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Wearable Art, Part IV -- Ribbons
By Kathleen Brown, Of My Hands

As excerpted from The Finishing Touch, By Kathleen Brown

The ribbons we have today, made of polyester, are great  for embellishing simply because we can do almost anything to them, including washing and drying, and they will hold up. I do lots of twisting and tacking of ribbons in my embellishing  and as long as I use good quality ribbon, the original design lasts.

I often stitch ribbon in place flat, and add beads as embellishment.  Somtimes, the beads themselves are what hold the ribbon in place. Simple embroidery stitches are used to attach ribbons also. You can get the look of beads by using French knots on ribbons. Ruching is really fun to do with ribbons and it's one of those techniques that looks quite tricky, but is so easy.

To ruche ribbon as you are attaching it to a base fabric, begin by attaching the ribbon with a small running stitch. At the point you wish to ruche (scrunch up) the ribbon, pick up the ribbon so that it is no longer touching the base fabric, Continue to do small running stitches in only  the ribbon. After 5 - 7  stitches, scrunch up the ribbon, and holding the scrunches in place, lay the ribbon back down into position on the base fabric.  As, before, attach the ribbon to the base fabric with small running stitches.

By changing the length of your stitches, you can vary the ruching -- the following pictures will give you some ideas.

The gathering of ribbons, to make little flowerettes, is similar to ruching. Hand or machine gather along one edge of your ribbon and pull up these stitches to form a circle. Ta-da! a little flower.

Ruched Ribbon Handle

Simple Bow

Ruched Ribbon Held in Place By Beads

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