RickRack, buttons and lace . . . oh my! Since I’ve been making my versions of “littledresses” it’s become very clear that the sky is the limit when it comes to trims. It all goes back to the main idea: if this dress isn’t cute enough for either of my two precious granddaughters? Then it is NOT worthy of any child. These are gifts, offering of hope and beauty . . . and yes, Comfort and Joy! Plus, its a LOT of fun to mix and match and play with all the possibilities.
Some of my favorite go-to trims:
*Extra-wide double fold bias tape – perfect for binding the armholes, great for ties, and fun to use as trim on pockets, hems, and necklines. This is an absolute staple for pillowcase dresses.
*RICKRACK! I’m sorta kinda crazy for it . . . any color, any width . . . I use it a LOT because it’s dye-fast, adds texture and dimension, and okay, it’s just plain ADORABLE. (You’ll see a LOT of rickrack in photos of my “littledresses”:-)
*Eyelet – I love that little bit of feminine, soft, white or off-white trim on necklines, pockets or hemlines. Of course, most of these “littledresses” are going to girls in desperately poor areas and high-quality laundering is rarely an option. That girly touch of a white ruffle looks very sweet on a simple, brightly-colored cotton dress. And it’s less likely to look shabby and dirty when used in small amounts.
*Lace – I prefer flat, wide cotton laces because they are softer and much easier to sew on the dress. I imagine the sturdier the trim, the longer it will last. So, I’m not a big fan of daintier, scratchier laces or trims. This is completely a personal matter of, oh, what’s the word I’m looking for . . . yes, COMFORT! (groan:-)
*Buttons – are awesome. They are cheap (well, not always, but you’ll become a bargain hunter for trims . . .) easy and happy! Can’t you just see a little hand fiddling with that big round button on her pocket just because it feels interesting? She might not have ever seen a button. Note: I’ve learned that because of less than ideal laundering situations, buttons can be easily broken or come off. No big deal to us, but to that young girl in poverty? A missing button might not be easily repaired. Food for thought . . .
“Appliqués – I discovered iron-on appliqués at my favorite local fabric store and LOVE adding them to my “littledresses”. Butterflies, hearts, flowers . . . they all can add a touch of “fancy” to their gift. Appliqués have the same effect as buttons, in my mind. Everybody likes a small surprise, just because – and there’s the JOY!
*Labels – “Handmade Just For You”, “Stitched With Love”, “Made with Hugs and Kisses”, etc. These are easily found at most fabric stores and I like the iron-on ones the best for placement, then I go over them with a wide stitch to reinforce them. I read in more than one source, that labels are a kind of symbol to human traffickers in some areas. Think of this: Two girls, standing side by side in a third-world slum. One is draped in ragged hand-me-downs and the other is wearing a colorful, happy, dress with ribbons and pockets and a crisp, clear label. Regardless of what it says, the predators are more likely to PASS OVER the child wearing the pretty “littledress”. The assumption is that the girl is sponsored or cared for in some way . . . and why bother. There are reports these girls are literally “passed over”. Imagine.
Note: My friend, Miriam, saw that I was using labels in the photos I share on FaceBook. She sent me an envelope and a precious note of encouragement . . . from one dressmaker to another. I have used proudly sewn her “You Are A Child Of God” labels onto several dresses for girls around the world. Thanks again, Miriam . . . and now, I have a friend in Montana!
Comfort and Joy, Y’all –