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How to Apply Piping Like a Pro


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Please see our tips on cutting bias strips for piping first.  The example we are sewing here is based on the Erin Valance. Pin or staple layers of treatment (face fabric, lining and interlining) together as described in our curtain pattern instructions.  We use a velvet foot as shown above in our first steps of application.  We will later change to a zipper foot.
To save time, we cover the piping and apply it at the same time.  Tuck under the interlining and the face fabric to that it is out of the way.  Wrap the fabric around the piping.
Place the covered piping underneath the lining, right sides together, aligning raw edges.  Begin stitching the piping to the lining starting 1" from the end of the piping.  It is not necessary to stitch extremely close to the piping at this point.
Continue stitching, covering the piping as you stitch it to the lining.  Use a little less that a 1/2" seam allowance.
As you approach an outside corner, stop sewing 1" from the corner.  Make one clip in the piping 1/2" before the corner of the fabric.
Make one clip in the piping exactly at the corner and one clip 1/2" past the corner.
Continue sewing, but stop 3/8" from the corner of the fabric with the needle in the down position.
With the presser foot in the up position, pivot the lining fabric, bending the piping to turn the corner.
Continue sewing the piping to the lining.
When approaching an inside corner, stop sewing 1" from the corner
Make a 1/2" cut at the inside corner of the lining.
Continue sewing slowly to the clip, pulling the inside corner of the lining open at the clip.  Do not clip the piping at this time.
Continue sewing across the clip.
Continue sewing around the entire window treatment.
After you finish sewing around the entire window treatment, stop sewing about 2" from the beginning of the piping
Clip the ending piping where it meets the beginning piping.
Clip the piping fabric so that it overlaps the other end by     1-1/2".
Fold under 1" of piping fabric at the end of the piping as shown.
Wrap the fabric around the beginning piping.
Stitch across closure, making sure all layers are smooth.
Turn over and make sure everything is neat!
This is how your treatment will look at this point.
We change to a zipper foot at this point
You will now be flipping the interlining and face fabric back up, aligning all raw edges.  Place the layers under the presser foot with the interlining down against the feet dog and the lining on top.  Begin sewing through all layers, sewing as close to the piping as possible.  We used a darker thread for illustrative purposes.  You can see that you are stitching about 1/8" closer to the piping than the previous seam.  This ensures that the previous stitch line will not be visible when you turn the treatment right side out.
As you turn the outside corners, stitch to 1/2" from the edge of the fabric, leaving the needle in the down position.  Raise the presser foot and pivot the entire treatment.
On the inside corners, clip all layers to the previous stitch line.  Overlap the clipped piping fabric at the corner and work out flat for a smooth corner while stitching.
Pivot the treatment at the corners with the presser foot in the up position and the needle in the down position.
Continue stitching around the entire treatment, sewing as close to the piping as possible.
Be sure to leave about a 6" opening for turning the treatment right side out.
Clip outside corners without cutting through the inside stitch line.
Clip all inside corners and trim all seams.
Turn the treatment right side out and press.