In the Samuel & Sons ad above, all of the top-applied ball fringe trims have been hand-stitched to the pillow covers, and that is absolutely the way any high-end drapery workroom would apply trims with a decorative header. The rope cord trims, on the other hand, have a twill tape or knitted lip attached to the cord so that they can be sewn successfully by machine. I don't do a lot of this type of sewing anymore, but I made an exception recently in order to deliver a set of throw pillows to one of my favorite design clients before the holidays when my drapery workroom was backed up. I know a lot of home sewers have difficulty achieving professional results with decorative rope cord trim, so I thought I'd share a few tips and tricks of the trade.
|Kravet Frontier fabric, Habaneros Colorway|
|Ruffled Rouche lip cord from Robert Allen|
Now, 1/2" seam allowances are standard for home dec sewing, but the header on my rope cord was a lot narrower than 1/2". If I just lined up the cord lip with the edge of my pillow top, my seam allowance would be too small and my pillow cover would finish too large. I attached the seam guage to my zipper foot, set at 1/2" from the needle, and used that as a guide for my pillow fabric. Then I just smashed the rope cord trim up against the left side of my zipper foot as tightly as I could as I stitched the trim to the pillow front. Oh, and I did use a longer stitch length for this, to reduce puckering.
|Cord Ends Unraveled and Woven Together, Ready for Stitching|
|Stitching Across the Yarn Tails to Join the Cord Ends|
|After Securing the Joined Ends, Trim the Yarn Tails Even with the Seam Allowance|
A few more tips: After I sew the cording to the pillow top, I insert my invisible zipper and then I sew all the way around to secure the pillow front to the pillow back, right sides together. Then I flip the pillow over and sew around the perimeter again from the opposite side -- this helps get even closer to the cord.
Unfortunately, I was rushing to get these pillows delivered to my client and I forgot to take pictures of the finished pillows once they were stuffed.
Very well written instructions on a process that is difficult to describe and great photos! Would that special Bernina cord foot work on this? Great ideas!
Hi, Jenny. I'm not sure which Bernina foot you're referring to, but I'm addicted to my footsie collection so unless it's new, it's probably one that I've tried!
Piping Foot #38 works only for very narrow cording, less than 1/4" diameter. I think that foot is best suited to fabric covered welt (although I always make that on my serger instead). I just noticed that the Bernina web site shows Foot #38 used to sew fringe trim, but they're doing it backwards in the picture (the fringe they are using is backwards; the header should be pointed towards the cut edge of the fabric).
The other foot that my Bernina dealer has recommended for sewing larger diameter decorative rope cord is Leather Roller Foot #55. Again, in the photo on the Bernina site, you can see that you have to sew with your fabric in backwards with this foot -- the entire bulk of your project needs to be to the RIGHT of the needle. This is mildly annoying when you're sewing rope cord on an 18" throw pillow, but it would be ridiculous to attempt to sew cord on a king size duvet this way!
IMO, a zipper foot is the best bet for sewing decorative rope cord with a Bernina.
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