Thursday, April 28, 2011

How to Sew and Attach Welting

Welting is a decorative trim which adds the perfect finishing detail to pillows, cushions, slipcovers and more by accenting the design lines and drawing attention to seam lines. It can be purchased in a variety of colors and sizes but making it yourself is quick and simple.

Cording – For this tutorial I used 8/32”
Sewing machine with zipper foot
Matching thread

Measure the item around which you will be attaching the welting and add 3 inches. Cut cording to this length. For this tutorial I will be using a 20 x 20 pillow so I cut my cording to 83”.

Cutting Fabric Strips
Professionals recommend cutting the fabric strips which will encase the cording on the bias, meaning on the diagonal of the fabric. Bias cut fabric is more flexible when going around corners and curves. I usually try to use this method, but have to confess I have on occasion - when the fabric is stretchy - cut my fabric straight across and it still worked out fine.

In most cases, one strip of fabric will not be long enough, which means cutting multiple strips. For this example I needed two.

To determine the width of your fabric strips, measure the circumference of your cording and add twice the seam allowance. For my cording, this meant fabric strips which were 1 ¾” wide – ¾” for the circumference of the cording and 1” for the ½” seam allowance.

Cut the number of fabric strips needed to go around your item.

Piecing Fabric Strips
Place two ends of bias cut fabric strips wrong side together as shown below.

Pin and sew along the diagonal using a ½” seam allowance.

Press seam open. Add additional strips using the same technique if needed. Cut your fabric strip a little bit longer than the cording.

If you did not cut your fabric strips on the bias, place two fabric strips, right sides together, at a 90 degree angle as shown below.

Cut on the diagonal and then proceed as above.

Making the welting
Fold the fabric strip around the cording – leave about ¼” of the cording showing out the end – with right sides out and long edges matching. Some people prefer to pin in place and then sew. I find it easier and quicker to just wrap the fabric around the cording – adjusting as I go – while sewing.

When you come to a point where two fabric strips have been joined, make sure the seam is pressed open.

Sew using a zipper foot. I usually do not sew the last few inches of cording to make it easier for attaching the two ends of the cording together.

Attaching Welting
Once your welting is all assembled it is time to attach it. As I mentioned earlier, for this example I am using a pillow. Start on the bottom edge of the pillow or the back edge of the item to which you are attaching the welting.

Pin welting to fabric  - clipping at curves - with unfinished edges aligned on the right side of the fabric.

When you have gone all the way around, cut your cording to exact length needed. You may have to rip out part of the seam of the cording. Leave your fabric about 1” longer than the cording.

Sew ends of cording together using a needle and thread.

Fold fabric back and overlap raw edge of other end of fabric with folded edge. Pin.

Using zipper foot and sewing machine, sew welting to pillow.

Simple, easy and quick! To finish the pillow add a zipper and then back piece of fabric or just the back piece of fabric sewn closed with a needle and thread.


Karen said...

Thank you so much for sharing the. I've always wanted to try a project with a trim like this, but didn't know how to get that clean, finished look. I have never used my zipper foot either, a pillow would be a good place to start.

Mothership said...

This is GREAT! I have tried to figure this out on my own and have never gotten that perfect, even look. This will help, for sure!

Marty@A Stroll Thru Life said...

Great tutorial. Welting makes such a finished look for a pillow. Hugs, Marty

Good Time Charlie said...

Great tutorial. I just figured this out when I did my first very complicated Upholstery project, complete with welting. I just picked up some more good tips! Thanks! said...

Hi Stacy, this is great. I've been asked to do this tutorial by readers, but I'm just going to send them the link to yours instead!! Don't you just love playing with fabrics and trims? It's like heaven for me.

Crazy Wonderful said...

Ahhhh... so THAT'S how the cording is supposed to meet up at the end! I've always overlapped the beginning and end pieces, but this is so much better looking :D

Thanks for the tips!


reFresh reStyle said...

I love the contrast! I've gotta find my zipper foot!

Paula@SweetPea said...

Thanks so much for this great tutorial. Joining the end and the beginning always puzzles me, but you make it easy!

Amanda said...

great tutorial!! I have always been afraid of welting. and finally tried it last month- so wish I had your tutorial then!! bookmarking it now for future reference.


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