Serger Trimmed Ribbons

July 23, 2020By Joanne BankoAccessories, Projects, Serger, Tutorial 12 Comments Opinion by Paid Consultant

Decorating grosgrain ribbon is easy and fun! For a simple two-tone ribbon, use your serger to add a unique edge finish. Spice up the ribbon even more by using your sewing machine to add decorative motifs down the center. The end result is custom trim that is economical, and color matched to whatever project you wish to add it to! The reversable look of the rolled hem means this ribbon looks good on both the right and wrong sides. Tie it into a bow or apply it as a flat trim. You can use it to accent any garment or craft project you like!

Materials and Supplies:

  • Brother Serger with rolled hem capability.
  • Three cones of serger thread to compliment ribbon.
  • Grosgrain ribbon in desired width. Note: Cut a length of ribbon measuring twice the amount needed for your finished project so you have enough to test your rolled hem stitching and your decorative stitching.
  • Light starch for pressing ribbon.
  • Seam sealant to treat ribbon ends.
Additional supplies for ribbon with decorative stitching:

Creating Serger Stitched Ribbons

  1. Set up Serger for a three-thread rolled hem, disengaging the cutting blade to prevent cutting ribbon. For this type of project it is best to set the stitch length a little longer than standard for a rolled hem. I used a length setting of 2.0. Note: You are not actually rolling the edge. You are simply using the rolled hem stitch to accent the edge of the ribbon. When stitching, be sure to guide the ribbon evenly so that the rolled hem stitch forms right along the finished edge. I got good results by guiding the edge of the ribbon just to the left of a prominent line on the throat plate. See Figure #1.
Rolled Hem
Figure #1
  1. Press ribbon with starch to smooth it out.
  2. Prepare for optional decorative stitching as follows:

Set up your sewing machine for decorative stitching and choose a decorative stitch with a width of 7mm or less. Thread machine with embroidery thread that matches your rolled hem thread, threading top and bobbin with the same thread. Snap on the clear foot. Cut stabilizer strips slightly wider and longer than ribbon and layer on the bottom side. Tip: I recommend testing several different decorative stitches.

  1. When satisfied with test samples, stitch down the center of the ribbon. See Figure #2.
Stitch Ribbon
Figure #2
  1. Remove stabilizer and press one final time with light starch. Trim to desired length, cutting ends at an angle. Treat ends with a light application of seam sealant. See Figure #3.
Seal Ribbon
Figure #3

Options and Ideas:

Final RibbonUse this decorative ribbon to tie around a vase, trim a pillowcase, accent garments, decorate ready-made placemats, trim baskets and flowerpots, embellish gift packages, turn into hair ribbons, and more! Consider making trims using school colors for unique gifts for students.



    • Thank you for your comment Audrey! It’s fun to use your serger and sewing machine to make quick and easy accents. Your granddaughters are sure to love anything you make for them. Happy sewing!

    • Thanks for your feedback Reen! These serge and sew ribbons make nice trim for so many different projects. Can’t wait to see what you make!

  • low interest deer pinks…..butterfly bush, azalea, rhododendron , lilies and any pink weeds you might have.

    • Hi Elizabeth! Thanks for answering the question I posed to my Let’s Go Sew group about pretty pink flowers that deer don’t like to munch on 🙂 As you can see, in this sewing project I used a pink and aqua theme with cuttings from a bush in my yard. I love seeing pink in the landscape. Thanks for your help 🙂

  • Joanne I understand your frustration with the deer! Yesterday they ate all my pink geraniums and my salmon colored day lilies! However, they do not touch my pink gladiolus Right next to the geraniums! I would post a picture of the Glads if I can figure out how. Check Facebook I post there if you are interested.
    Love the ribbon instructions. I am making trim for my Chanel jacket! Very helpful.😊

    • Hi Genny! The deer really manage to make us frustrated, don’t they?!? Oh well, we can retreat to our sewing space and solace ourselves with pretty stitches. Glad you like the ribbon idea. It’s nice to be able to make trims that fit your own personal color scheme.

      I’ll take a look at your page. Hope you also post a jacket photo when you’re finished. Feel free to share a photo on the BrotherSews Facebook page too! Happy Sewing!

    • Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment Kim! It was great to get your input on this project. I hope you get the chance to make some pretty ribbons. Happy Sewing!

    • Thanks so much for your encouraging words Nancy! We appreciate having you here to review the Stitching Sewcial projects. Happy Sewing!

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