Thursday, November 15, 2012

Sewing with grosgrain ribbons.

I don't like if clothes is tooooo cute and I think a perfect way to add a little coolness is grosgrain ribbons. I am also not at all done with the add-a-little-neon-to-everything trend (even though being a child in the 80's you should think I was cured for life?!) Well, guess not! And since you can buy grosgrain ribbons in neon colors (and lots of other beautiful colors) we have a popular product in my book. I bought mine at The Ribbon Retreat.
Wilma asked if I could make her a skirt in this star cotton fabric and I suggested we added some grosgrain ribbons - I guess it was my lucky day because she agreed.
Below I will show you how I ended making quite a fancy hem despite the lack of planning before I cut the fabric.

I got a problem with the hemming of this skirt when I cut the skirt before deciding where exactly to put the grosgrain ribbons. So when I decided on the placement I realized that the big hem that I prefer on skirts (and is so easy to make when the skirt consist of a rectangle piece of fabric) would require a stitch in the middle of the ribbons...what to do! Obviously I tried to convince myself to move the ribbons higher or lower but noooo my inner designer said this is where I want them. Argh, so stubborn!
Then I considered hemming the skirt first and then sew the ribbons on afterwards but then my inner seamstress was like noooo that would not make a very nice finish sewing those ends of ribbons together. The ribbon's ends have to be hidden in the side seam - where they by the way have to meet precisely. Argh, so anal! 

Soooo the only solution left was to hem the skirt and sew one of the ribbon stitches on in one stitch. Again if this was planned I could have made the seam allowance for the hem go all the way up to the top of the top ribbon. Then there would have been no visible stitches on the inside but the hem stitch but I think we are clear here that was not the case. So I went with the second best and stitched all the ribbons on the skirt and left out the bottom stitch on the top ribbon as you can see on the photo above if you look closely.

After sewing the side seam together and overlocking it, it was time to sew the two-in-one stitch. I helped myself by putting needles from the front side through the line in the ribbon where I was going to stitch and then making sure I hit the hem 1 mm from the edge on the inside.

.....and to my surprise it actually worked without giving me any problems or do-overs. I just sewed slow and made sure to stretch the fabric while I was sewing. 
Yay victory and both inner designer and seamstress was happy.
Now I am just hoping my photography skills improve so my inner photographer would be happy - ha, like I even have a inner photographer...I am hopeless! But I hope they at least helped a little bit illustrating what I have been trying to show you above.


  1. Your sewing is so precise, Mie, and it pays off with such beautifully sewn garments. The placement of the grosgrain ribbon is perfect... a lovely little skirt.

    1. Pam thank you for always being so sweet with your comments...and even better they always show that you have actually read the text ;-)

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  3. This is awesome...........!!!

  4. This is a beautiful hem Ming process. Thanks for sharing.

  5. The sewing topic is the very nice, in the season of winter that is really very amazing and the design of it make it best and you can also create many designs, that make it very different look.


  6. I've never tried sewing on ribbons to a skirt but had seen one recently that I absolutely adored so it was on my mental to-sew list; however, I know once I decided to give it a try, I would not have thought it through properly, so I thank you in advance for preventing a major headache! I'm pinning this!
    Bonny @

  7. Is that your kid? She's pretty and lovely! I super love her outfit, it perfectly fits her. Great job!

  8. How adorable! I have tried to sew ribbons in my daughters dress but it never worked out. You really did a great job there!


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Thank you!