Sew, What's New?

Curating sewing and quilting talent, techniques, and tutorials, since 1997.

A New Look With Simple Trimmings

Spring is in the air … Can you hear the tune in the back your head? Spring arrives with a whole lot of feelings and one of them is change, new look, new things. A new look can often simply be accomplished with adding some trimmings on our shirts, skirts, dresses or home decorating pieces.

A few things to keep in mind when working with trimmings:

• Look at what is in fashion (eg. Lace trimmings)

• Trimmings must be suitable to the fabric

• Less is more

To get you started we make some suggestions for new look trimmings.

Self-trim edgings

• Looped edging: Make lengthwise strips about 1 ¼ inches wide. Fold lengthwise and stitch about ¼ inch from edge. Turn inside out, press. Cut pieces exactly the same size, put ends together to form loop and baste to garment / sewing project with even spacing, using same method as for pointed edging.

• Pointed edging: Cut lengthwise strips 1 ¼ inches wide. Cut into squares and fold diagonally once and then again. Baste onto right side of garment, edges together, overlapping points. Baste bias facing on top, stitch all together, trim seam, turn bias to wrong side, slip stitch to position.

Bias bindings (see demo)

Bias may be applied with various designs and motifs. Bias strips folded through the center lengthwise may be fagoted together for edgings. They are used as trims, and are also turned completely to the inside and slip stitched to position so that they are not visible on the right side.

Lace Trimmings

• To gather lace, pull thread at the straight edge to desired fullness, or whipstitch over edge, pulling up thread every few stitches to gather. Usually twice as much lace as the space to which it is to be applied is used.

• To make a lace insertion, baste lace onto right side. Use a satin stitch or fine running stitch at joining. Cut away fabric underneath, and hand roll raw edges, catching in lace. Or, appliqué with zigzag stitching, the machine zigzagger, hemming. Overhanding, or blanket stitching. To put a lace insertion in lace fabric, overcast or zigzag stitch.

• To turn corners, make a miter with tiny, close, overcastting stitches so that the effect is like a fine cord. Cut away excess. Or, make little pleats around corners, preserving the curve.


Wind yarn around cardboard to desired thickness and tie with separate piece at top. Cut yarn across the bottom; pull out cardboard, tie another strand around about ½ inch from the top, leaving one long end to wrap around tassel several times. Thread a needle with this end, and insert needle in center to hold firm.

We have given you some great ideas to work with. Enjoy your new season with your new look trimmings.

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