Rickrack & Button Hem Tutorial


“Let’s Have a Conversation” by Frances Messina Jones

This adorable Valentine’s Day dress from designer Frances Messina Jones was made using Ellen McCarn’s “Ultimate Bishop Dress” pattern. Made in pink pique fabric, the dress is highlighted by Frances’ sweet-as-candy conversational hearts smocking design and a rickrack and button trim that borders the hemline.


Rickrack and button hem

Follow the tutorial below, originally featured in the December/January 2014 issue (#151) of Sew Beautiful, to recreate this unique rickrack and button hem. And if you wish to sew this pretty-in-pink dress for your little Valentine this year, Frances’ classic “Let’s Have a Conversation” smocking picture plate is included in issue #151. The smocking has been designed for a bishop dress, but could be easily adapted to an insert as well:

1. Fold up a 4-inch hem and sew 1 inch from foldline, creating a 1-inch pleat.

2. Edgestitch rickrack to underside of foldline so that bottom half peeks out from beneath.

3. Sew buttons onto pleat at 1-1/2-inch intervals.

Sew Beautiful #151 is available to purchase in our online store in digital format. Shop more individual magazine issues and special digital collections of Sew Beautiful magazine here!

Happy Sewing,