Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Trimmings: What Kind and how to Sew Them

If you've ever taken a trip to your local fabric shop, you've likely seen the rows of carded wacky things that come on strings. They come in all colors, widths, materials, weaves and materials.
I spend a lot of time here.

They can range from a woven heavy metallic thread, to a simple string of sequins, satin ribbon, heavily beaded fringe, elastics, and crystals in metal settings.

Trims aren't just decorative. There are functional trimmings such as hook and eye, zipper, and grommeted trims. In short, it can be overwhelming.

Trims are sold by the yard and very in price according to their make, materials, country of origin, and a bunch of other factors, but the simplest way to judge is by how fancy it is. The fancier the trim, the likely the more expensive it will be.

If you need a long length of elastic in an odd size, the Trims Section is where you look.

What is not a constant is the more expensive the trim, the more tasteful it is. There's a lot of trims that are quite expensive, yet are horrific to behold.

$20.00 Per Yard Seashell fringe for a Snowplow Sam "Under the Sea?" Falling shells as an artitistic choice or Competitive Advantage?

So, how do you choose a trim?

Well, my process starts long before I even enter the fabric store. The music must be chosen first, so with music in mind, I'll sit down with some paper and draw out my ideal costume. What I would like if money were no object, if I were the most talented seamstress alive, what would I create?

Now, provided you aren't too ashamed of your art, take this to the fabric shop. Here, your design is going to get the ax hacking of a paredown as you shop for what kinds of materials are available, how much they cost, and what your skills are capable of actually doing. This isn't always a bad thing. Your design isn't going to get necessarily worse, it's just going to evolve to fit your reality.

With fabrics chosen, take a look at the design and see where a trim would accent, fit and work your design. We need some shiny things on the pants, so let's look.

This is an old pair of skating pants, you can tell by the worn-out knee. But layering Slung Sequins can add some Drama!

Don't be shy. If you walk into a fabric store, lay down some drawing and a pattern and a bunch of fabric, you'll look like a total pro and own the place. Your actions indicate, "Hey! I need some mofo trim here!"

This is also pretty for color and texture.

Unroll a foot or so of what you think might work and lay it on your fabric. Think of it in context of the overall color scheme and theme of the program. Does it work? No? Try again. And again. And again. Mistakes are imperative in the design process. Without knowing what doesn't work, you don't have a firm grasp of what does. Make mistakes.

Okay, so I find one I like best. I know Stitch's leg is 26" long, and he has two of them. I need 52" of this, minimum. I'll buy an additional 6" in case I, yes, make a mistake. It's sold by the yard, a yard is three feet or 36". A yard and a half is too short, so I'll bite the bullet and get two yards.

Next up: How to Sew the Stupid Things Once you Have them!

1 comment:

  1. OMG I want your trim store!!!!

    Also do you only use stretch trim? Or non-stretch too?