Thursday, February 23, 2012

Crafty Gear 411: Decorative Stitching On Ribbon

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Decorative stitches can really add that special something to sewing with minimal effort.  Even the most basic sewing machines have at least one or two decorative stitches and they are great for adding pretty detail to hems, cuffs and edges.  Added bonus: you don't need any special sewing skills to do it either, so even a beginner can do fancy decorative stitching! Today I'm going to show how using these stitches can make some beautiful custom ribbon.  

First start with the basics: a medium weight ribbon, colorful thread and some good stabilizer.  I used some 1 inch wide grosgrain, variegated embroidery thread and Pellon Stick-N-Tear.  I cut the Stick-N-Tear just slightly larger than my ribbon, peeled off the paper and lightly hand press my ribbon on it. The stabilizer really helps keep the ribbon from puckering and being pulled while stitching and because it sticks there's no need to poke a bunch of holes into the ribbon to hold them together.

Then I selected a pretty decorative stitch on my machine.  My Brother SE-270d has a lot of them, but if you choose a fun thread any stitch can look decorative.  Get creative with basic stitches like zig-zag, feather and blind hem.  Playing with the stitch length and width gives even more looks.

Center the ribbon under the presser foot so the design will be sewn down the middle.  Begin sewing, keeping the ribbon centered and flat so the stitches will stay even:

When it's done while holding the stitches down with one hand and slowly tear away the stabilizer with the other.  Now you've got some lovely, custom ribbon to match your latest project, make pretty hair bows, decorate packages - whatever way you use ribbon!

Stop by tomorrow for a Crafty Gear 411 on how to do machine embroidery!

Sharing this with my FAVE LINK PARTIES too so click HERE to check them out!


  1. How clever!! I would have never thought of this. I am going to have to give it a try for sure.:)

  2. Such a great idea--I never actually though of making my own ribbon--definitely going to try!

  3. You've got all kinds of fun embroidery ideas this week!!! Love the kiss sweater too! AND the embroidered tree!?! So pretty! Thanks for sharing this on Fancy This Fridays by the way!
    ~Kassi @ Truly Lovely

  4. Great ribbon! Love the choice of decorative stitches your machine has!!

    Thanks for linking to a Round Tuit!
    Hope you have a fabulous week!
    Jill @ Creating my way to Success

  5. I have never thought of this! Brilliant! Thank for linking it up this week... I always love seeing your projects. :)

  6. Just pinned this! You're too smart! Thanks so much for sharing at Taking A Timeout Thursday!

  7. This ribbon is so could do so many fun things with it! Thanks! We loved having you join us at "Strut Your Stuff Saturday." We hope you'll be back next week! -The Sisters

  8. Love, Love, Love...can you hear me shouting this. Featuring this n Tickled Pink and pinned it!

  9. lovely trick, thanks for sharing

    followed link from Friday Fun Party.

  10. wow, such a great trick! thanks so much for sharing! i'd love for you to link this up to my new spread the love link party. there is also an amazing giveaway going on now for a green berry shop scarf! check it out if you are interested! {love} lauryn @

  11. So simple but so smart! Wish I would've thought of this a long time ago. Thanks so much for linking up at Etcetorize last week. I'll be featuring this project at tonight's party, hope you come by and grab a button and link up again!


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