First feature that we're going to work on is piping and piping is just a little detail that can really add a nice pop to your bag so there's a couple different options for piping you can buy premade piping and that's kind of a nice option for beginners and it's got your piping cord inside and then the fabric that surround it and then it's all ready to go to insert into a scene but if you wanted to match something specifically then you're going to want to make your own piping so we have this piping cord that's about three sixteenth of an inch and some wonder under for kind of holding it all together and um bias cut strip so I'm going to show you or tell you about howto how to cut a bias strip and the reason why we want to use a bias strip when we're making our own piping is because um bias cut means that the grain of the fabric is actually going diagonal and that makes it much easier to go around curves and a wrap around the piping so if I had made this piping just cut straight on the g...
rain like with the salvage then it would kind of like kinks and bumps in and it won't lie is flat so I'll show you what I mean by cutting on the bias so this is just an example piece of fabric since I already have my strip cut so here's it is about a fat quarter of fabric and we have our salvage here and then our cut edge which is perpendicular to the salvage so the bias is cut out a forty five degree angle so what you're going to do is take that cut edge and match it with your salvage and then you'll have your your angle there so then what I did was I took a ruler and cut my cut my stripped from there so you can see um I don't know if you can see the grain on here but that is cut on the diagonal so that's how we get our bias strip and you're going to want that to be the width of your bag well twice the width of your bag so I have here just the bottom panel of the bag and I already have the side seams sewn because I want my bias piece to go all the way around on dh have the ends join um it's a little more challenging than just cutting it uh sewing it teoh one half but then you've got that joint problem where you know then you're piping is going to let go into the scene and look kind of um just one key so put this aside and I'm going to get out my by a strip and the first thing I'm going to do is get a crease down the middle of my bias strip and that will just give us a little guideline for whereto place the cord ok, then we're going to take the wonder under which is kind of a little type of wedding and it has a paper on one side so we're going to fuse it toe one side of the fabric or one side of that bias strip groups to get that done first sorry and then when that cools off then you can peel the paper off sometimes this can be a little I've seen it doesn't wanna let go to just tap toe give it a little more heat there we go okay, so it's leaving the film that was attached to the tape on the fabric? Well, most of it is you can either reheat that ok, now that we have the paper off we have the film left on here that's ready to adhere to the other side of the piping are the other side of them vice piece so let's see, this is plenty long to feign here I'm gonna have a little bit of it extend out. I'm gonna lay that um cord right in the little fool that we made and then fold this over and the wonder under is a little bit sticky which is nice because in that kind of holds it in place and gets it ready to go for you to press so well sandwich that in there now one thing you'll notice with bias is that because it's cut on the dag and all and actually stretches a little bit so that's kind of a benefit and a hazard, the benefit is that you can get smoother around her curves, but then the hazard is that things can kind of stretch out of shape, so you need to be pretty careful that you're not pulling super hard on that and stretching it. Okay, so I think we have our piping all fused together here and the thiss wonder under comes in different wits I just used this is about a quarter inch wide you can get a little bit wider if you wantto have that fuse right up closer to your piping, ok, so the next thing we're going to do is take our lower panel and we're going tio pinar piping and based it machine based it to the edge, so this's going to be the same with is our seem allowance so that when this is sewn into the seam, you'll just see the piping sticking out like that. So I'm going to have my piping start and stop near the side scene. So I'm just going to have a little bit of an extension sticking out here for now and we'll deal with that when we get to the other end because I have a little trick for starting and stopping ok, so obviously I have some access here I'm just going to leave that they're for now and we're going to a machine based around thie edge and that's just going to be kind of toe hold in place before we s o the upper panel onto it so I'm going to take the table part off my machine so that I can work sort of in the round and I'm not going to use my zipper foot I sometimes you might want to use your super foot for piping but in this instance I think we can we can make it work without so I'm gonna just not stitch it in the last couple inches here by the side scene we'll start start about an inch away on this side okay? So I'm starting about an inch stopping about an inch short of the sides seem so now we're going to try to figure out how to make this look continuous because if we had like I mentioned earlier the piping just going into this side scene when you looked at your bag would be nice around on one side and the other side would kind of go work and uh we don't want our banks to do that so um so what we want to do is I'm gonna leave a little bit of access here get most of that out of the way um is we want tio open this up and basically I kind of have the cord meet in the middle but have the fabric extend just a little bit so we could make like a little overlap so what I'm going to do is actually it's tricky to get this to land right on the side seam and you may or may not want to do that because of the book so um I'm going to do is take one end and just cut it straight off and then the other end I'm going to open up and I'm going to cut this courting so that it ends where the other chord ended and then I'm gonna have this extend past so basically and putting the one and inside of the other end and then I'm going to fold that back so let's trim a little bit of this off and fold this and over that's kind of fiddly I hope you can see that so I want you know want both ends of the piping to be clean finished so folded that back and then I'm going toe sandwich that in like that and takes a lot of practice it's not gonna be perfect but in the end I think it's going toe look a lot cleaner and smoother then sewing the piping into the side scene okay so I'm just gonna machine base that last little bit so that will keep that secure and then we'll attach the upper part of the bag to it, okay so it's not perfectly crisp but once we get all the layers together and that gets tightened up in the seam allow its it'll look great okay, so now what we need is the top part of the bag which I already have the site seems zone and we're going to put that right sides together so we'll turn this inside out and then we're going to put the lower panel inside and line up the site seems and then we're just going to pin this all the way around okay, so our seem allowance is a half inch and you can feel where the court is there and you're going to want to use I would recommend using your zipper foot because you really want to get nice and tight up against there so that the cord looks really chris okay, so I put the zipper foot on all right I'm gonna start um I'm not going to start right on the side scene because it's pretty bulky so I want to start um on either side of it and then work my way up and make sure you move your needle position if you're a zipper foot requires that and then when you get to the side seem you want to make sure you're saying allowances are lying flat okay so I will turn this right side out and there we have our piping between the two panels of the bag so now you'll give your bag of press. And, um, term away. Any bulky, seem allowances in the intersecting seems. And then you'll have a nice piped edge on your bag.
Don’t let your fear of zipper installation or inexperience with pocket construction and hardware closures stop you from ornamenting your tote!
Join Betz White for Build Your Own Tote Bag: Custom Exteriors and learn tricks and techniques for getting professional-looking results.
You'll learn how to:
- Add custom details to make your bag look more polished
- Experiment with a variety of exterior pockets
- Work with hardware closures and zippers
Betz will give you step-by-step instructions for making a bellows pocket, a pocket with corner darts, and a pocket flap. She’ll also show you the best way to construct concealed zipper closures and add metal base feet.
If you want to advance your sewing skills and make a more polished bag, join Betz White in Build Your Own Tote Bag: Custom Exteriors.
And be sure to check out Betz's other class "Build Your Own Tote Bag: Custom Interiors".