First Piping

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May 16, 2012 by Amie M

In the middle of April, Sarah (Shadow‘s Mom), asked me ever so nicely to recover a foot stool of hers. She picked out the fabric (enough to cover 3 stools, even though I told her  half that in yardage) and dropped the stool off before she moved out of her apartment and back home with her parents. The stool was in pretty good shape, but her mom kept noticing the odd stain, and Sarah wanted a more grown up stool for when she moved in with her man this fall. After much procrastination, I got to work on the stool.

But Audrey claimed as hers, first. She loved the smell of it and would lay on it over the other ottoman. I think she recognized Shadow’s smell. Oh, young kitty love!

I started by assessing the situation and making a game plan.

I seam ripped the cover apart. There were three pieces, the circle top, the rectangle sides, and then the piping cover.

I traced the side and circle onto the fabric with chalk.

Then I measured 2 1/2 inches from the selvedge inward to have an even strip for the piping.

My order of attach from her was to make the piping first. But I needed a zipper foot to get nice and tight to the edge. For 12$ I was able to find an easy to use one.

To attach your zipper foot, remove your current foot but unscrewing it from the post.

Then attach your zipper foot in the same method, but screwing it on. This is the back few of the foot. The green knob is how you control where your guide foot is. Loosen it to slide the foot back and forth.

For the piping, lay the cord in the middle of the fabric and pin it closed to form a tube.

The first pass with the sewing machine to create the pipe, your needle should be 1/4 inch away from the cord. I lined the needle up with the center of the presser foot.

Then, pin the piping to the main fabric, with the piping lying on the right side of the fabric. Move the needle to the furthest left position, but still in the needle grooves on the presser foot. This will bring you much closer to the piping, and keep your lines tight on the right side of the side fabric.

Then I brought the sides and top circle back to the stool to see how much length I had to work with. I pinned an even line along the bottom 1/2 inch from the stool’s edge.

Then I sewed a 1/4 inch seam from the bottom up, zig zagged it. Then folded the edge up so that my pin line was in the middle of the bottom crease. Then I threaded a cord through the bottom to be used as a drawstring to keep the cover snug around the stool, and to not let it slip up with Shadow’s clumsy antics and using the stool as a launching pad. I knew this was wise because Audrey was already showing and inkling to do this with the stool.

Then I pinned the top circle onto the edges, right sides facing, so that the piping was on the inside. I sewed around the circle, until just before where the two edges of the side fabric met.

I brought the cover back to the stool to check the fitting of the top and sides. I pinned the short lengths of the edges together so that the cover was snug, but not too difficult to get on and off. After all, Shadow does shed, and Sarah will want to wash the stool once in awhile.

Then with some adjusting of the top circle, I closed the side seam. I also zig zagged the side seam and top seam. Shadow (and cats in general) can be rough on furniture, so I wanted it to be sturdy.

It took some adjusting of the piping cord to get the top nice and tight. But I think the stool looks good! Pretty good for my first crack at piping, and for the piping not being in a straight line!

Audrey agreed. She also thinks it fits right in with our living room, and doesn’t think Shadow will appreciate it as much as she does. After all a princess deserves custom made furniture.

Sarah! Your stool is ready for pickup! Happy Belated Birthday!



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