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How to Make A Pretty Ribbon Trim

Hi Folks…..

I’ve been doing a lot of Ribbonry work these days. When I was at the Domestic Skills Symposium, I brought a sample box of some of the dress trims I’ve made over the years. One of particular interest was a chain of Forget Me Nots. Do you think for 5 minutes, I could remember how I made the silly thing? So, I promised when I got home, I would sit down, figure it out again and then write some instructions.

Here goes….

Forget Me Not Dress Trim

A few points before we start….

Choose a ribbon with some body. Ie: Grosgrain or Taffeta Not only is soft silk a pain to work with, it doesn’t hold its shape very well. Which means it won’t stand up to the abuse its going to be subjected to as a dress trim.

A ¼” pleat on a 1 inch ribbon works nicely. The smaller the pleat, the daintier your flower is going to be.

A nice bead in the centre of your flower finishes off the motif.


I know I sound like a broken record, but trust me – the snag and knotted thread monster will leave you to go bug your less enlightened neighbor!

Lets Make Pretty Stuff...…

This instruction is assuming that your ribbon is 1 inch (or thereabouts) wide.....

To make one motif and working from the wrong side of your ribbon. (the side that won't be seen) Make 1 DOUBLE 1/4 inch set of box pleats. (see below)

When looking down at your pleat, the box part will be on top.

Continue constructing your motifs until you get the length you want. It doesn’t matter how much ribbon space is in between the motifs.

Run a stitch down the centre of the ribbon to fasten the boxpleat motifs together.

This is one of the few times I will use a machine. 🙂

Turn your work over so that the right side is faceing up. (the side you want to show)

To make the Forget Me Nots.... Follow the stitch pattern below. The red indicates your stitching pattern and the numbers indicate the stitch order. Each step is marked A, B, C and D.

Pinch and fasten the top fold together and then pull your stitch down thru the top of the second stacked pleat, (step A) continue right thru your ribbon until you are on the otherside (bottom) of your ribbon. pull tight and fasten off. (Step B)

On the top of your ribbon, you have now created a little triangle or 1/2 a motif.

Back to the back of your ribbon. You should now have your thread hanging from the back.

Run an invisiable stitch along the machine line that you made to hold your pleats down. Keep stitching until you get to the edge of the second part of your boxpleat. (Step B)

Bring your thread up thru the ribbon to the right side of your motif. (Step C)

Follow the stitch pattern on the drawing. Pull your thread down thru your ribbon until you are at the motif back again

(Step D)

You have now created one motif.

Run your stitch along the back of the ribbon to the next motif placement and start again. (Back to Part A above)

I hope that makes sense.

When complete, it’s a pretty looking little trim. It would be lovely graceing a mantle or bonnet.

If your interested in more ribbon trims, I’ve set up a Pintrist page with pics of some of my samples.

There’s lots of other people on Pintrist who do this kind of craft. Check them out. You never know what you’ll find.

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