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Corded Binding

Lazybug | Posted in General Sewing Info on

Today I finished a pillow with embroidered frogs for my 10 yr old grandson’s room. I made my own cording in a green to match the frogs, everything was coming along well until I came to the place where I had started stitching the covered cording to the pillow.
Then I went blank! Totally forgot how to stitch the 2 ends together for a finished look. To use my DH’s expression, by “brute strength and awkwardness” I finished it and it looks, well, OK. But obviously I need better planning in the future.
Can some of you super-sewers please tell me your technique for finishing covered cording on the front of a pillow? My sewing books seem inadequate for this.


  1. Ralphetta | | #1

    there are different ways, depending on the thickness of the cording. One way is to stop sewing about an inch from the end. Both ends are free. You cut the cord inside the fabric and butt the two ends together. Then, you can fold the tail end of the fabric over the starting fabric so no raw edges show and sew it in place. I'm not sure I've explained it very well, but if you picture butting the "stuffing" cord together, I think you can figure out what to do. If it's a very fine cord, i think they sometimes just use a needle to pull the ends through to the back side. When i first made cushions and pillows i found a lot of really good books in the library that explained how to get sharp edges, hide ends, etc.

    1. Lazybug | | #2

      Maybe I do need to go to a library. I've a number of sewing books at home but they do not explain that technique. Photos or drawings would help me more than anything.
      What I faced yesterday was I began by sewing corded binding to pillow front, then after I sewed all the binding around the pillow and came up to that original raw edge I couldn't figure out how to finish the seam there.
      You'd never know I've been sewing for years and years, would you? (G)

      1. Ralphetta | | #3

        I completely understand the frustration. Even though I've sewn a long time, there are some things that, for some reason, I've never need to do...or perhaps it's been many years ago and I don't remember what I did. Could you understand what I was saying about cutting the cord (inside the binding) butting it together so there is no overlapping thickness? Then you just fold the binding back. When you are finished there is no lump, just the seam where the binding joins. It's usually not very noticeable.

        1. Lazybug | | #4

          I think a light bulb finally went off! I was trying to finish the ends of corded binding like we do when we piece bias strips together....you know, stitching on the bias. I thought the bias seam would not be as visible. It never occurred to me to simply turn under one end, shorten the cording and stitch down. Duh.Also even with binding without the cord I can always tell where I end off because the turned under part looks so much larger. I'll have to work on that.Thanks for hanging with me until I got it. Sometimes its the simple things!Joanne

          1. starzoe | | #5

            If the turned under part "looks so much larger", pull the end of the cords out from the fabric and cut them off, then tuck those ends into the seam. If you are careful, it will be unobtrusive. I always tuck it in on the bottom edge of the pillow.

          2. Ralphetta | | #6

            Actually, I DO usually lap the fabric diagonally. The cord butts, but the covering is bias so it lays more smoothly if you make the ends diagonal. It won't stretch out big like it does if you cut it off blunt.When I got ready to do a lot of Home Decor sewing I got all those books I mentioned earlier. Some were better than others and had beautiful photos that showed step by step how to do things like you are asking about, and other options as well. There's no way I could have bought all the books. I have a great library.

          3. Lazybug | | #7

            Ah, that may be my answer, to lap the end fabric on the diagonal rather than blunt cut. My blunt cuts never look too good. With desert summer coming up, I am doing a number of cotton nighties for myself and youngest daughter; they all have bias binding at neck and armhold edges. I suspect a diagonal cut would look better even on non-corded bias binding. Just never thought of it before. Thanks for this suggestion.Youngest daughter is married with children of her own and I am still doing occasional sewing for her. I began sewing when she was 3 yrs. old by making all her dresses, so my sewing machines have really had a LOT of use.

          4. Ralphetta | | #8

            Although I'd done some sewing before, it was when my daughter was about that age that I got serious about it. Don't you think that's a perfect time? It's like making paper doll clothes because they have no curves, it doesn't take much fabric, and you can do really "fun" things. It gave me the opportunity to experiment and master the basics.

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