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Adding rope/piping/cording to edge

LJB2002 | Posted in Fabric and Trim on

Hello. I am making drapes for our home and am at a slight stand still! I thought a rope trim would be a nice touch to the leading edges of the pinch pleated panels for our dining room. I have the Tauton book on Edges & Corners, but it does not tell how to start and stop along a straight edge. Directions I find are for a cushion. The trim has a lip so I can align the face fabric edge with the edge of the lip, then add the lining. Not as easy as I thought (stop thinking Lisa!!) But, how do I start and stop the rope? I opened it up but it is all twisted and does not lie flat. I sewed over the lumps, trying to curve it at the ends, but it is not very even or neat.

Any experience with this? How do I get the ends to end on a straight edge? How do I get really close when attaching the lining? I get snug in there with the face and trim, but the lining is not tightly sewn the first time so the lip is exposed. I sewed it again and it was tighter. Will I need to go over it 3 times?

Thanks you any and all!!!!

Happy sewing, Lisa


  1. Guest | | #1

    try using your zipper foot.

  2. LizMaynard | | #2

    Lisa, I have trouble getting close enough to the cord too (on drapery piping).  The zipper foot I have does not allow the needle to get close enough so I end up stitching it in by machine then going back with hand needle/thread and stitching very closely to the cord thru all layers just as if sewing by machine.  Be sure to look at lip cord--it rolls to one side more than the other and I always make that be on the front to help hide the little bit of "lip" that still shows.  As for stopping the cord, a drapery maker said she uses the fray check liberally, let it dry, then cut.  I just cannot go with that and I always turn the unwound edge of the cord back into the seam.  I'm not happy with the look but it's better than having raw edges.  Maybe someone else has a better method!

    1. LJB2002 | | #3


      Thanks for your reply. I have been experimenting and find that tucking the ends into the seam is the best I can do at this point. The trim does not go exactly to the end but I found no other choice.

      I, too, am having difficulty with the turning of the cord. It seems that the lip is sewn on "around" the cord, making it nearly impossible to sew the round trim into the flat seam without the sewn-on part of the lip showing. As I'm going now, the lip shows on the lining side, which is not horrible - just sloppy looking!

      I guess if the fabric was thicker, the sewn-on portion of the lip would not show. And the little part of the flat lip would be hidden. Oh, and I am using a zipper foot.

      My husband says no one but me would notice. Still, I'd like it to be neater! I guess that's why I'm a Threads reader!


    2. SaraOfenloch | | #4


      try the method using narrow fusable web and place the cording in the fold and  then place the strip of fusable web in there and press firmly.  I picked up this hint on the web and tried it with my window treatments and this eliminated one step and then the zipper foot and if you have this feature, move the needle over closer to the cording. 

      I have also had the problem of unwinding cords or decorative trims and then carfully twisting the two ends into one.  You can do it if you are very patient.

      good luck


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