How to Sew Non-Stretch Trim to Stretch Fabric

You may feel the need to make a non-stretch fringe stretch on your daily sewing problems. Take in a case where you are making shorts for a dancing competition.

Maybe you want to add trims to it to make it decorative. Trims do not stretch, but you want it to fix it in a way that ends up stretchy.

Whether you are working with a short or you want to practice fixing a non-stretch trim on a stretchy fabric, the procedure is the same.

This process may not be easy and requires precision to navigate and develop something neat. This article discusses sewing a non-stretch trim to stretch fabric. Read on!

How to Sew Non-Stretch Trim to Stretch Fabric?

Adding trims to a garment will elevate its looks. There are various ways you can incorporate it into a stretchy garment. When sewing, secure the border on the fabric. Hold it on one edge with your hand.

Place the trim and the material under the sewing machine and make zigzag stitches. As you sew, you need not keep holding the frame. You direct it under the needles, and it will sew.

Procedure for Sewing Non-Stretch Trim to Stretch Fabric

The process of sewing trims gets comfortable with practice. We are looking at sewing it onto stretch fabric for this specific post. Therefore ensure the material you are dealing with is stretchy. However, you can also sew trims on non-stretchy fabrics.

Remember, trims are decorative pieces of fabrics that you add to a garment. Therefore, they can fit any material. Let us now look at the steps you will follow when sewing it on a stretch fabric.

Step 1: Wash the Trim and the Fabric

Before you attach the trim and the fabric, ensure you wash both of them first. This step is significant when dealing with materials that shrink after washing. Washing will ensure that your garment does not have ruffles at the end.

Step 2: Place the Trim on Top of the Fabric

This way, you will know where to start stitching. Also, you will be able to have proper direction when sewing. You can secure the trim on the fabric with pins.

They will make it easier for you to stitch since they will ensure the material does not keep on moving as you sew.

Before you place the trim, create a mark of ? inch from its edge. Ensure the allowance sits on the outside of the fabric.

Also, when pinning, start from the center-back. Ensure that the trim’s right side is looking up and it’s wrong side lays on the fabric, which is on its right side.

Step 3: Pin the Trim All Around the Fabric

Ensure the alignment is even all around the fabric. Ensure that you can see the stretch fabric edge peeping through the trim.

You should note with this process that you will have a neat finishing when you first finish the edges of the fabric. Therefore ensure the edges have a professional finish.

Step 4: Fold the End of the Trim Into the Fabric

Tuck in its edge to the inside of the fabric. That is why you should leave an excess of about 1/2 inch of the trim outside the material.

Also, fold so that the fold line is in line with the vertical edge of the fabric. The fold should head to the wrong side of the material. You can Iron the fold for a clean look.

Step 5: Hand Baste the Trim

Hand basting is a good step, especially if you are a beginner. It will secure the trim and the stretchy fabric in place before you head on to sew using a machine.

Ensure the basting is not that tight. You want to remove the hand stitches easily after you sew using the machine. Also, during this process, remove the pins.

Step 6: Sew Over the Trim

Still ensuring that the trim is intact, sew over the border. You can use a satin stitch to sew a zigzag stitch on the hem. It would help if you sewed at the trim’s top straight edge.

For better results and a neat look, you can use a transparent look. It will help in guiding you to make neat stitches. Also, ensure that the thread you are using matches the trim.

Step 7: Remove the Basting

Use scissors to take out the basting. And there you have your trim on a stretch fabric!

Procedure for Applying a Fringe to a Non-Stretchy Fabric

Maybe you are looking for something to practice within making a non-stretchy stretch. You can use a small piece of lace trim or any other type of frame you have.

Place the rubber or the elastic material at the center of the trim. Then, secure the edge of the fabric using a straight stitch.

Set your machine to the zigzag stitch and ensure you select the range of the stitch to maybe a few inches apart. Place the line the stitch at the center of the elastic.

Ensure you leave some allowance of the elastic at the edge. It will help sewing since you will be pulling both it and the front elastic as you go.

Your goal is to ensure that you are not hitting the elastic with the needle when sewing. It would help if you were sewing over it on each side.

Also, it would help if you did not stitch at the elastic on end. Stop sewing immediately when you reach the end of the trim. In the end, you will have an adjustable hem.

Tips for Sewing Non-Stretch Trim to Stretchy Fabric

1. Baste the Trim Before Actual Machine Sewing

You don’t want to come across any blunders when sewing, especially when dealing with a stretchy fabric. Basting will help secure the trim in place, and you will have an easy time sewing. When you finish basting, remove the pins and use the sewing machine.

2. Ensure You Are Using the Right Foot on the Sewing Machine

Different trims will require different sewing machines. For example, a border with piping and fringe will use a sewing machine zipper foot. Trim with a flat edge can use the regular sewing machine foot.

3. Select the Correct Stitch

Different trims will need different stitches to complete the sewing. If the frame you are fixing on the stretch fabric has beads, you may want to sew it by hand.

Sewing such with the machine stitches may damage it. For the regular trims, such as those with laces, you can use the zigzag stitch on them, and a machine will do a neat job.

4. Tuck in the Edges of the Trim to Those of the Fabric

You want to come up with a neat-looking thing. Therefore, it makes sense to fold the trim’s edges and tuck them in the fabric.

Ensure the edge properly aligns with the fabric edges. Also, some edges may unravel, such as those with laces. Secure such edges in place with hot glue, then tuck in the border and stitch it in place.

Which Stitches Should You Use When Sewing Non-Stretch Trim to Stretchy Fabric?

A zigzag stitch will work well for such a project. Typically you require a flexible stitch. Such a stitch will stretch with the fabric. And since you are looking to make the trim stretchy, it is the best choice.

Depending on your sewing machine, you can use a different zigzag stitch. Also, it gives a more refined finish to the fabric.

Can You Sew a Non-Stretchy Trim to Non-Stretch Fabric?

Yes. However, you lose the primary purpose of sewing trims. Remember, you require the edges to enhance how the garment appears. And in most cases, borders are used in ornamental clothes. Hence, it is essential to make them stretchy.

Also, sewing them to non-stretch fabrics will give you so much headache. Save yourself from this and use a stretchy one.



I'm Jessica Flores, a professional fashion designer and an expert seamstress. Crafting has always been a deep-seated passion of mine, one that has flourished and evolved over the years. I've dedicated considerable time to both studying and practicing in the realm of fashion and sewing, amassing a wealth of experience and skills. It brings me great joy to share these insights and experiences with you all, hoping to inspire and foster a similar passion for the art of sewing.

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