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Monday, December 23, 2013

Adding a Trim Band

What a sweet little dress on a sweet little girl.  I really like the bottom trim band on her dress. I am a big fan of ruffles but sometimes it's fun to mix it up a little and use a trim band instead. Have you ever wondered how to do this? We're going to teach you how!

The easiest way to make a trim band is to use a pattern that has a ruffle at the bottom. You will cut the trim band to be the length of the ruffle, but for the width you cut it to match the width of the dress where it will attach.  (That is generally half of the width of the ruffle.)  I will walk you through the process: 

I made this dress using our free Marilyn's pattern. Instead of cutting out two ruffle pieces like it calls for, I only cut out one ruffle piece.  The one ruffle piece measures the exact width of the dress at the bottom where it attaches. 

Here is what my pile looked like before I started. Notice I cut only one ruffle piece instead of two.

Take the trim band and fold it in half width-wise and sew, creating a large loop. Do a rolled hem on one of the long edges. 

Now we are ready to pin the trim band to the dress. (We were able to skip the gathering step that we would normally do for the ruffle!)  

I wanted to show the difference between the ruffle and the trim band, so I made two dresses of the same size, side by side: 

 See how the dress on the left has a gathered ruffle to match the width. The dress on the right also matches the width but it was not gathered. Now both are ready to sew in place and top stitch. 

It's that easy!  They create two very different looks, don't they?  And the only difference between the two is the width of the ruffle/trim band. Time to model both dresses on my cute little neighbor girl: 

Ruffled Marilyn's 

Trim Band Marilyn's

Isn't she cute!?

If you are using a pattern that does not call for a ruffle, you can still add a trim band. Just cut fabric to be the length that you want the band to be (plus 5/8" for seam allowance and rolled hem) and then cut it to be the width of the dress where it will attach (plus 3/8" for seam allowance).  

You can add trim bands to anything you want: dresses, skirts, tops, pants - and even store-bought items. They are great for adding length and/or style.  If you have been wanting to try out our women's patterns but are afraid to wear ruffles, this is a great option! It's also good for little girls who think they are getting too big for ruffles. Switch to a trim band instead. I also like that I can reuse the same pattern to make multiple outfits for my daughter - little variations like this help mix it up a bit. I hope you'll give trim bands a try and share your photos with us when you're done.

Let's Create! ~ Kristen   

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