When we are often working a project, we are often in a position to add trim as a decorative touch. Whether lace, fringe, rick rack, piping, pompoms, blanket binding, bias tape, or some other form of decoration, picking the right trim for your project relates to your sewing ability, coordination with fabric and with the project itself, and the unique touches that make each item you make a reflection of your unique abilities.
First, it’s important to remember that if you are using a pattern or tutorial, you always have the option to embellish or adjust a trim to whatever your tastes reflect. At current, I am making a series of scarves for our company to sell, and I have used two different styles of trim, with a few others to select from. Even though I followed a basic pattern that called for something specific (pompoms), I found sewing them on to be cumbersome. They were hard to work with and they would change the fabric allowance on the edges. Given I wasn’t real familiar with working with pompoms, I opted for fringe, and then for rick rack, both of which worked better and added an air of sophistication to the items. I still followed the directions for some of the designs, but for many more, I mixed it up and came to love and appreciate the pattern, that much more.
Second, considering cost is also essential in any project. It’s not a secret that fabric and trims aren’t the cheapest things in the world to purchase, and buying trim can become a particularly expensive task when circumventing an entire garment or item. Pompoms, lace, and piping typically run more than rick rack, bias tape, binding, or basic fringe, but may look better on a garment. If you are uncertain, you can always bring a piece of what you are working on to the store with you, in order to consider what works best – and looks best – with your fabrics, colors, and design.
Third, considering the type of trim you want to use, also consider placement. Things such as piping, rick rack, lace, and sometimes even fringe can easily look out of place if they aren’t examined and properly placed on a garment. Blanket binding and bias tape can look downright wrong when they are improperly placed. Using too little or too much can radically change the way a garment looks, so think about where you want to place the trim, how much you want to place on your garment, and how you can best work such accents into what you are already doing.
Fourth, learn how to apply trims properly on your project. There are right and wrong ways to apply trim, and it is worth learning the right way to handle each trim you use. Sometimes a project can require applying a trim in an interesting or unexpected way, so take the time to figure out just how to best apply the trim to your project.
Fourth, don’t be afraid to mix it up! Try something new, use something you never have before, and experiment with your accents, because one accent might give your project a new look you never imagined possible.
The Wind is sewing with needles of rain. With shining needles of rain It stitches into the thin Cloth of earth. In, In, in, in. Oh, the wind has often sewed with me. One, two, three. Spring must have fine things To wear like other springs. Of silken green the grass must be Embroidered. One and two and three. Then every crocus must be made So subtly as to seem afraid Of lifting colour from the ground; And after crocuses the round Heads of tulips, and all the fair Intricate garb that Spring will wear. The wind must sew with needles of rain, With shining needles of rain, Stitching into the thin Cloth of earth, in, In, in, in, For all the springs of futurity. One, two, three. - Hazel Hall (Public Domain)