I’m currently in the process of sewing a small purse using fabric that I’m making from some recycled sari silk ribbon. Even with the ribbon has raw edges, it still looks quite good once it’s sewn.
Making fabric from ribbon is easy – and fun – and there’s various different ways you can do it, by either overlapping the edges of the ribbon as I’m doing for this small purse.
Making “ribbon fabric” is perfect for using up that gorgeous hand-dyed ribbon that you’ve never found a use for and is the perfect way to create special fabric that can be used as a focus fabric or to coordinate with another plain fabric. On this particular project I’ve used “ribbon fabric” to make the collars and cuffs for a jacket.
What You Need
- Decorative or hand-dyed ribbon
- Non-woven fusible interfacing
- Thread in a contrasting color—i.e. metallic thread, rayon thread
- Non-stick ironing sheet/parchment paper
- Pencil, ruler
Tip: If you’re going to use the “ribbon fabric” for a pattern, cut the interfacing about 2″ larger than the pattern piece all the way around to allow for any shrinkage or other problems that might occur.
Cut a piece of fusible interfacing to the desired size and decide in which direction you want the ribbon to go. For this project I placed the ribbon at a 45 degree angle. With the fusible side of the interfacing facing up, draw a number of guidelines approximately 2″ apart. These guidelines will help to keep the ribbon placement straight and even.
Place one strip of ribbon on top of the fusible interfacing and iron in place. Use a non-stick ironing sheet or a piece of parchment paper to protect your iron. Position the next strip of ribbon alongside the first strip with the edges butted together, and iron in place. Working one section at a time in order to keep the ribbon straight, continue in this manner until the interfacing is completely covered.
Once all the ribbon is ironed in place, carefully stitch along the edges where the ribbons butt together using a decorative stitch. Make sure the decorative stitch is wide enough so that it sews on both sides of the ribbon evenly. Tip: A stitch-in-the-ditch foot is ideal for this sewing application.
The “ribbon fabric” is now ready and can be cut up and used just as you would for any other type of fabric. I finished the edges of the jacket with some gold rat tail trim to complement the gold metallic thread.