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The Final Touch on the Wedding Dress: Embroidered Ribbon

If you have an embroidery machine and you’re making a wedding dress, you have to – I would say it’s mandatory   – embroider a ribbon and sew it into the dress with the bride and groom’s names, date and location. Just imagine years down the road when the next generation is looking at the dress, they’ll know the history of the garment.  Wouldn’t you have loved looking at that information on your mother’s dress? I know I would have.  So here’s how to do it.

Create the text in an embroidery lettering program such as Inspiration’s Perfect Embroidery Pro and split it into several hoopings.  (Check back here on Saturday for the how-do). Print templates of each hooping. Cut the ribbon the length of the combined text and add about five extra inches to the ribbon length to make hooping easier.  Place the hoop’s outer ring on a cutting mat aligning the hoop’s straight edges with the mat’s grid. Lay a piece of water soluble stabilizer over the ring. Place the ribbon in the hoop laying the end over the ring and centering the ribbon within the hoop’s sewing field. Use the mat’s grid to place the ribbon straight.  Insert the inner ring. Forgive me, these photos do not show a cutting mat but trust me, they should! Rib6AABL

Center the first template on the ribbon. Use a centering ruler to find the center of the ribbon and align the template’s crosshair with the ruler’s center.  The edges of the ribbon should hit the ruler at equal increments.Rib1BL

Remove the template and embroider the first design.  Remove the hoop from the machine and the ribbon from the hoop. Tape the second template on the ribbon, checking the spacing between the hoopings.  Ascenders and descenders, such as lower case j’s and p’s and all upper case letters, can throw off the centering. If a line of text has both ascenders and descenders, the center of the design will probably be on the text baseline. If it has one or none, the center of the design will not be on the baseline, it will be the center of the actual text.  Keep the text aligned on the same baseline from hooping to hooping.  Use a centering ruler to help with placement.Rib2BL

If you use a soft blue thread, you’ll have the ‘something blue’ covered and most likely the delicate color will not bleed through the dress. Rib3BL

I sewed the ribbon to the outside of the lining at the center back. Her dress was mermaid style and the back hem had quite a curve. In retrospect, if I had to do it again, I would sew it to a straighter portion of the lining hem or even up a seam from the lining towards the waist. Rib4BLRib5BL

 

Here’s your assignment this week:

Thank you all for allowing me to share this occasion with you. I hope you’ve learned some tips and maybe even thought of using an idea or two for a special bride in the future. What tip or idea from this wedding do you think you are most likely to use?

The winner of the last assignment answered the following question:

Tell us if you (or someone you love) carried a family heirloom on your wedding day.  A random winner will be selected to win a $20 Designs in Machine Embroidery gift card!

The winner is:  

Carrie: “My daughters carried or wore their paternal great-grandmother’s gold locket.
It was very special to us that the locket was passed to my daughter’s”

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19 COMMENTS

  • Lori Woodward

    Thank you for sharing this special day with us, you both looked happy and beautiful! I think the ribbon idea is the best, it can even be used in a christening gown.

  • Colleen Bell

    Eileen, I’m so glad you are sharing with us. I think we all want to know all the details. You look gorgeous in that color. I want my dress to be exactly the same thing.

    While I didn’t carry an heirloom, nor my sister, my outrageous Aunt bought me a pair of printed zanny socks – think Peter Max in the 70’s – that I didn’t have the nerve to wear, but had a wedding photo taken with me putting them on. I still have them with my treasures and can still my dear Aunt laughing.

  • Kathy E.

    I do have an embroidery machine and would really like to embroider on ribbon for my daughter’s upcoming wedding dress. I will surely use your tips…especially using a centering ruler to keep it all aligned. I’ll also look for a straight seam to stitch it to. What a wonderful idea you’ve shared! Thanks!

  • Elizabeth

    I made my grandchildrens baptism gown out of my wedding dress, I wanted to put each child’s name and date of baptism inside, I will use the ribbon idea, thank you for sharing

  • Donna Fecteau

    thank you for sharing this experience with us. I love the ribbon idea. and I love that Elizabeth made a christening gown out of her wedding dress what a great idea. I don’t think anyone will want to wear my wedding dress and we have a cherished christening gown that is getting just to fragile to use. Perhaps its time to frame that one and create a new one from my dress.

    • Donna Fecteau

      And of course include a ribbon with info on where it came from!

  • Carolyn Ford

    I can see many uses for the embroidered ribbon. I have a baptism for a grandson coming soon. What a great idea!

  • Karen Roop

    I have my cousin’s daughter-in-laws dress and she has asked me to make a baby blanket for the christening from it. It is a straight heavy satin and not a lot of material to use. I will use this idea of a ribbon to label the back of the blanket with the mom’s wedding info and baby’s special day.

    You both look beautiful and the dress turned our spectacular.
    Karen R.

    • Karen W

      As you say the satin is heavy, I would suggest making the outer blanket binding from the satin & perhaps embroider one corner of the actual blanket in the usual way, personalizing the event. Another option, to lighten things up, use the heavy satin in squares, augmented with regular blanket material – something like a quilted blanket.

  • Sara Redner

    I love the idea of the ribbon for information, and that can be used for much more than Wedding and Christening gowns. I have embroidered on ribbon but never enough information that it took more than one hooping, so the tips for that will be valuable.

  • Susan DeWitt

    I will definitely use the ribbon idea – my daughter is fostering a little girl with hope of adoption. She has been with us since she was 3-1/2 yrs. She was able to wear a robe I had made for my daughter and a few other special items. As there is no infant to wear our christening clothing in this generation, I do hope to use the ribbon embroidery for these dear items used a second time and for future generations in the other clothing. I also have my maternal grandfather’s christening gown, hand made by my Great-great grandmother – this will be a perfect “labeling” technique to use as I frame this very fragile and simple gown. Thank you so much for the idea!

  • Karen

    Thanks for sharing the Wedding journey with us.I really like the ribbon idea.

  • Ruth Peterson

    I haven’t embroidered on ribbon before, and I appreciate the tips to do so with many possible applications. I didn’t embroider a label for my daughter’s wedding a summer before yours as the dress was purchased & didn’t even think to ask them to add it. That’s why you using my thoughts about wrapped in love were so fresh for me. I could say it to my daughter at her wedding, you could use it. Love your blue dress! (Mine was navy.)

  • Monica AD

    No … What beautiful work and a ELEGANT wedding dress … FIESTA 🙂

  • beth daniels

    I would use the ribbon idea on even some clothes that I would make with the pattern number and name of clothing.

  • Deanna

    I love the ribbon w/wedding details. Would love to use the ribbon in my daughter’s gown.

  • Kati

    What a wonderful idea!

  • elizabeth lantz

    I have an upcoming family wedding and re-read the wedding dress embroidered ribbon article. How wide and what type of ribbon did you use? the size of the font?
    This is a great idea. Many thanks!

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