Piping, bias binding and gathering with the Ministry of Craft

I’m pretty good at starting projects but a bit slapdash when it comes to finishing them off, mainly because I don’t have the know-how when it comes to adding decorative touches. DIDN’T have, at any rate, because I’ve been on a Ministry of Craft course to learn how to do piping, bias binding and gathering.

Now, most people in the class seemed to prefer doing piping since it should have been one of the easier techniques covered. After all, it’s just sandwiching some piping cord in a strip of material and, using a zipper foot, stitching it up right nice. Not me, however. I had a bit of trouble stitching close enough to the cord so it was a bit loopy when I came to sewing it to my scrap of material. I also struggled with sewing the cord onto a curve – somehow it ended up straight. I’m still not quite sure how that happened.

Here are my piping attempts:

Even though bias binding was a lot more work, cutting the strips of fabric, stitching them together and then ironing the hell out of them to make them double-folded, I had a lot more success here and was able to attach them to my material fairly easily.

Take a look:

We then moved on to gathering, by far the easiest technique we covered during the day. All you have to do is sew two running stitches along the top of your material (without doing a reverse stitch) and then pull the top threads, moving your material along as you go. As if by magic, you end up with this:

We also covered going around outside corners with both piping and bias binding, as well as overlapping two separate pieces of piping, so it really was three hours well spent. Thanks to the Ministry of Craft, I now feel well equipped to add a few finishing touches to what I make. All I need now is a project to practice them on. Any ideas?

One Response to “Piping, bias binding and gathering with the Ministry of Craft”
  1. Penny says:

    You do piping a heck of a lot better than me. Any time you want to give me a lesson I will be up for it. That Ministry of Craft seems to be an amazing place and anyone who wants a few sewing tips should go and sign up. It’s also incredible what you achieve in such a short space of time. Leaves me quite breathless.

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