In this post, I will have a look at how you sew trims into seams. This is how you would sew piping around the edge of a cushion, for instance. But I am not going to do that.
First I will add some cute fringe to the bottom of a pencil case. I am not going into detail about how the pencil case is made. At least, not yet. The most important consideration here is that even though the fringe is being sewn to the bottom seam, what do I want to happen at the side seams?
In the picture above, you can see that I have basted the fringe onto the edge of the pencil case that will form the bottom seam. Remember to baste close to the edge so that your basting will not stick out of the seam in the end. If it does show, you will have to unpick it. Sounds like effort.
Also in the above photo, see that at the edges which form the side seam, I have trimmed some little fringe bit away. I don’t want them to get caught up when I sew the sides.
Next, pin the right sides of your fabric together. The fringe will be sandwiched between them. Then stitch your fabric together. I used a 1cm seam, and my basting stitches were about 3-4mm- so it ended up well hidden. As you sew the side seams, you can peek between your fabric layers to make sure that nothing gets sewn in.
Here is my pencil case with the seams sewn, and corners cut, ready to be turned out the right way. This is the moment of truth. I had never done this before, so I wasn’t sure that I hadn’t stuffed it up.
Looks alright, eh? I make sure the corners of the outside of the case are well turned out before I close the gap in the stitches that I used to turn it. And after a little adjusting and a little more poking, it is finished.
The little fringes at the sides are sticking out because the corners didn’t turn out very sharply. I could cut them off if it bothered me, but it doesn’t. In the photo I have including some very useful tools. One is Wonder tape. And the other is a european brand of something that is similar, but different. Essentially they are both double sided tapes. They happen to be the only reason I can sew zips at all. The Wonder tape washes away, so no evidence. The other stuff doesn’t, so I have to make sure that I don’t use it anywhere where it might show.
In the next example, I add a little crochet lace to a flap closure on a little backpack. I was super tired when I did this and felt very much like I was just making it all up. The flap has an outside fabric and a lining fabric, and it order to add the trim, I essentially sandwich it between the two, into the curved edge.
First step was to place the trim over the curve I planned to decorate in order to measure how much I would need. Then I trimmed off the excess. Next was to baste it in place. Given that the trim is so small and narrow, I had to be careful how I basted it. I didn’t baste it right up against the edge, but offset 1-2mm from it. If I had set it right up against the edge, very little would have stuck out from the seam.
Next step is to make the sandwich. I lay the lining fabric face down (right sides facing), and secured it for stitching.
When stitching, it is important to keep you seam allowance consistent, in order to leave a consistent amount of trim. The allowance for this pattern is a quarter inch, which I tend to struggle with. Without pulling out specialised presser feet, I find it hard to achieve.
Once you are done stitching, clip the curve. Making these little cuts into the seam allowance allows the seam to lay flat after turning. Generally, the tighter the curve, the more frequently you place a cut. Also, be sure not to snip the seam!
Lastly, turn and press. If you look carefully, you can see that the trim does not have a consistent, even length. The trim to the right protrudes further than the rest. However, I was too tired to care. Close enough is good enough, most of the time.
Here is another trim that I have added to the seam. The dress I made is New Look pattern 6443. It is easy (with a just little experience under your belt), reasonably quick, and so lovely on completion. I think I have made about 6 of these. But this is about the trim, not the dress! The instructions for adding the trim are included in the pattern and are pretty straight forward. However, it is almost exactly the same as the techniques used above.
Things to remember:
- when you line up the trim with the edge of the fabric, keep the seam allowance in mind- how much is going to stick out of the seam?
- Baste it in place. Don’t pin it, don’t wing it. Baste it. I hate basting, and yet I baste it. Baste. it.