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Whipstitch Piping

Updated: May 3, 2023

Add DMC floss to your piping in order to make a truly unique look. It is best to make your own piping using petite cording. See how to do this on with this blog post. Stitch your piping with a stitch length of 3 or 4 so you will have room to add the hand stitches. You will complete whip stitching on the piping prior to constructing the garment. This sample is a beautiful Lee dress with a Victoria long sleeve smocked with Happy Holidays smocking design by Pat Garretson.



1. Cut piping to desired lengths for each individual piped section. Complete whip stitching on those sections individually.

2. Use 2-4 strands of DMC floss. Separate each strand and run through fingers to straighten. Iron the DMC for best results especially if using 3 or 4 strands. Thread into an embroidery needle and knot.

3. Use the stitches on the piping as a guide for your whip stitching going into every other hole.

4. Hold piping with the cording on the right hand side. Start at the top of the piping strip. Insert needle from the upper side into a needle hole between stitches. Bring needle around to the front and insert into the front stitches again skipping one needle hole. Continue stitching and wrapping the DMC down the length of the piping and knot at the end.

5. It might help to secure the end of the piping strip under your sewing machine presser foot to secure it as you stitch by hand.

6. To make whipped stitching in the inverse direction to use as a mirror image for a collar use the same technique but work from the bottom of the piping strip up to the top.

7. Be mindful that this piping can come unwrapped during construction if the knots get cut before the ends are stitched.

Instructions by Melissa Sansom

Click the printer icon below for printable version.


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