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The Woven Studio | DIY Fabric Piping & Custom Pillow
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DIY Fabric Piping & Custom Pillow

DIY Fabric Piping & Custom Pillow

Some of you may have been following the progression of Baby Schooling’s nursery. We’ve made a TON of progress (I’ll make sure to do a post showing the entire nursery when I’m 100% satisfied), but I wanted to add a little customization to my son’s room, without it being too permanent. So, I thought of making a monogram pillow to throw on the upholstered chair we had gotten for the nursery after my husband and I finally narrowed down the name (so hard!!).


Now, I won’t go through a play by play on how to make a pillow, because I think most people who know any basics in sewing already know or can figure it out, but I will go through some tips to make your pillow a little more customized and professional looking. Some of these tips can carry out in other projects as well!


Firstly, that “E” on my pillow (my son’s initial!!) is actually pretty simple to do. I simply went into my computer, found a font I wanted, and printed out the letter in the size I wanted onto cardstock. I cut out the letter from the page, leaving a personalized stencil off to the side. Trace the letter onto your desired fabric, and cut around the letter. Place that cut piece including your letter on top of the fabric you are placing the letter on and stitch over the tracing by hand or use a sewing machine (my mom has an embroidery machine that I used to avoid major fraying). Carefully cut around the stitches to reveal your letter! This is by no means an official, professional way to do this, just the way I did it (easy!). This was the first time I tried doing this, so I basically improvised ha! I know fabric stores sell ready made, iron on letters, which may be more up your alley. I chose to do it this way because I wanted the fabric of the letter to match my piping around the pillow and the back of the pillow.




Secondly, I know a couple people have asked me how to make custom piping out of their own fabric (this will sometimes save you money on what you would buy pre made binding/piping for the edges of your projects, and will allow you to customize your project by using a fabric of your choosing), so here are some tips on how to do that:





-Cotton cord in your desired thickness (you can find this in any fabric/crafts store)
-Fabric in desired color
-Sewing machine and zipper foot



Step #1: Cut and join enough bias strips for the required length and wide enough to cover the cord plus a .5 inch seam allowance.
Hint: A bias strip is just a strip of fabric that is cut on the “bias” or on the diagonal of the grain of the fabric. This is done because it will stretch significantly more to go around corners and turns than if you cut it on the grain.






Step #2: Take the cotton cord and place it in the middle of the wrong side of the bias strip.

Step #3: Fold the bias strip over the cord matching the raw edges. The excess will be that .5 inch left for the seam.

Step #4: Using a zipper sewing maxing fit, stitch the 2 sides of the bias strip together along the length. This will ensure that the stitches are as close as possible to the cord.

Step #5: If you need to make a longer piece of binding, you will need to join two bias strips together. Do this by placing two strips, right sides together or by making a “V” shadow, right angles to each other and stitch them together. Trim off the overlapping edges.






Step #6: Now that you have made your binding, it’s time to attach it to your project. To attach the piping to a straight edge, pin it to the right side of the main fabric matching the raw edges together. If you have to round around any corners, simply cut a notch in the fabric and continue stitching.






Step #7: When you get to where you began sewing the piping into your project, you will need to join the piping. This is called “continuous piping”. It will seem very complicated reading it, so I would advise finding a video on how to do this to get a better idea. Basically, to make continuous piping, rip your piping seam, revealing the cotton cord and cut the excess CORD ONLY, not the fabric up to where the two points would meet. Then pull the fabric back over where it would cover the cord and fold it under the piping you started sewing at the beginning of your project. Wrap that tail around the head of the piping, then continue sewing. Is everyone still with me? I know, time to get on YouTube! Ha!





So there you have it! Piping adds a nice detail to DIY pillows, upholstery projects, and even clothing projects. You can choose the same color as your main fabric, or pick a fun contrasting color.


This monogram pillow turned out as great as I had imagined, I love the personal detail it adds to the nursery so far. I can’t wait to see everything else come together! Let me know if you try any of these tips out for yourself! I would love to see how your projects turn out!


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Doris Schooling

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