.
Step 8: Go slow and continue and when you are about 1/2 inch from the end of that side, stop with your needle down into your fabric, lift your foot, turn your fabric and line up the piping on the next side.
Then lower your foot, and continue down the next side.
(You’ll repeat these steps for each corner.)
Step 9: On the final side, stop sewing about 2-3 inches before you get back to where you started.
Step 10: Line up the ends of your cording and cut them so that they butt up to each other end to end. (You’ll want to peel back the bias tape for this part.)
Step 11: Fold the bias tape on the side you were just sewing around the cording as if you were going to continue on.
Step 12: Take the beginning end of the bias tape and fold over the raw edge, just a little. Then fold it over the piece with the cording already inside. (You can see the beginnings of your super pro looking seam.)
Pin it so it stays just like that.
Step 13: Take it back to your machine and start your stitch a little before where you left off and go all the way to where you started!
You now have piping all the way around the font piece of your pillow cover! Woo-hoo!
Okay. Now you need to make a decision. Are you going to go for it and make a zippered pillow cover? Or are you going to make an envelope pillow cover?
Either way I have you covered. You have the piping on your front piece so now it is just a matter of following the steps in either my zippered pillow cover tutorial (that is so easy even beginners can do it!) or my easy envelope pillow cover tutorial.
But a few tips before you head over to those steps…
Regardless of which type of pillow cover you are making, make sure that when you are sewing the back piece on, the little pieces of bias tape that were created when you made your snips at the corner need to be laying flat. If they aren’t, they will be poking through the front of your finished project, and your corners will be no bueno.
If you are going for it and adding a zipper, be sure that when you are sewing the zipper on, you aren’t going through the piping too. To make sure, lower the foot and then lift the fabric and peek under to make sure the piping isn’t pressed down under the foot. In fact, stop and check every little bit.
Also, after you’ve attached your zipper and it is time to use your stitch ripper to undo the temporary zig-zag seam, make sure you are only ripping the zig-zag seam and not the seam holding your piping onto your front piece. (Yes I learned this the hard way 🙁 )
And once you are all done, it’s time to turn that baby right side out, add your pillow insert, and admire your handiwork!
My little lady was really excited to come home to her newly refreshed bed after her first day of school!
A big THANK YOU to Fabric.com for sponsoring this post! As a long time customer it is a true honor!
Can’t get enough of sewing tutorials?
RELATED: HOW TO MAKE A ZIPPERED PILLOW COVER
RELATED: HOW TO MAKE AN ENVELOPE PILLOW COVER