Lesson 9: Piping the Waist

Updated: May 21, 2019



We are on lesson 9 and are piping the waist and then gathering it so we are all set to sew the bodice and skirt together in our next lesson! As always, you can find all the lessons at Make Your Daughter a Dress and this link will take you to the July Flowers pattern and kits. The video is below, so let's get sewing!


To prepare your piping yardage, please review the Bonus lesson on Piping and then come back to this lesson. Pin the bodice lining up out of the way. Pin the piping to the bodice fashion fabric with raw edges together. Shift the piping so that the seam doesn't line up with center front.


Clip the piping even with the raw edge of the bodice. Remove the piping cord from 1/2" of the piping so it isn't in the seam allowance. Using a 1/2" seam allowance and your piping or zipper foot, stitch the piping to the bodice with right sides together from bodice back to bodice back. As you near the end at the other bodice back, put the needle down, clip the piping even with the raw edge of the side seam allowance and remove the 1/2" piping cord from the seam allowance and stitch to the end. (In the video, I instruct you to fold the piping seam allowance back on itself.


This is necessary if you are attaching the piping to the skirt, but not if you are attaching it to the bodice - I apologize for the mix-up. The fun thing about sewing is that you learn something new everyday!) If you did fold the piping seam allowance back on itself as I did, it is perfectly fine - it won't hurt anything!

If you smocked the skirt, you will want to attach the piping to the skirt so the pleats stand up nicely and the piping is the correct distance from the first line of smocking.


To do this, attach the piping to just the front skirt first. Make sure to leave enough piping to cover both backs, but pin the piping to the front of the skirt, matching raw edges and lining the piping right up against the first row of smocking. I use glue baste it for this and the method is explained in the video. Stitch just the skirt front with your piping or zipper foot. Once you are satisfied with the skirt front, attach the piping to the skirt backs. Clip the piping so it extends 1/2" beyond the skirt placket. Remove 1/2" of the cording and fold the piping back upon it self so there is a finished edge that lines up with the finished edge of the placket and stitch to the end. Repeat on the other side.


Gather the skirts. Set the sewing machine for a long basting stitch and stitch a line of stitching 1/4" from the top of the Skirt Front along the waist, stopping and stopping at the side seam.


Stitch a second line of stitching 5/8" from the waist along the Skirt Front.


Stitch the same two lines of stitching on the Back Skirt, stitching from each side seam to the placket. That's it for Lesson 9. Happy Sewing!

#heirloomsewing #tutorials #sewingforbeginners #dresses #sewingforchildren

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