Choosing Materials for Embellishments and Trims

Flowers and trims using various types of ribbon.

Fabrics and ribbons come in a wide range of beautiful colors, textures and styles. With so many options, the seemingly simple decision of choosing materials for a trim or embellishment can turn into a daunting task! Designer Kari Mecca’s new book, Whimsy Flowers & Trims, is full of helpful tips for selecting materials. For example, she says it’s a good idea to look for styles that are appealing on both sides, as many embellishments feature both sides of the material. Read a few more of Kari’s tips below:

Two-sided ribbons: These ribbons are finished on both sides, such as grosgrain ribbon.

Two-color ribbons: Not only are these ribbons finished on both sides, but each side of the ribbon is also a different color or design.

Wired ribbons: These ribbons have a lightweight wire woven into the edges. Look for narrow styles for the most versatility.


As seasons change, not all materials and colors are available at all times.

Metallic ribbons or fabrics: Choose a subtly colored metallic weave, or go bold with a bright metallic weave. Look for metallic ribbons that also have wired edges.

Sheer ribbons or fabrics: Try organdy or organza in solids and stripes and made from natural or synthetic fibers.

Taffeta ribbons or fabrics: Look for solid, two-tone weaves and iridescent weaves.

Bias-cut ribbon or fabric: Choose silks, satins or cottons cut into strips on the bias. Overdyed silks and satins are especially pretty.

Linen or burlap ribbon or fabric: These materials are a heavier weave and can add texture to trims and flowers.


Kari Mecca’s Whimsy Flowers & Trims

Be sure to check out Whimsy Flowers & Trims for more tips and inspiration. This book includes 35 techniques that teach you unique ways to work with ribbons, rickrack, picot trim, soutache, fabric strips, spaghetti bias, lace and more. Plus, it includes three sizes of Whimsy Stick punchouts made of durable cardboard, so you can start creating your embellishments immediately!

Sew On, Sew Well, Sew Beautiful,
Cyndi and Amelia

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