How To Sew Cording Without Lip

Sewing cording without a lip is a useful skill for various sewing projects, such as creating piping, edging, or decorative accents on garments, home decor items, and accessories. Unlike traditional cording with a lip, which has a fabric strip covering the cord, sewing cording without a lip involves attaching the cord directly to your project. In this guide, we will walk you through the steps to sew cording without a lip with detailed instructions and tips for a professional finish.

Materials You’ll Need:

  1. Fabric of your choice
  2. Cord or piping filler
  3. Sewing machine
  4. Zipper foot or cording foot (optional but helpful)
  5. Matching thread
  6. Scissors
  7. Pins or clips
  8. Iron and ironing board

Step-by-Step Guide: How to Sew Cording Without Lip


Step 2: Cut Fabric Strips Cut fabric strips on the bias or straight grain, depending on your project’s requirements. The width of the strip should be at least twice the width of your cord, plus seam allowances. Typically, a 1.5 to 2-inch width works well.

Step 3: Fold and Iron the Strips Fold the fabric strip in half lengthwise with the right sides facing each other. Press it with your iron to create a crisp fold. This will encase the cord and create a neat edge.

Step 4: Insert Cord Insert the cord or piping filler into the folded fabric strip. Make sure the cord is snug but not overly tight. If you’re using a zipper foot or cording foot, attach it to your sewing machine at this point to make sewing easier.

Step 5: Sew the Cord in Place Position the fabric-cord assembly under the sewing machine foot, with the cord running along the folded edge of the fabric. Stitch as close to the cord as possible, using a straight stitch or a zipper foot/cording foot to maintain accuracy. Ensure that you’re catching both sides of the folded fabric to secure the cord.

Step 6: Trim Excess Fabric After sewing the cord in place, trim any excess fabric, leaving a small seam allowance. Be careful not to cut too close to the stitching to avoid unraveling.

Step 7: Finish the Ends (Optional) If your project requires neatly finished ends, fold the ends of the fabric strip over the cord and secure them with pins or clips. Stitch across the folded ends to create a clean finish.

Step 8: Attach to Your Project Now that you have your cording without a lip, you can attach it to your project. Pin or clip the cording in place along the edge where you want to apply it. Stitch the cording to your project, making sure to maintain an even distance from the edge for a polished look.

Step 9: Backstitch and Finish When you reach the starting point, backstitch to secure the cording, trim any excess, and finish your project as needed.

Tips for Sewing Cording Without Lip:

  1. Use a longer stitch length when sewing the cord to prevent puckering.
  2. Adjust your machine’s tension if necessary to ensure even stitching.
  3. Practice on scrap fabric before working on your final project.
  4. Choose a cord that complements your fabric for a cohesive look.

Additional Tips:

  1. Mitering Corners: When sewing cording along corners, consider mitering the corners for a clean, professional look. To do this, stop sewing a short distance from the corner, remove the fabric from the machine, and fold it to create a 45-degree angle. Then, fold it back down along the adjacent edge and continue sewing. This technique eliminates bulky corners and provides a smooth transition.
  2. Matching Seams: If you’re working on a project that requires multiple pieces of cording, such as a cushion cover, ensure that your seams align neatly. Measure and mark the placement of the cords before sewing to maintain symmetry and uniformity.
  3. Practice Stitching Techniques: Experiment with different stitch types to attach the cord. A triple stitch or a zigzag stitch can add extra strength and visual interest to your cording. Adjust the stitch width and length to achieve the desired effect.
  4. Use a Walking Foot: A walking foot can be incredibly helpful when sewing cording without a lip, especially if you’re working with multiple layers or thicker fabrics. It helps feed the layers evenly through the machine, preventing shifting and puckering.

Creative Ideas:

  1. Contrasting Colors: Don’t be afraid to mix and match fabric and cord colors for a bold and eye-catching look. Contrasting colors can create striking accents on pillows, cushions, or garments.
  2. Embellishments: Enhance your cording with embellishments like beads, sequins, or embroidery. You can hand-sew these decorative elements onto the cording before attaching it to your project.
  3. Textured Cord: Instead of using a smooth cord, consider using a textured cord, such as rattail cord or twisted cord. Textured cords can add an extra layer of dimension and interest to your sewing projects.
  4. Cording Appliqué: Sew cording without a lip in decorative patterns or shapes directly onto your fabric. This technique is excellent for creating intricate designs, monograms, or personalized motifs.
  5. Mixing Materials: Combine different materials for your cording, such as using leather cord for a rustic project or metallic cord for a glamorous touch. Mixing materials can elevate your sewing projects and make them stand out.
  6. Layered Cording: For a unique and luxurious look, layer multiple rows of cording along the edges of your project. This technique works exceptionally well on garments like coats and jackets.

In conclusion, sewing cording without a lip opens up a world of creative possibilities for your sewing projects. Whether you’re aiming for a tailored, classic look or want to experiment with textures and colors, mastering this technique will help you achieve professional results and add a personal touch to your creations. Don’t be afraid to explore new ideas and techniques to make your sewing projects truly one-of-a-kind.

Materials Needed

MaterialDescriptionPurposeBrandCost ($)
Cording1/8″ cotton cordingMain materialXYZ Sewing Co.2.99
FabricMedium-weight cotton fabricBase fabric for sewingFabric World4.50/yard
Sewing MachineMechanical sewing machineSewing and attaching cordSinger149.99
ThreadMatching thread colorSecure cording to fabricGutermann3.99
ScissorsSharp fabric scissorsCutting fabric and cordingFiskars12.99
Seam RipperSeam ripper toolCorrecting mistakesDritz1.99
PinsStraight sewing pinsSecuring fabric layersClover4.49
IronSteam ironPressing fabricRowenta59.99
Ironing BoardSturdy ironing boardProvides ironing surfaceHomz24.99
RulerClear acrylic rulerMeasuring and markingOmnigrid8.99

Preparation Steps

StepDescriptionTools/Materials NeededTime (min)Notes
1Select fabric and cordingFabric, Cording5Choose colors and type carefully.
2Cut fabric to desired lengthFabric, Scissors, Ruler10Measure twice, cut once.
3Thread sewing machineSewing Machine, Thread3Use matching thread color.
4Set up sewing machineSewing Machine5Adjust stitch length and tension.
5Pin fabric layers togetherPins7Ensure even alignment.
6Prepare cording for sewingCording, Scissors5Trim any frayed ends.
7Mark sewing guidelines on fabricFabric, Ruler, Chalk or Marking Pen8Use washable marking tools.
8Align cording on fabricFabric, Cording, Pins5Position it along the markings.
9Sew cording to fabricSewing Machine15Use a zipper or piping foot.
10Finish and secure the endsSewing Machine, Scissors6Reinforce the stitches.

Sewing Machine Settings

Stitch TypeStitch Length (mm)Thread TensionFoot UsedNeedle Position
Straight2.5 – 3.0NormalZipper or Piping FootCenter
Triple StitchN/AN/AN/AN/A
Blind HemN/AN/AN/AN/A
Satin StitchN/AN/AN/AN/A
Rolled HemN/AN/AN/AN/A

Common Mistakes and Troubleshooting

ProblemPossible CauseSolution
Uneven cording attachmentUneven fabric alignmentDouble-check alignment and use pins.
Uneven stitchingUneven pressure on sewing footEnsure even pressure while sewing.
Fabric puckeringIncorrect thread tensionAdjust thread tension as needed.
Cording frayingDull scissors or wrong cordingUse sharp scissors and proper cording.
Stitches skippingNeedle not inserted properlyReinsert the needle and rethread.
Fabric bunchingIncorrect foot for the jobUse the appropriate sewing machine foot.
Inconsistent seam widthUneven fabric feedingMaintain consistent fabric feeding.
Fabric damageSeam ripper accidentsBe cautious when using a seam ripper.
Thread breakageOld or low-quality threadUse high-quality, fresh thread.
Bobbin thread tanglingIncorrect bobbin threadingRe-thread the bobbin properly.

Finishing and Care

StepDescriptionTools/Materials NeededTime (min)Notes
1Trim excess cordingScissors3Trim close to the fabric edge.
2Clip corners (if applicable)Scissors2Prevents bulk in corners.
3Press the seamsIron, Ironing Board5Use a pressing cloth if necessary.
4Inspect for flawsN/A3Check for any missed spots.
5Hand wash or follow care instructionsMild detergent, Water, Sink15Depending on fabric type.
6Air dry or follow fabric care instructionsClothesline or DryerVariesPrevents damage and shrinking.
7Store properlyN/AN/AAvoid direct sunlight and humidity.


How To Sew Cording Without Lip

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