All week I’m sharing all the tips and tricks I have about how to make slipcovers. The first real step to making slip covers is to make your piping. It’s super easy, but some folks are still intimated by it. Never fear, I’m going to walk you through the step by step on how to make piping with lots of tips and tricks.
When you learn how to make slipcovers, the first thing you are going to need to do is measure for your piping. Of course, you can skip the piping, but it does look much more finished when added. It’s a little more work, but totally worth the effort. It helps to hold your slipcover in place.
To get the amount of piping you need, take your largest cushion, measure the longest side, then multiply that by 8 (four sides of the cushion, then top and bottom sides.) Multiply that number by the number of cushions you have. Then measure the arms (and wherever else you want the piping detail.) Add up all the numbers, then multiply it by 10% to get your total.
The first cuts on the bolt of fabric I make are the ones to make the piping. I go all down the length of the bolt, so basically I cut across all 15 yards of fabric. Because I needed 45 yards of piping, I cut three strips, adding up to the total length I needed.
I use the width of a yard stick to be a guide for cutting. Using 4/32 piping works beautifully with the width of the yard stick, however if you use larger cording you will need to make yours wider.
Cut out each individual strip, as you mark it. Draw your line, then cut, draw and cut, all the way across the bolt.
If you draw and cut while unrolling the fabric, you will only have to handle the fabric one time, not two or three times.
When all the strips are cut, sort them out and pin them end to end to make one long strip.
Make sure to back stitch when beginning & ending, and sew the pinned ends together to connect them all.
Once your long strip is complete and all sewn together, start by stitching the cord in the center, long ways together, so it will not pull out and cause problems while you’re sewing.
To start the piping, you want to fold the strip in half, sandwiching in the cord.
Use a zipper foot, and get it as close to the cord as possible. Start by back-stitching to lock everything in place, then fold and sew as you go.
I put my spool of cording in the floor, then drape the fabric strip over my shoulder so I have them coming from different directions and can keep them from getting tangled. I do not pin them together – I just fold as I sew and keep it all aligned. (Because who in their right mind wants to pin 45 yards of piping?!?)
As I sew, I pull slightly (this is exaggerated for the photo) the piping towards the needle to get it good and tight.
Once you’ve sewn all of the cording into the fabric, give yourself a little overhang and trim it off. Be sure you back-stitched it at the end for security. And, please use coordinating thread! I used contrasting so you could see all of the stitches on this slipcover, but using coordinating will look ten thousand times better, m’kay?
Got questions? Let’s have them in the comments. Any questions you have on how to make slipcovers will hopefully be addressed this week!
Want to see all the slipcover posts? Here ya go!