How to Use Trimming While Sewing Your Dress (2024)

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How to Use Trimming While Sewing Your Dress at Home. Sewing Tips to use many types of trimming material while you make your clothes.

Trimming is the easiest way to beautify your dress, cover up the flows and enhance the look of your sewing projects.

Adding a dash of trimming can enhance the appearance of your dress and make an ordinary dress look extraordinarily beautiful.

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Why should you use trimming?

The trimmings not only ornaments a dress and increases it’s value but also help us to hide our stitching errors.

You may hide joints by a lace. Add a lace on sides to decorate or on a yoke to beautify the design.

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Should you make your own trimming or buy ready-to-use trimming from the market?

Even your old neck piece, ear studs, rings, bangles can be a trimming if they are neatly and appropriately added to the design of your dress.

I have done it many times so I can vouch for the success and uniqueness of such experiments!

Trimmings can be hand made or machine made or ready made.

Earlier, trimmings were made and sewn by hands and they were expensive enough to be used only for the garments of high and mighty.

It was a fashion statement in Victorian era. The fineness of designs used to be the status symbol.

Embroidery, thread work, mirrors, painting, smoking, honeycomb, pleats, tucks, darts may all be called a hand made trim.

But thankfully, due to industrial revolution, trimmings became affordable for people like us.

Anybody could easily and economically get mass produced machine woven trimmings. Dress makers and home sewers alike loved the change and rest is history.

Markets have a great variety of machine made and ready made trimmings for us to use.

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What are the different types of trimming

It’s difficult to mention all types of trims available but I make a small effort to list down some of the most common type of trims, which are used.

Any material or scrap has a potential to be a trim only if you know how and where to use it.

We’ll just have a glance on the common type of trimming available. There may be different varieties, styles, weaves, threads, colors and what not.

  • Lace – The thickness or thinness of lace must be decided based on texture of the fabric. Laces come in different fibers-cotton, silk,synthetic and a good variety of mix threads.

Based on their natural + synthetic thread ratio, they have softness or roughness. Laces are available from 0.2 to 18″ or more for different purposes.

Lace for a dress should be decided based on size of the person and requirement of the design.

  • Ribbon – Ribbons are versatile type and can be used for different purposes.

They are used for dresses in making flowers, frills or in home furnishing items to beautify them. Ribbons may be 0.2 to 6″ wide.

They are mostly used in shiny,smooth textures in different qualities.

  • Piping – Piping is readily available in the market. They can be made easily by cutting a bias fabric and stitching with a string.

They are available in all colors but it’s better to make your own piping as they are more durable. Piping is always cut and sew on bias cloth with or without a string.

  • Quilting – Two or more layers of fabric are stitched together with a thin layer or foam or cotton inside,for making the dress appear more beautiful.

It can be done by hands or by machine. Generally, it’s used in women and kids’ dresses.

  • Thread work – Honey comb, smoking and various other patterns and designs are made by colorful threads of silk and other materials.
  • Buttons – It’ll be unfair to no mention our quintessential buttons, which are available everywhere and can be used anywhere.

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What are the things to remember when you use trimming

  • For kids’ dresses thin lace is used whereas for adults, thick laces does fine.
  • Soft edged laces and trimmings are used on kids’ dresses.
  • If fabric is thin and delicate, then use fine, silky, delicate lace.
    The comfort must be considered while using trimming.
  • Trimming should not be so rough that it leaves scratch marks on your skin.
  • It should not pierce the skin of wearer.
  • It should not bleed color. It’s important that your trimming is reasonably good quality. Otherwise, your efforts and dress will be spoiled in a single wash.
  • It’s not necessary to wash trimming before use. But, if you are not sure about color fastness, please dip a corner of the lace in water and check if color is running out.
  • Cotton lace, piping,ribbon shrink. Either shrink fabric before making them or use mix or synthetic trimmings.
  • Check washing instructions before using trimming. Your dress become ‘Handle with Care’ after certain type of trimmings.
  • Use of mirror, silk threads, danglers, fancy buttons may require your dress to be dry cleaned only.

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    Above all else, trimming should be pleasant to see, comfortable to wear and easy to carry.

    It should not be vulgar, cheap and oh-so-nonsense. It should be intrinsically mixed with the design to enhance the look of the dress.

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