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October 3, 2011 6:53 AM   Subscribe

Do I cut the piping off a sofa when making a new cover? Please help me avert a diy-disaster!

OK, so I'm going to make a custom slipcover for a sofa and loveseat. I'm worried that if I leave the piping that's on the sofa now (along the edges of the cushions and around the armrests) that it will look stupid and prevent the new cover from fitting tightly.

I'm thinking I should just carefully cut the piping off, which it looks like I can do without ripping open a seam. Am I being stupid? Will my sofa fall apart? If you've sewn a sofa cover before, please help!
posted by motsque to Grab Bag (4 answers total)
 
I have left the piping on. It was fine until the new fabric got dirty in an old-piping-highlighting way. If that makes sense (the new tan cover attracted more dirt at the high points.) I think if I were going to cut the piping off, I would slit the piping itself open with a seam ripper and pull out the string inside first. If that didn't reduce the bulk enough then I'd carefully cut it off. It won't make the cushions fall apart but there'll be some fabric left sticking out of the seam.
posted by artychoke at 7:08 AM on October 3, 2011


IMO the best way to do this would be to make a mock-up out of muslin first. Making a muslin first has lots of benefits, but in this case you'll be able to see how the cover will lay with the piping intact.

Cutting the piping off without opening a seam won't hurt the sofa any but it won't look good. If you don't care what it looks like since you're putting a slipcover on it then it doesn't matter. If you plan on trying to resell the couch or you'll want to use it without a slip cover (like for company) then you definitely don't want to cut the piping off.

Another option might be to cut a small slit in an inconspicuous spot and just pull the cording out of the piping. I'll make things lay flat with minimal damage.
posted by TooFewShoes at 7:15 AM on October 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


I don't see why you can't cut the piping off. Obviously, be careful not to cut the seam threads (like you said), but this sounds like a good plan to me. Those who are recommending ripping it open to pull the string out first and then trimming the fabric off are being conservative - it's definitely easier to avoid trimming too close when the cord is gone and the piping fabric is not stretched tight. But it might not be too hard to begin with. Only one way to find out...
I say give it a shot, and if you nick the seam on the first cushion you try, just patch that one up (hey, it'll be covered, right?) and move on to the more time-consuming but probably safer method.
posted by aimedwander at 7:24 AM on October 3, 2011


Thanks MeFis! I'll get right to snipping.
posted by motsque at 2:16 PM on October 3, 2011


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