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Conversational Threads

piping in Sept. issue

DonnaH | Posted in Feedback on Threads on

In the September issue of Threads there is an article on piping….one of the creative ideas the author encourages is to tie a knot in the piping and then continue sewing it into the seam…..how can you do that? The picture shows the knot in the seam ( and it looks really cool) but what happened to the seam allowance that enabled you to insert the rest of the piping in the garment. It is shown on page 45….I would like to try this, but am flummoxed. Anybody have an idea?


  1. SBAK | | #1

    Dear Donna -

    Since I'm the one who wrote the article, I guess I should be the one to reply!  It looks trickier than it is - and I admit the first time I saw it, I couldn't figure it out, either.  Imagine a narrow, sewn tube - something that you'd stitched and then turned right side out - and imagine that in some places, the tube hadn't been stitched.  In that event, the seam allowances would hang out, once the tube was turned right-side-out,  wouldn't they?  Well, that's sort of the idea with this.  Starting with a strip of bias fabric, right sides together, you stitch some areas and don't stitch others.  What helps is to add some reinforcing stitches, because you have to clip the seam allowances up to where the stitching stops, so that you get a clean definition between the stitched part and the unstitched part, once it's turned right side out.  This is a little hard to explain without an illustration, but if you play around with it, I think you'll get the idea.  As for incorporating it into a garment, or a pillow edge (where it's often seen), the tube-like part (the part that's been stitched and turned) is what gets knotted, while the unstitched part (the seam allowances that haven't been stitched) is what is sewn to the other fabric.

    I hope this helps!

    Susan Khalje

    1. DonnaH | | #2

      Thank you for your swift reply- I had no idea I would get instructions from the author....I am honored! Ok...So what you are telling me is that I need to do some advance planning....hmmm...that could be tough for me as I tend to switch horses midstream....(ooo...I bet THIS would be very cool! Lemme try it!)I will try your technique as your article has the two tips that really caught my eye from this issue (the other being the idea of putting in a bit of ribbon to mask the seam..however, that technique also lends itself to random ribbon placements all through the piping! I am putting that on my next garment)Thanks for the great article and keep up the good work. Donna

    2. carolfresia | | #3

      Dear Susan,

      Welcome to Gatherings, and thanks so much for your reply to Donna's questions. I've always assumed that technique was done the way you described it, but have never had the nerve to try it--I'm sure I'd end up with knots all in the wrong places!


      1. SBAK | | #4

        Well, you do have to kind of plan it out ahead of time - for example, it's hard to know just how much of the tube the knot will use up - but it's a neat technique.  You often see it in home dec, on the corners of pillows.


    3. 3deltas | | #5

      The reason I signed up for this discussion page was to see if I could discover what pattern was used for the beautiful jacket in the September issue.  I looked all over, and maybe missed it, but I think not.  I would love to try this exact jacket and would love to know the pattern maker.

      Thanks for a lovely and informative article.


      1. SBAK | | #6

        I sort of cooked up the design myself - I started with a princess-seamed jacket pattern, and drew directly onto the pattern tissue with the design lines I was after (if this had been for me, or a client, I would have done my work in muslin, but as it was a standard sample size, I used the pattern tissue).  I added that broad neckband, and bands down the front, and along the lower hem, and at the bottoms of the sleeves.  As pattern work goes, it was pretty simple to do - I bet if you do a little experimenting in muslin, you could succesfully adapt a similar pattern.

        Susan Khalje

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