Turn a plain peasant skirt into a colorful rainbow ribbon embellished skirt
I had seen several vintage Mexican ribbon skirts and wanted to make my own version. I used a sewing machine to attach a rainbow of ribbon to a tiered peasant skirt. You will need a sewing machine for this. Handsewing will take too long, because there is a large amount of ribbon yardage. You could use a fabric glue, if you are terrible at sewing. I set the time at 5 hours, but that could be more or less depending on how much ribbon you are using and how fast you sew. Pinning took the most time. I'm fast at sewing.
I used 11 different ribbons. You could use more or less ribbon colors and types. You could use this same technique on other clothing, housewares, hair accessories, shoes...etc.
I had a lot of ribbon on hand, and the skirt was from a thrift store. The cost can be pricey depending on the ribbon and skirt cost.
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Organize your ribbon into the order you want your colors to be. I alternated warm and cool colors. My order is purple, pink, green, orange, blue, yellow...repeat.
The photo is just to show you some of the rainbow ribbon I had on hand. They are all the same width, so this gives you an idea of what is available.
My skirt has a loose lining, so I pulled the lining up through the waistband, so I was only sewing through the top layer of the skirt. When I was done sewing the project, I pushed the lining back through the skirt, to lay correctly inside the skirt.
I decided to break up the ribbon pinning and sewing into two parts. Handling all the ribbons pinned at once, while sewing, is painful if the pins poke me.
My skirt had raw edges where each tier is. For the 1st go at pinning and sewing the ribbon down, I used the warm ribbon colors...pink, orange, and yellow. For each tier seam, I folded under the raw edge, and pinned the ribbon along that seam. I smoothed the ribbon down as I pinned it to the fabric and used many pins. For stability, I placed the pins perpendicular to the ribbon. Where the ribbon ends met, I left a few inches, so I could fold it over for a nice finish. I started placing my ribbons along a side seam, so all of them ended there. I did the same for the bottom ones, though I needed to start another ribbon spool for a few of them, but same method for them meeting, fold one end on top of the other.
After I had pinned all the warm ribbon colors across their tiered seams, I used a straight stitch to sew the ribbon to the skirt. I started where the ribbon started, went around the ribbon and skirt, folded the other end of the ribbon over the starting one, and stitched it down.
I set the stitch length to one good for top stitching. Ribbon can be delicate, and since this is an embellishment and not for structure, the stitch length doesn't need to be tight, just enough to keep the ribbon secure. I sewed down the middle of each ribbon, making sure to contain the raw edges of the skirt tiers. I pulled out the pins as I went along sewing the ribbon, so I didn't stitch over the pins and risk breaking my needle.
After I was done sewing those ribbons on, I pinned on the cool colored ribbon (green, blue, and purple) in between the warm colors. Since I didn't have seams to guide me, I had to visually estimate it's placement. Since the skirt is essentially a flared circle skirt, the ribbon is going along a steady curve. You do have to be careful to follow that curve and still keep the ribbon flat.
In the photo, you can see what the warm colored ribbons look like sewn, how I placed the cool colors, how I pinned all the ribbon, and what the end overlaps look like before and after sewing.