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{Tutorial} How to Add Faux Piping

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{Tutorial} How to Add Faux Piping

Kari Steiger

One of my most favorite things about sewing is adding the details.  As I was planning this Ellie Dress out of the Curiosities Collection by Amanda Herring for Riley Blake Designs, I thought it would be fun to add a pop of color between the tiers.   Today, I will show you how easy it is to add!  

Create Faux Piping in Minutes

Before you cut your accent fabric, you will want to determine the finished length you want showing.  Then, with a little math, you can get your total cut length.  For example, I wanted a little bit thicker accent on this dress so my finished length is 3/8".  Then you multiply that by 2.  You'll take that answer and add in the SA (seam allowance) twice.  This will give you your cut length.

3/8" x 2 = 3/4"         3/4" + 1/2" + 1/2" = 1 3/4"

To determine the cut width, you will simply cut it at the width of your pattern pieces to which it's being attached.  On the Ellie Dress, I added it at the waist (used bodice width), between Tiers 1 & 2 (used Tier 1 width), and again between Tiers 2 & 3 (used Tier 2 width).  I cut a total of 6 pieces (2 of each width).  These pieces do not need to be cut on the bias.  If you are adding in along a curved edge, such as the princess seams in the Monet Dress, cut the pieces out on the bias.

STEP 1: Press each piece in half (height-wise) to create a memory fold.

STEP 2: Place your pieces together* (right sides together) and sew down the short edges.

       *This step applies if you are adding faux piping the entire way around.  If you are just adding to the front or along a princess seam in a bodice, this step will be skipped.

STEP 3:  Bringing wrong sides together, fold your band in half along the memory fold.  Pin along the edge of where you are adding it, matching the raw edges of the faux piping to the raw edge of the main fabric and the side seams of the accent to the side seams of the main fabric.  Baste in place, using a slightly smaller seam allowance than the pattern uses.  Follow tutorial to complete your garment, being sure to use precise seam allowances for an even faux piping.  

Designer Tip: When adding a gathered skirt to the edge, I recommend having the non-gathered edge facing up when sewing so you can see your basted stitching as a guide.  To prevent the gathers from shifting, use several pins and use your iron on the gathers to set them before sewing.

To create faux piping along the edge of a bodice, cut the lining piece in the fabric you wish the faux piping to be.  (If the pattern seam allowance is less than 1/2", cut lining piece 1/4" longer.) After you sew the main and lining together, carefully iron the bodice so the lining just peeks out.  Topstitch in place, according to pattern instructions (For example, in the Ellie Dress, I topstitched after my entire bodice was constructed.) 

TA-DAA!!