Ribbon Sash Tutorial with Connie Palmer

Our Pascale dress pattern is available in our online shop in sizes 3-7 and sizes 8-14.

A wide ribbon sash, drawn into stitched bows with fine ribbon tendrils, is a great way to add a special design element to a simple yoke dress. Connie Palmer used this element on the sweet special occasion dress pictured here. Made using our “Pascale” Sew Beautiful Collection Pattern in an ice blue velvet, the dress is trimmed with cream silk charmeuse piping and bias binding, and Connie also added a monogram for additional embellishment. Follow Connie’s tutorial below to learn how to create the beautiful ribbon sash.

What you’ll need:

  • Trims (for sash only)
    • 2 yards of 1-inch-wide silk satin ribbon
    • 2-3/4 yards of 2-inch-wide silk satin ribbon
    • 1-1/8 yard of 1/8-inch-wide silk satin ribbon
  • Notions
    • Straight pins
    • Fabric glue
ribbon sash

A ribbon sash is the perfect design element for a simple yoke dress.

How to make it:

Ribbon Sash

1. Fold widest ribbon in half to find center; mark with a straight pin. Mark a line using “F” measurement (F = Fold Marking) on each side of center pin (fig. 1). Fold wrong sides together on marked line and measure from fold to distance given for “S” measurement (S = Switching Distance from Fold). Refer to chart below.

• For 1-inch ribbon: Place dots 1/4 inch from top and bottom edge of ribbon at pin.

• For 2-inch ribbon: Place dots 1/2 inch from top and bottom edge of ribbon at pin.

2. Straight stitch between dots, backstitching at beginning and end of seam (fig. 2).

3. Open ribbon. Create a bow by matching drawn line with ditch of previous seam (fig. 3). Fold pleats into loop of ribbon at drawn line. Stitch in center to hold pleated ribbon in place (fig. 4).

4. Cut three sash loops from 1/8-inch ribbon 1/4 inch longer than width of sash ribbon. Make sure cut ends are straight. Set aside.

5. Cut remaining 1/8-inch ribbon in half. Wrap one piece around center of bow to hide stitch. Tie 1/8-inch ribbon into a bow (fig. 5). Repeat for other bow. NOTE: Before 1/8-inch ribbon is tied into a bow, it can be tacked to stitching line of previous bow.

Sash Loops

1. Place cut end of ribbon against piping centered on side seam of bodice. Stitch 1/4 inch from ribbon end (fig. 6).

2. Fold ribbon down toward skirt and stitch again against piping (fig. 7). Fold other end of ribbon 1/4 inch and 1/4 inch again (fig. 7). Glue in place.

3. Place ribbon against side seam of bodice and topstitch upper edge of loop 1/8 inch from fold (fig. 8). Repeat for sash loop on other side.

Connie Palmer began sewing more than 25 years ago and is a highly sought-after teacher internationally. She has taught for numerous Martha Pullen events, including the Martha Pullen Teacher Licensing live and online events, and has appeared often on Martha’s Sewing Room, America Sews with Sue Hausmann and Quilting with Shar. She was a regular contributor to Sew Beautiful and her garment designs have appeared on the covers of five Martha Pullen books.

Check out the products below for more heirloom sewing inspiration:

Designed by Laura Jenkins Thompson, our Pascale pattern is a long-time fan favorite. The digital pattern is available in sizes 3-7 and sizes 8-14.

The December/January 2014 issue of Sew Beautiful magazine brings together a collection of cold-weather-inspired projects for baby, toddler and adults as well as lacy heirloom pieces for any time of year.

If you’ve ever struggled with plackets that pucker, collars that need a little something extra, or bias bands that wrinkle, then you need to bring Connie Palmer’s years of expertise home to your sewing room with this helpful Construction Techniques Made Easy video download.



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