Fri-DIY-Day: Embellish A Hem With A Ribbon

Today's DIY came about because I accidentally made my last shift a bit too short. I loved the fit and really wanted to wear it with tights, so I came up with the idea of extending the length of the dress with some sort of wide band or trim at the bottom. At first I thought I would put velcro around the hem and make a few interchangeable options to extend the length of the dress.

But the velcro proved way too bulky ... so instead I decided to attach a wide velveteen ribbon to the hem, offset a bit from the edge to hang down and add just an inch or so of length.

I started by trimming the hem's raw edge to make it perfectly symmetrical. Then I serged it, which is good to do, but optional -- pinking works, too. Or you can even leave the edge raw if it's a knit -- I won't tell anyone.

Then I took my time and carefully positioned the ribbon and pinned the heck out of it.

Then I put a Beyonce/Jay-Z playlist on the computer, got out my hand needle, and slip-stitched the ribbon onto the dress. I knotted every few inches to keep the whole ribbon from falling off should I one day pop a stitch. You could do it by machine, too, if your ribbon will allow it (mine wouldn't). I only stitched along the top of the ribbon, since the bottom was overhanging the dress. But in general you'll want to stitch both sides of the ribbon if you can.

This is a very basic embellishment, but whoa! The impact is huge. This simple knit dress looks so much classier with the ribbon to set it off! Just one little mod touch makes it like a hundred times more special.

And it's a trick that can save a dress! For instance, I massacred the hem on this shift trying to master the blind hem stitch on my machine. But I put a ribbon right over top of the crime scene, and now you'd never know.

So many possibilities! What about a rose-colored shift with something like this around the bottom ... or a yellow shift with green gingham ... or something like this eyelet trim around the bottom edge of a floral dress?