Tips for Unique Trims & Embellishments


A knot dress made from The Cottage Mama’s Charlotte Pattern in coordinating fabrics and trims.

Perfectly pairing multiple fabrics into one design can be easy with help from designer Lindsay Wilkes. The owner and creative force behind popular blog The Cottage Mama has built her signature style around mixing and matching fabric prints. Her ability to pull together multiple patterned fabrics, often from different manufacturers, lets her create truly one-of-a-kind boutique looks for little girls.

Here, I’d like to share a few of Lindsay’s tips for using trims and embellishments to help tie fabrics together as featured in her book, Sew Classic Clothes for Girls. Lindsay shares more great tips on her video workshop, Modern Day Fabric Pairing, Trims & More:

• Trims are a great way to help tie fabrics together and add a uniqueness to your garments. Adding piping into a seam can break up two different patterned fabrics and ultimately help them work together. If there is a color you are trying to highlight in a certain fabric, selecting a trim in that color can be a great way to help draw focus and emphasize that specific color.

• Great sources for unique, one-of-a-kind trims are antique stores, flea markets and estate sales. This is where you can happen upon a treasure trove of trims and embellishments that you may not be able to find anywhere else. Just make sure to check the composition of the trims if they come in the packaging. If you’re not sure about a trim, it’s a good idea to test out a little piece in a load of laundry. It’s never fun to work really hard on a beautiful garment only to have the piece not wash well. Trust me, I’ve been there.

• If you’re not up for a treasure hunt in antique stores or flea markets, there are many wonderful local shops and online resources for purchasing quality trims.

• You can add rickrack, piping, loopy trim and many more trim options into or on top of most seams. For rickrack trim, position the center of the trim in the seam allowance of the garment; this will cause the rickrack to poke through with a sort of scalloped edge in the seam. Depending on the size of the trim, sometimes you can just line up the edge of the rickrack with the edge of the garment, but you will have to measure your trim to see if you will need to adjust the placement.

• When you are thinking of adding trims to a garment, consider layering trims for a more dramatic look. Add ribbon on top of rickrack, or add piping behind a piece of woven trim.


Discover more tips from Lindsay on Modern Day Fabric Pairing, Trims and More. On this video workshop, you’ll learn how to select and properly combine several fabrics in a single spectacular garment as Lindsay teaches you all about color, fabric scale and adding trims. You’ll learn great techniques like how to layer trims, how to create fabric-covered buttons and more!

Happy Sewing,