The finishing touch to a simple design
Another name for a cushion with a piped edge is a corded cushion.
This type of edge can give the cushion a touch of elegance and at the same time giving shape and strength to the cushion. The edge can be made from the same or contrasting material.
There are variations of this design such as gathered piping and mock piping. The overall effect is a raised almost padded edge to the cushion.
This design of cushion works really well for chair or settee backs and bases. Replacement covers with this edge can be made to cover simple cushions to give the same look.
Cord can be bought to be covered with a bias strip of fabric. If your fabric is lightweight then narrow cord would be used whereas medium cord is best for heavier fabrics.
Making Gathered Piping
This gives a different effect to the cushion edge as it is not straight as with a piped edge seam but is ruffled and will give the cushion a different look.
You will need to prepare the casing for the cord and this can be cut on the straight or bias grain.
The material should be able to cover the cord and wide enough to give a good allowance to make sure it is all able to be sewn in the seam.
The length of the piping should be one and a half times to twice the length of the seam.
When the cord is sewn in the casing it can be gathered up and then the end of the casing can be secured. The gathers can then the distributed evenly along the seam and then sewn in place.
Another way to make gathered piping is to sew the cord into the casing in stages and gather the casing as it is sewn.
Mocked piping is where the edge of the cushion looks like there is piping in the seam but it is sewn as part of the cushion or its cover.
To make mock piping
The corners of the cushion/cover should be curved and in the middle of the back insert the opening.
Pin Front to Back together and sew. Turn to the right side.
Insert the cord into the cushion and push against the outside seams as tight as you can. Pin in place. The ends of the cord should meet flush together.
Using a piping or zip foot on the machine, and the right side of the material, stitch close to the cord.
If you would then like to make the mock piping gathered the make sure that a gap is left at the place when the ends of the cords meet.
Pull the cord out of the gap left and then gather the cushion sides and corners.
Topstitch the gap closed.
You then have different variations on the piped edge cushion theme. Whether you want it straight or gathered depends on the look that you are trying to get.