Introduction: How to Make Fabric Covered Welt Cord From an Old Wool Jacket

Picture of How to Make Fabric Covered Welt Cord From an Old Wool Jacket
During upholstery classes, one request that I hear over and over again is to show students how to make and attach welt cord (piping) to a pillow seam or into cushion seams. A little added bonus is that I used a wool jacket from Goodwill as the fabric for this chartreuse cording. When you have a very specific color in mind, often it’s easier to find wool skirts or jackets in unusual shades rather than fabric on the bolt.

Here's what you need to get started:
  • fabric
  • quilting ruler
  • rotary cutter
  • scissors
  • sewing machine
  • cording foot or zipper foot
  • cord (5/32)

Step 1: Cut Bias Strips

Picture of Cut Bias Strips

Cut the lining out of the jacket and open it up to the largest cutting surface. Use quilting ruler and rotary cutter to cut 1 3/4″ strips on the bias. 

Step 2: Stitch Strips Together

Picture of Stitch Strips Together

Stitch strips together on the diagonal with the right side of one strip placed horizontally, and the wrong side of the other strip overlapping the end vertically. Stitch from upper left to lower right forming diagonal seams. Clip seams to 1/2″ when finished.

Step 3: Presser Foot

Picture of Presser Foot

Use either a welt cord presser foot or a zipper foot attachment for stitching the cord.

Step 4: Make the Welt Cord

Picture of Make the Welt Cord

Tuck cord into folded strips and stitch close to the cord

Step 5: Stitch Cord Onto Pillow or Cushion Top

Picture of Stitch Cord Onto Pillow or Cushion Top

Begin at the center bottom or back of the cushion piece and stitch cording around fabric, with cut edges lined up. Be sure and stitch close to the cord. Be the boss of the sewing machine, cushion top and cord to make sure you get crisp corners.

Step 6: Finishing the Ends

Picture of Finishing the Ends

Stitch to within 2″-3″ of the other side of the cord. Overlap cord 2″ and cut off excess cording.

Step 7: Lining Up Cord Ends

Picture of Lining Up Cord Ends

Open up stitching on both sides of covered cord. Line up cord so that the ends will butt up against each other and cut the cords even. Cut one side of the fabric even with the cord. Leave the other side of fabric about 1 1/2″ longer than the cord.

Step 8: Hiding the Cut End

Picture of Hiding the Cut End

Fold the long end under and wrap it around the other side, the cut end.

Step 9: Wrapping It Up

Picture of Wrapping It Up

Neatly arrange the joint so that it can be stitched in place with no raw edges showing.

And there you have it. You can use this for pillows, boxed and corded cushions, window seats, cording around ottomans, skirts, loveseats or sofas, any where you want cording.

Comments

mikeasaurus (author)2011-08-18

neat, I always wondered how this was done.

I know. It makes things look so snazzy.

scoochmaroo (author)2011-08-19

Beautiful, as always!

Thank-ee.

About This Instructable

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Bio: Furniture, fabric, architecture, building, painting. I specialize in upholstery design, restyling, repurposing and writing all about upholstery. I teach loads of upholstery classes all week ... More »
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