Friday, October 15, 2010

for the want of a skewer, or how i learned to love piping

Prior to getting involved in reupholstering furniture, I had scant experience making my own piping, or welting when it comes to furniture. Even using the pre-made stuff that I so dislike from the fabric store was a challenge. I never seemed to get my stitch line sufficiently close to the cording medium for my liking. Jute is my preference for cording. Of course, using a zipper foot is crucial and a tremendous help, but that's not always enough.

I came to realize that I would need to create my own fairly sharp crease line immediately parallel to the jute as I stitched on it's fabric covering. The pictures should demonstrate this far better than my words. I experimented with various kitchen implements to assist me in making the perfect crease. Sure, I might have been better served to read up on it or ask for help at my local fabric or sewing equipment shop, but that apparently isn't how I prefer to work. I suppose in the same way that I am not fond of using patterns other than my own, I need to reinvent the wheel just a bit with most anything I make.

Back to the importance of the crease line. Not too long ago I tried using a bamboo skewer for the job and EUREKA! I had found the most perfect tool for this purpose. Perhaps this will be helpful to someone else who has been battling with or avoiding piping/welting/cording altogether. Give it a try. The results are worth it.
Unfortunately, when making my pouffes, the skewer trick doesn't work so well as I am working with a layer of burlap and linen at the same time. It's thick and the burlap doesn't allow for a very clear crease (it disappears immediately) but it definitely helps.

no crease yet

enter the skewer. look at that line!

I can now follow my line

a better view of "drawing" the line

now follow that crease as your stitch line

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