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  • Nicole Seafolk

What I learned: Apparel piping and self confidence

For this last month of SewMyStyle 2019 the theme is pajamas with two great options for patterns, including a pattern I bought last year and never got around to making, the Carolyn Pajamas from Closet Case Patterns.

I loved the look of these classic pajamas the minute I saw them and had great plans of making them at the beginning of the year but one thing kept stopping me. Sewing the piping.

Now *in theory* I know that the piping is totally optional with this pattern and I could still make great jam-jams without including it, but I also couldn’t shake the stubborn voice in my head that says that if you’re gonna do something you might as well go all in.

So earlier this month I decided it was time to finally grow up a little and just do it. (Insert Shia labeouf meme here 😂)

And let me tell you I learned quite a bit sewing up these pajamas last week, about my own sewing skills, sewing piping specifically, and how much my own fears can hold me back.

Let’s start with the piping huh since that is why you are probably here anyway yeah?

First off, if you are at all able BUY A PIPING FOOT! Seriously this was a total game changer. At first I was trying to use a zipper foot with the needle moved all the way over and while that’s probably manageable for some, for me it was a major headache. A piping foot has a groove so it fits totally over the piping and hold everything in place while you sew and it is so much easier than using a zippier foot. It meant a lot less fiddling with making sure nothing shifted while sewing and made the sewing process much quicker as well.

Second is that your thread should be the color of your piping and not your fabric. This might be obvious to some but it wasn’t to me and I attached all of my piping using thread that matched my fabric (white) instead of thread that matched my piping (black). This ended up leaving a handful of spots where you can totally see the white stitching when I didn’t get the same spot on the second pass. Truly not the end of the world, but if you’re a perfectionist like I am it’s definitely annoying. And I *may* have gone in with a thin sharpie and colored the white thread black…

Now if your having trouble keeping your piping in place as you sew, grab yourself an Elmers repositionable, clear drying glue stick and glue that piping down! This is a hack I use a lot when I don’t want to pin but for sewing piping it was especially helpful getting clean curves. Bonus is that it will melt away in the first wash and no one will ever be the wiser.

And finally, what I learned most of all is that waiting isn’t going to make it any easier. As with learning anything new, it can be so easy to keep putting off a new task and focus on what we know we’re good at but by doing that of course we can never improve in our craft. Now that I have “mastered” adding piping I look back at so many past projects that would have been elevated with a piping addition and regret not taking the plunge to try something new a long time ago.

Do you have any other piping tips? If so please leave them in the comments below so we can all learn from each other!

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