Sewing With Ribbon - Flat Ribbon Application Tips & Tricks

Hi Everyone! In Part 3, Donna is sharing her expertise with flat ribbon application. As with many skills, this is something that gets better with practice! Follow along as Donna demonstrates and explains how to successfully add flat ribbon to your garments!

Ruffles and lace are always nice, but sometimes, a simple ribbon trim is just the right touch. Before you start sewing a trim to an item, there are a few things to consider.  You are probably already aware to check for colorfastness and shrinkage, but you’ll also want to do a little test to see if the trim can be ironed.

Another thing to consider is the transparency of the ribbon.  Place the ribbon against the fabric to check whether you can see through the ribbon, especially if you are using a high contrast printed fabric or a light colored ribbon.  

You may find various presser feet helpful when stitching the ribbon. You can check out the video on using the Edge Stitch foot for sewing ribbon in the Presser Foot series. You could also use a clear or regular zigzag presser foot if it has a center guide line. Set your needle position slightly to the side and keep the edge of your ribbon aligned with the center mark on the presser foot.

One of the most common uses for flat ribbon is around the hemline. It’s a good idea to make sure your hem allowance is wide enough to use the line of top stitching from the hem as a guide for trim placement. This makes it easy to position the ribbon and it hides the topstitched hem line for a cleaner finish.

In this video, we will look at the Art Deco Dress and Bag patterns, where the ribbon trim is used as a focal point of the design. Follow along as we take a look at creating a slight curve with our flat trim to use along an A-line hem.


The Art Deco Dress uses two ways to miter a corner – folded or stitched.  We will discuss each method and talk about using patterned ribbon.  We’ll learn how to use thread for markings that can easily be removed after the trim has been applied.  

Let’s pull out those ribbons and add some trim today!

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