details: piping

I’ve been thinking a lot about piping this week. Not for any particular reason except that it somehow entered my mind that I’d like to add piping to the seam of the School Photo Dress. And when I did a quick search on the Oliver + S Flickr group I found this pretty one, already done. Isn’t it great? Since the print on this dress is large and rather busy, the piping is just a  subtle touch that breaks it up a bit so it isn’t completely overwhelming. Perfect.

(You can click on any of the images in this post to go through to the Flickr page for each photo where you’ll see whose lovely work each garment is.) If the fabric was a solid or a subtle print, you could also add piping to the vertical seams to emphasize the structure of the dress. It might be easier to eliminate the front pockets if you do this, however. I haven’t tried sewing them with piping.

Either way, I love the addition of  piping and thought I’d look around the Flickr group to see where you’ve been adding piping to your sewing. You’ve got lots of great ideas! Here are a few, just to show them off a bit. How about a Jump Rope Dress with piping at the collar and the pockets?

Or the Class Picnic Blouse with piping in the yoke seam?

This Class Picnic is great, too. I love the gingham and think the piping really shows off the yoke seam. (The monogram is a nice touch too, isn’t it?)

One of the great things about piping is that it’s great for boys and girls. Adding it to the edge of the Sailboat Pants emphasizes the nautical aspect of the pattern and shows off the construction of the pants as well.

And the Seashore Sundress is a perfect vehicle for piping, with all those seams that just beg for it. This version is subtle, and the rickrack is great addition as well. I like how you can see those little pockets a bit better with the piping, too.

This version is much brighter, with the piping at the edges instead of the seams. I love the combination of the two fabrics. They work really well for this dress!

And I’ll just sneak in one more example of piping here. This dress was inspired by Little Orphan Annie interpreted in a Puppet Show Dress. Love it. The piping at the cuffs is brilliant.

Beautiful work, all of you!


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  1. Lotta

    I put in a lace in the vertical seams of the School Photo while keeping the front pocket : (I hope the link works)

    It wasn’t very fiddly at all. I think I basted the lace to the centre panel before I put the pocket in but I can’t remember. I’ll have a look.

  2. I love how piping makes an outfit look even more elegant and finished. A perfect touch for the always fantastic clothes you design.
    It has been a long time since I used piping in my sewing, but lately I have been inspirered to try it out again.
    So thanks a lot for the beautiful inspiration. :))

  3. Tamara

    Piping is the simplest and possibly most effective trim you could use on an outfit especially if you are just testing the waters. I especially like it around collars and cuffs.

  4. these are all so cute!! i used piping instead of ribbon/rickrack on the popover sundress a few months back and it turned out great, and i also saw someone in the pool use piping between the bodice and skirt on a bubble dress…piping adds such a sweet touch!

  5. I just tried using piping for the first time and I think it is wonderful!

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