Saturday, January 09, 2016

Adding Piping to a Sleeve Hem

There were several Carolyn touches added to my designer knock-off tunic, primarily piping.  As I was inserting the piping to the sleeve hem I posted a picture to Instagram. Then I had a thought that I should add a post on how I added the piping plus hem facing to the sleeve.  So here it is:

First thing I did was draw a hem facing by using the the pattern piece and some wax chalk ~

After cutting the hem facing out, serging the edges to finish them and stitching the side seam, I was left with this ~

The hem facing's other edge was then machine stitched flat to clean finish the edge for actual hand stitching the hem ~

The facing was pinned to the sleeve, matching the undersleeve seam ~

I set my sewing machine up with the extension table removed for freearm stitching with my zipper foot on the machine. I use my zipper foot even though there is a piping foot that can be purchased for my sewing machine. My zipper foot works well because I can get it close enough to the piping while it's encased in fabric. 

Stitch close to the piping on the facing edge. I grade the seam by the piping join to remove some of the excess bulk. Then I pin the facing in, prior to pressing it ~

Next I edgestitch close to the piping on the outside of the sleeve, using a 2.9 stitch length on my machine ~

Finally everything is pressed flat using a silk organza pressing cloth and the clapper ~

Here is the sleeve once it's inserted into the garment ~

I think this is a great technique to add to your garments. It will help take them to the next level. If you've followed along here, you will realize that I'm a piping fiend and use a lot of it in my garments. I just like the touch it adds to them or maybe I'm just channeling Cynthia Guffey!

If you're interested in how I add piping to garments, I wrote post about it back in 2008 and you can find the information here. BTW, my Sewing Techniques link has some good information in it, if you're looking for a technique I've used in previous garments or just want to learn a new sewing skill.

Next up is a denim skirt from Vogue 1247. I loved my original skirt and can't believe I was able to reproduce it in a fabric for my new lifestyle. BTW, some time in 2016 I'm gonna stop using that phrase ~ I promise! *LOL* always more later!


  1. Always such beautiful special touches!

  2. Love your new tunic and thanks for the piping info. I learn so much from you.

  3. Great post! Thanks for this tip. Did you make the piping yourself? It's such a perfect match.

    1. Hey Mary - no I didn't. Purchased it at Daytona Trimmings. They have a whole wall of it, if you're looking for some!

  4. I agree. The piping adds a touch of class to your pretty tunic!

  5. Nice color for the tunic and thanks for sharing your detailed technique for us to see. I’d try your technique with some of the sleeved tops I will make for this year. I hate it when the piping looks crumpled when I stitch in the sleeves – it makes me feel the effort is wasted.

  6. I need to try this! What a great technique!


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