Piping makes an impressive addition to bags, cushions and sew much more. Some of the patterns I have come across that include the addition of piping, have often given the instruction to overlap the piping cords and sew straight over both, leaving a bulk that, I think, detracts from the overall finish.
For a nice professional finish when joining your piping, here is my go to technique. For this tutorial I had already made my piping with a size 0 cord and fabric strips cut on the bias. This technique will work with any sized piping whether it is pre-made or self made.
With the start of your piping, unpick approximately one inch of stitching. Open out the fabric and trim the piping cord back to the stitching.
Refold the fabric and place on the project you are making. Gently angle the unpicked fabric off the edge (see above) and start sewing the piping cord in place around your project reversing at the start.
Stop when you are close to the start of the piping and reinforce. Overlap the ends of piping and feel where the shortened cord is, which was cut at the start. Place a pin in the piping end at the same point. See middle image. Unpick the stitching on the piping to the pin.
Open out the fabric and cut the cord up to the pin. When the piping end is placed on top of the piping start, the cords should not overlap, but butt up to one another while encased in fabric. This ensures a nice smooth finish.
Angle the fabric ends off the project as shown in the images above and continue to sew these into place. There should be no resistance from overlapped cords and no empty piping leaving a dip.
It should now look like the above image when stitched in place. Trim your fabric ends to remove any bulk from the seam and continue making your project. Your piping is now joined.
Happy Stitching! Kimz Team x