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How to steam shape a grosgrain ribbon?
bicrafty
bicrafty
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Georgia USA
Member since 6/30/12
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Date: 8/9/12 3:02 PM

*sigh*

I am nearing the end of this toddler dress..thank goodness(partially because the deadline is tomorrow!).

I need to use my steam iron to shape the grosgrain ribbon to match the curved hem of the skirt...any idea how to do this? I assume there is some pulling of the ribbon involved, but my biggest question is how exact must this match the skirt hem's curve?

If it must match the skirt curvature exactly...then how do I do that?

Is it just eyeballing it?

Once again, thanks for any and all input in advance!!

stirwatersblue
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stirwatersblue
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Date: 8/9/12 3:21 PM

When I do this (with bias tape, but the principle is the same regardless of whether you're using grosgrain, bias tape, or some other kind of binding), I pin the garment to my ironing board. Then I curve the bias tape along the edge, following the garment's curves. Pin in place as necessary. You may notice that it's slightly fiddly and doesn't always want to ease into shape--at which point it will become abundantly obvious why you want to steam it! :)

Then just have at it with your iron! I know you're "technically" just supposed to hold the iron above and blast it with the steam--but I just go ahead and press like I would anything else. If you're using pretty basic, iron-friendly materials, you won't have a problem.

CRUCIAL STEP: After you've applied the heat/steam, DO NOT MOVE the garment until it's cool, or you'll undo all your work.

------
~Gem in the prairie

beauturbo
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In reply to bicrafty <<
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Date: 8/9/12 4:23 PM

I don't think you will be able to do it, at all by steam, if it is that 100% polyester Grossgrain ribbon that they sell the most plentiful and cheapest at all the fabric stores. Just because that kind would melt under a lot of heat and steam, and actually not even shift, shape or bend much either.

If you got a paper pattern that is actually telling you to do that, and they use the word Grossgrain ribbon for that, maybe it's a really old pattern instead? Back when they used to make common to find, kind of grossgrain kind of ribbon out of Rayon instead, and sell that in a;; the fabric stores, I think that would work, as it would not melt, and would bend around curves, but not that polyester kind that is everywhere now instead.

If it was some much harder to find and called more like Petersham ribbon, ( and not sold in all those big chain fabric stores kind of Grossgrain, then that is more like the old stuff, and since it's Rayon and not Polyester, then it would bend and it would not melt either.

sewme47
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sewme47
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In reply to beauturbo <<
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Date: 8/9/12 4:35 PM

I agree. What passes for grosgrain these days cannot be shaped in the manner you describe. It has bound edge that is quite stiff...great for hairbows, not great for shaping on fabric.

------
A balanced diet is a cupcake in each hand.

diane s
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diane s  Friend of PR
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Date: 8/9/12 10:12 PM

I would fuse it on with 1/4" steam a seam light, then sew it.

------
My grandmother taught me to sew when I was 10, and I've been sewing ever since.

VivianZ
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VivianZ  Friend of PR
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Date: 8/10/12 9:20 AM

Using all the info in the previous answers, I would play around with a piece of grosgrain on a sample of curved fabric, and see how it works.

------
height 5'2" bust 36, waist 31, hip 39.
I have way too many yards to count, and I will never use them up, but I will die trying!

Lizz
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Lizz  Friend of PR
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Date: 8/10/12 9:34 AM

It is Petersham ribbon that you want, not grosgrain. Although they look very similar they are very different. Petersham is rayon and is woven to curve with a little help from your steam iron. Grosgrain will not move no matter how much you play with it! Petersham is hard to find, but you might try JKM Ribbons and Trims online.

bicrafty
bicrafty
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Date: 8/10/12 9:59 AM

Thanks for the information! I checked the back of the pattern envelope and it only lists "ribbon" as a required notion. Of course, being a beginner, I ended up with the 100% polyester grosgrain ribbon that most stores carry.

Being that this is my first sewing project...and the deadline is today(OMG!)...I did try to steam the grosgrain to the hem curve. Did it work...nope. But...with the considerations above and the added fact that this is a toddler dress that will be worn once or twice and then put away for posterity's sake...I went ahead and sewed the grosgrain to the hemline.

It's wavy and wonky and just all around wrong. But my daughter is around two feet tall...so that hemline is pretty darn close to the floor...and I'm guessing that no one is gonna look that close at her dress, lol! When she's older and looking at it from the cedar chest, we can laugh about the awful ribbon together.

Now...onward to the danger of the zipper!

Nancy K
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Nancy K
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In reply to bicrafty <<


Date: 8/10/12 9:03 PM

The problem is that grosgrain cannot be shaped. What can be shaped is petersham ribbon. It looks like grosgrain, but the edges are not flat and finished. Instead if you look closely you will see that the edge is made up of little u shapes. In other words, all petersham is grosgrain, but not all grosgrain is petersham. It is not easy to find. Sometimes it is called all rayon grosgrain. I have found it at Pacific trimming in NYC and a cotton rayon blend that is a bit stiffer at Judith Millinery. I have had this stuff really shrink more than the all rayon.

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www.nancyksews.blogspot.com

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