Thursday, 4 April 2013

Tutorial - Ribbons 101

I'm sure I can't be the only one who has a problem with all the scrappy little bits of ribbon you end up with after a project but can't bear to throw away.... I guess I have a teeny ribbon obsession and really hate waste, so here are some tips I have come  up with to turn those scraps into gorgeous items!
The best part is, you probably have all the materials lying around anyway. In my case, it was this half-forgotten tin of ribbon pieces and a pair of scissors, needle and thread. And that's it!

The pictures should be pretty self explanatory, but there's some guidelines too for those who prefer to read the tutorials

No. 1 - The Sew Bow
1. Cut the ends of your ribbon on a slant
2. Fold & hold in place with a single stitch.
3. Fold down the top loop of ribbon & anchor with another stitch
4. Bring your needle up in the centre loop it down under the top piece & back up in the
5. Pull to gather the bottom half
6. Bring your needle up through the centre again, loop it up over both pieces....
7. ... & bring it back out of the centre
8. Pull to gather the top half
9. Wrap your thread around the middle of the bow a few times to pull it all in & make a stitch on the back to hold it all in place. Done!

No. 2 - The Rosette

1. Sew a running/basting stitch along the length of ribbon
2. Pull to gather
3. Sew ends together and cut off excess
4. Use a longer/thinner ribbon....
5. ..... for a tighter gather
6. Ta-dah!

No. 3 - The Wrap Bow
1. Fold both ribbons into loops and pin
2. Pin smaller thinner piece on top, with ends facing down
3. Stitch together
4. Wrap thread around the centre and pull to gather
5. Wrap a thin ribbon around to cover this and stitch in place on the back
6. Turn over and admire!
*extra* you can also make wrap bows with just one thicker ribbon (see floral and gingerbread bows in the title image) by sewing a running/basting stitch across the width, gathering and wrapping:
No.4 - The Rolled Ribbon Rose
note: I used a spotty pink ribbon to demonstrate as it clearly has two different sides, and then went back to my classic red rose to finish, but both were made in the same way
1.Fold the corner in
2. Start rolling along this folded edge until you meet the 'raw' (ie unfolded) side edge
3. Fold the ribbon down
4. Now roll along this folded edge until you meet the 'raw' edge again, then fold the ribbon down in the opposite direction and continue rolling and folding until your rose is the desired size or you run out of ribbon
5. Push a pin through the back to hold it together
6. *Do not unfold your rose - this is more of a side not to show how I folded my ribbon in the opposite direction each time*
7. Stitch through the back of your rose to secure
8. Sew a loop of ribbon on the back to form petals
9. Complete!
No. 5 - Teeny Bow
note: this is essentially just a regular bow without the knot so that you can pull the tiny loops and ends to make it all even - very simple really, just make sure to hold the correct ends and go slow to so that you don't pull it apart :)
1. Fold
2. Wrap right end around the fold
3. Bend right end in half and push through loop you just created
4. Insert a pin into this bend and hold the right end (this is important so that you don't just pull the loop out!)
5. Carefully pull the pin to tighten the knot and lengthen the left loop. Repeat this on the right loop if uneven, making sure hold on to the opposite (left) end to prevent pulling it through
6. Grasp the two ends and ease downwards to create a perfect bow, even on the shortest of ribbons!
No. 6 - The Folded Ribbon Rose
this is a quick method I have seen quite a few times on the internet - it makes quite different roses to the rolling method, but just as pretty!
1. Fold ribbon at a 90degree angle to give one shorter and one long end (the long end will be cut off later, so don't worry about waste)
2. Fold shorter end over to the opposite side (mine was the right end to the left)
3. Fold longer end over to the opposite side  (mine was bottom end to the top)
4. Keep folding the ends over to the opposite side, one strand then the other, (ie. left end to the right, top end to the bottom, right to left, bottom to top, left to right, top to bottom etc) until you reach the end of the shorter tail. Pinch the ends together
5. Holding the two ends, let go of the concertina and it should look like this 
6. Keeping your fingers pinched, slowly pull the longer end to gather the rose (don't pull to far or the petals will pull through the centre and the rose will fall apart!)
7. Knot the ends on the back.....
8. .... and the front should look like this!
9. This is a great way to use up old/scrunched up ribbons, as it makes cute rustic looking roses :)
Hope this was helpful, feel free to comment below and have fun using up all those accumulated ribbon scraps!
Ella Elizabeth x

P.S. Thanks to Wendy at, Allison at, Gina at, Liz at , Kim at  and Bridgett at for the great link parties! Some gorgeous stuff on all of these, thoroughly recommend checking them out x

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