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The Secret Piping Challenge!

The Felicity Fabric bloggers are back with another secret challenge! This time we tasked our bloggers with making a top but of course there was a specific sewing technique they had to use..

Liz: @thebakerthatsews

I love a challenge, especially when it involves choosing some beautiful fabric from Felicity Fabrics! We were recently set the challenge of making a top using up to 1.5 metres of fabric and somewhere on the top we had to incorporate some piping. 

I’ve recently made some pyjamas using piping and I was really surprised by how easy it was to add to a garment so I was excited to add some to a top. 

If you follow me over on Instagram you’ll know I love a ruffle – any opportunity to add one to a garment and I’m a happy lady. One of my favourite dress patterns is the Bella Loves Flor dress as it’s has a fabulous ruffle all the way down the front and back bodice. You can also sew the pattern as a cropped top and up until recently I was yet to try the top. 

The Flor top comes in sizes 6 – 20 and also has different cup options: A/B cup, C cup and D cup. Going off my measurements I chose to sew up a size 10 and I’m really pleased with the fit. 

This blogger challenge provided the much needed push to try the top so I looked at the fabric requirements to check I could make it out of 1.5 metres of fabric. I was delighted to see that I could. So I asked for 1.5 metres of this gorgeous 8mm cotton gingham fabric in barbie pink and white.

I found some bright pink piping on the New Craft House website and ordered 3 metres to ensure I had enough to add along the ruffles. I decided to add the piping along the edges of the front and back ruffles and ended up using all of the 3 metres of piping! I used my invisible zipper foot to ensure I got the piping as neat as possible and I’d really recommend this method when adding piping. It really helps with accuracy when sewing the piping. 

I love how the pink piping pops against the pink gingham. I’ve worn the top here paired with some simple elasticated waist shorts I made using the Simplicity 1887 pattern that have a cute tie detail at the front. 


Cara: @sosewmad

‘To be part of the Felicity Fabrics Blogger team, and to have them all as sewing friends in my life is such an honour. It becomes even more special when Caroline and Fliss set us  a group blogger challenge! I find such inspiration in what we create, and look forward to seeing their beautiful creations.

So, the challenge. Create a top incorporating piping. I love colour, and the Viscose Meadow fabric has such a beautiful array, I knew this would be perfect for a summery top. But what pattern to make, and how do I use piping? My first thought was the Sagebrush Top by Friday Pattern Company. I had visions of putting piping along the top of the ruffle and maybe the bias binding. I also absolutely adore the Freda Blouse by Atelier Jupe, piping can be added to the gathered yolk. The Carolyn Pyjamas by Closest Core Patterns were also a high contender, but they take more fabric. So, I opted for one of the newest patterns from the Sussex Seamstress, The Lavant Tunic. The top has princess seams on the front, a lovely V neck created with a dual thickness front panel, and a gathered front panel that is super elegant. I  envisaged mustard piping that would pick up the princess seams and compliment both the shape of the garment and the colours in the fabric.

I chose a 20mm piping. I’ve not worked with it before, and to be honest I used my initiative with how to install it. I’ve added some  photos which I hope show how. I initially basted the piping right sides together with the raw edge of the piping matching the raw edge of the fabric. I then put the front and side panels right sides together with the piping sandwiched in-between. I basted this, as I wasn’t sure if I had stitched closed enough to the piping itself. I used a zipper foot to get as close as I could.

My initiative paid off, and I didn’t have to sew closer, but I did go back over the seam with a standard stitch length. I’m so happy with the result, I love how the pop of colour accentuates the lines of such an amazing  pattern, I’ll definitively be using piping again in the future, thank you Felicity Fabrics for giving us the opportunity to be so creative, I can’t wait to see what everyone else makes. Happy sewing everyone!


Rosy: @rosysewsmodernvintage

I decided to make a top that would coordinate with my previous project for Felicity Fabrics. (Remember the white embroidery anglais I dyed navy blue?) I chose this gorgeous pale blue eyelet double gauze.

It’s so pretty and super soft too. I knew straight away that I wanted to insert my piping across the bust line. So, I traced out my top pattern (my favourite Bakerloo top) and then cut it straight across, just under the arm scythe.

Then I added 1cm seam allowance to the two pattern pieces where they would meet once sewn together. Finally, I made my piping using a remnant of the broderie anglais from my skirt.

I cut a length to match the width of my pattern piece x 2.5cm, folded it over and inserted the piping cord inside. Then pinned and sewed it in place.

I’m very pleased with the result!


Karen: @sew.little.time

I love a bit of piping, however, I don’t use it very often, so I was really excited when Felicity Fabrics set us the challenge of making something where piping could be included. My head went into overdrive thinking about what pattern I could make as I really wanted to make a feature of the piping.  So my first port of call was to select some fabric and I chose this beautiful crisp cotton which has lots of different coloured leaves and flowers on it.  I knew then I wouldn’t be restricted to one colour for the piping.

I wanted to make a pattern I’d not used before and I also wanted to use a pattern I’d already got. I remembered there was a top pattern in the sewing book ‘Learn to Sew with Lauren’ that had the option of including piping and the fabric I’d chosen was perfect for it.

This is The Yoke Top from the book which has two variations and I went with the gathered option. I already had some bias binding in a Bordeaux colour that would contrast well with the fabric, so I made my own piping using 3mm cord (my husband had some in the garage – bonus!).

I love how this top has turned out but it was quite a tricky sew – definitely one for more advanced sewers.  However, the instructions and illustrations included are very clear.  I made this top over a few evenings and enjoyed making it in small stages. The back yoke has a functional button placket, which you definitely need to get the top on and off, but to do-up and undo the buttons you need help, as it’s difficult to do it yourself!

The construction of the yoke section is done separately to the bodice as it is lined, so all the raw edges are enclosed.  This means you have to bias bind the armholes on the bodice section to finish those raw edges and then you sew the bodice and yoke together at a later stage sandwiching the piping in-between.

I really like the wide stand-up collar on this top, I find it very flattering.

I am really pleased I made this top.  Thank you to Felicity Fabrics for setting this challenge as I don’t think I would have gotten around to making this top otherwise.

I have filmed a video all about this top on my YouTube channel Sew Little Time.

Happy Sewing.


Michelle: @sewing.bunny

I was really looking forward to this challenge of adding piping to a top as I haven’t made too many garments with a piping detail. I wanted to create something really fun with the gorgeous Amelia viscose which was my pick from the Felicity Fabrics website. For the piping element I chose a baby pink to compliment the pink flowers within the fabric. 

I decided on doing a simple hack of the NewLook 6499 which is a slip dress pattern. I started with shortening the length into a top. I then cut 2 duplicate flounce pieces which I used to sandwich my piping between the 2 layers, creating a lovely detail on the bottom of the flounce hem.
Each strap was cut into 2 separate pieces to again put some piping on the edge to add even more detail. 


Jayne: @thedressmakerscloset

This challenge was just the thing to test my sewing skills as the last time I worked with piping was at school, so quite a few years ago! When we were given the challenge, I wasn’t totally sure what I was going to make, so I ordered 1.5 metres to be on the safe side.

 My fabric choice was this beautiful drapey viscose called ‘Meadow’. The colours are so vibrant and it was hard for me to choose what colour piping to choose. In the end I went for an antique white, something subtle but classy!

I decided to make the Poppy Pinafore, but reduced the length to hip level and cut the skirt piece into two sections so I could add the piping in between the seams. I also added the piping to the button placket on the back, which meant creating a separate placket.

I love how it turned out and the piping detail just steps the whole garment up a level and the added element of surprise on the back is just so lovely. I may be adding piping to everything now!

Thanks for this super fun challenge Fliss and Caroline!


Rebekah: @sewno65

I always enjoy the group challenges with Felicity Fabrics. The anticipation and excitement of what everyone is making is a lot of fun. I chose this beautiful corduroy fabric, a perfect weight for my project. I decided to make the Helen’s Closet Cameron Shirt seeing as we had to choose a top pattern. It’s one of those must have patterns in a wardrobe I think and its unisex. I took my measurements and while I fell into a size 12, I looked at the finished garment measurements and decided to make a size 8. 

I love the embroidered flowers on this fabric for a pop of colours. So for that reason I chose a hot pink piping as part of our challenge. I sewed the shirt up easily, the instructions were great. I then added the piping to the sleeve hems and around the collar. I also chose to add metal poppers to my shirt rather than buttons and the colour goes really well I think. 

I took my photos beside Portsalon beach in County Donegal. We went for a few days for our first family break. The views were absolutely breathtaking so the perfect backdrop for my photos!


Gemma: @thedalythread

Hi everyone,

My make for the secret team challenge is the Helen’s Closet Gilbert shirt made in this gorgeous green embroidered cotton ‘Daphne’. 

I made a size 10 even though my measurements actually fell between 12-14 and I think the fit is great. 

I made version A with the tie front and I incorporated the piping for the challenge on the pocket. The pattern doesn’t actually include this but I recently made some pyjamas that had piping on the pocket so I had an idea how to do this. 

I think the piping looks really cool on this shirt, I did debate putting it round the collar also but I accidentally bought a larger type of piping and thought this would look too much around the collar. 

The fabric was a dream to work with – it is a little thick over the embroidery and my machine did stutter once or twice over those bits, but it wasn’t really an issue. 

The Gilbert shirt is a fabulous pattern and the finishing on it is absolutely top notch. I will be making it again for sure!! 


Tamlyn: @sewn_on_the_tyne

I’ve been obsessed with the Holmen top by The Uncut Project since it was first released – that back detail is just beautiful! So when a new blogger challenge was announced, I knew this was going to be the perfect make. The top only takes 1 metre of fabric for my size (they recently expanded their size range, making it a much more inclusive pattern – fantastic!) as well as a metre of lining fabric. For my fabric, I chose the most beautiful Broderie Anglais Double Gauze in blue  – I thought this would be a perfect match and would hold the gathers well.

The unique feature of our blogging challenge was that our top should include some piping detail. This is a technique I’ve never used, however a quick youtube search provided me with the basic knowledge to make my own (using the self fabric) and the seam line between the front bodice and the top tier was the perfect location for it. 

I love my finished top and the piping detail just adds a bit of something extra, a bit of added depth and texture. I think I’ll even add this detail on the next version I make! 

Thank you FF for another fun blogger challenge. 

Tamlyn xx 


Carol: @chatterstitch

Hey all you lovely makers, I’m so excited to be back on the Felicity Fabrics community, sharing this latest make with you. It’s my super cool Broidery Anglaise Melilot shirt. I must admit it’s been an absolute age since I’ve blogged for Caroline and Fliss, as my blogging has definitely taken a back seat this year. I’m expecting a new baby granddaughter and have been spending all my crafting time knitting all the tiny pretty things!!

But, when the amazing ladies at Felicity fabrics mentioned the latest challenge, I must admit I went straight to the fabric selection of the website and chose my fabric first! Then once I had the fabric in my minds eye, I chose the pattern based on my personal style and on the fact, I could add piping!

For my make I chose this gorgeous white Broidery anglaise, there are several on the website and to be honest I was a bit spoilt for choice, but I settled on this one, which is called Molly, based on the fact that it had lots of perforations to let the cool breeze through, and also it was quite a dense weave so I wouldn’t need to line it. My addition, to make it fit the piping challenge was to add a cute strip of piping to the pocket, if you’re familiar with the Melilot you will know that the pocket is made from an inside and outside piece which are stitched together around the sides and bottom before the top is folded over (this seam should normally be on the inside of the pocket) but as I wanted to add the piping here I just made the inside into the outside! I must admit I had wanted to add piping around the edge of the collar too, but I just didn’t have enough fabric to sacrifice into bias strips! I made the straight size 46 with no adjustments apart from the piping and it used almost all of the 1.5m I had requested, although as per usual I absolutely had to pattern match the front, I think by making our own clothes we can make what we wear as perfect as we like!!

I really hope you like my make and if you’d like to make one too don’t forget the fab discount code which Felicity fabrics give, use Carol10 to get 10% off, on the website, happy making guys!! 😊


Ellie: @what_ellie_sews

When we were told that our brief for this challenge was piping, I immediately thought of the Rosie Dress from Sew Over It. I wanted to use a pattern with lots of seam lines that would show off the piping, but that would also look quite subtle.

I cut the size 14 to start, tapered to a 12 around the bust, cut 11.5cm (!) off the straps, and just eyeballed how long to cut the skirt pieces for a peplum top.

I opted not to use piping cord, and instead made a length of binding in a contrasting colour, pressed it in half and added it to each seam. I love using this method for adding detail into seams without the bulk.

This floral crepe fabric ‘Spring Garden’ was a pleasure to work with. Some crepe fabrics start to shred as soon as they’ve been cut and can be quite fiddly to sew, but I had no issues with this fabric and really enjoyed putting this one together! I’m thrilled with how this make turned out.

The piped seams really show off the pattern details and elevate the final garment. 


Sally: @theyorkshiresewist

Now this was a good challenge set by Caroline and Fliss. I’ve not really used piping in the past so it was good to get a skill used and to think outside of the box!

I went for a Tried and True pattern, Tilly and The Buttons Stevie top and decided to add piping detail to the neckline and back seams.

It was easy once I got my head round where it needed to go and my top tip would be – if you’re going round a corner then snip into the binding (but not the piping bit) to ease it round and then to tack the binding in before sewing between the seams.

I’m really happy with how this has turned out and received so many compliments about it.


Thank you so much for reading, we hope our amazing bloggers have inspired you to give piping a go!

Please use code pipingchallenge at our checkout to get 10% off your order!

Love, Caroline and Fliss xx