I've piped a couple pillows now and the tutorials I've referenced before didn't explain things how my mind works. So of course, I thought I'd write my own! Hopefully, this will help you add the piping with less frustration. Because in the end, it adds such a professional touch and is worth it!
Now, the important thing to realize BEFORE you even begin sewing is that you will end up sewing around the cording three times before your pillow is finished. In order not to see the previous stitching line, it is important that each consecutive stitch line gets closer to the cording.
The second stitching line attaches the cording wrapped in fabric to the pillow top. This stitching line should be inside or to the left of the baste.
The third stitching line is the last one (!) and attaches the back of the pillow to the front plus piping combo from the previous step. Again, this third stitching line should be inside or to the left of the other stitching line.
Clear as mud? Let me show you with a little more detail and photos. Just remember, each consecutive stitch line should be closer and closer to the cording to prevent seeing any unwanted stitches.
Sew stitch line #1, the basting line. I like to use my zipper foot for piping.
Make the piping similar to how you would binding in terms of finishing. Leave 2 inches or so open so you can tuck the opposite end inside for a finished look.
Pin all the way around and clip at the corners for ease of turning.
Sew stitch line #2 to attach the piping to the pillow front.
See the 2 stitching lines? The right is #1 basting line and the left is #2, attaching the piping to the pillow front.
Place your pillow front on top of the pillow back, right sides together. The stitch line you see in the picture is stitch line #2.
Sew stitch line #3 to attach the pillow front and back together. Again, sew to the left of #2!
Leave an opening for turning the pillow right side out.
Here you can see stitch line #2 on the right and stitch line #3 on the left. When you turn it right side out, stitch line #3 will conceal all the other stitching.
Right side out....
Stuff..... and hand sew the opening closed.
That's all! Hope this helps you make perfect piping next time!