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.

To make fabric covered welt cord for your upholstery projects, you’ll need:

    1. fabric
    1. quilting ruler
    1. rotary cutter
    1. scissors
    1. sewing machine
    1. cording foot or zipper foot
    cord (5/32)

Here’s what you do:

1. 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.


2. 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.


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


4. Tuck cord into folded strips and stitch close to the cord.


5. 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.


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


7. 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.


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


9. 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.