Lesson 4 Sewing techniques 9 kinds of clothes decoration


Sewing techniques include a few methods of clothes decoration. Clothes decoration is used to work up the edge of your clothing piece or to decorate it. In the process of sewing, clothes decoration is usually an end stage of the clothes sewing. However, some kinds of clothes decorations are done at the intermediate stage of sewing, such as folds, tucks, puffs and undercuts.

Finishing stitches

Finishing stitches are a widespread finishing sewing technique. Finishing stitches are performed at the face side of the piece of clothing. It’s preferable to apply the threads of contrasting colors. The choice of stitches is vast. Every modern sewing machine has plenty of stitch variants.


What you need to remember when performing finishing stitches:

1. Mark the contour of the finishing stitches on the face side beforehand.

2. Be attentive when making the finishing stitches to strictly follow the contour.

3. The seam must be continuous. If the seam’s contour changes direction, you need to stop the sewing machine. Without pulling the needle out of the fabric, lift up the presser foot of the sewing machine and rotate the clothing piece to the direction you need. Pull the presser foot down and continue stitching along the contour.

Clothes decorating the edge with a border strip

Clothes decorating the edge with a border strip

Clothes decoration at the edge with a border strip in sewing is often applied for the neck, armhole edges and the bottom of the clothing piece. A border strip is a strip of fabric at least 1in/2.5сm wide, that is cut out at an angle of 45 degrees to the lengthwise grain. To cut out a border strip, take a square of fabric and line it up diagonally. Cut the strips and sew them up together at the edges, putting their face sides inside. A border strip is sewn to the edge of the clothing piece by stitching around the seam. There are factory-made ready border strips.. They are sold in bobbins and you can purchase a border strip of the required length.

Finishing folds and tucks

Finishing folds and tucks

To decorate a piece of clothing with finishing folds and tucks, you need to make them on fabric before you cut out the details of your clothing piece. Decorative folds and tucks are usually made parallel to the lengthwise grain. The folds may be up to 1in in width. The tucks are up to 0. 1in wide.

How do you make finishing folds and tucks? First, mark the fabric with a fold or a tuck, baste or fix it with pins, iron, and then stitch. The fabric is now ready for cutting.



Lace is a delicate and probably the easiest way to trim the edge of your piece of clothing. To sew lace to the edge, make a fold on the edge to the back side, about 0.2in wide. Place the lace to the bent edge from the face side and baste everything with threads. Then, stitch carefully.


Frills are cut out on the fabric at an angle of 45 degrees to the lengthwise grain. A frill’s width depends on the model but usually ranges 0.6in- 12in. From one side, the frill is processed with a finishing seam and from the other is sewn to the piece ofclothing with a common sewing seam. The seam must be on the back side. To make a frill fall as a wave, it should be ruffled with a tacking seam before stitching.



Flounces are similar to frills but are fluffier. This is achieved by cutting out a flounce on a fabric in a circle. Furthermore, the smaller the circle’s diameter, the fluffier the flounce will be. The flounces are processed and sewn to the clothes the same way as the frills.


Ruches are ruffled strips of fabric which are cut out at an angle of 45 degrees to the lengthwise grain. Ruches, unlike frills, are processed at the both edges of the strips. Then, ruches are stitched over the piece of clothing in the necessary place. The ruches are usually 1.2-2in.wide.



Puffs can be made by hand or by a sewing machine. To make a puff with a sewing machine, you will need a special presser foot for puffs which ruffles the fabric while stitching. First, the net of the puff is marked on the fabric. The points of intersection are sewn to make neat gathers on the face side. There are several kinds of puffs: a simple manual one, a puff with a cord, and a waffle one.


Undercuts may be tucked and at the same time a stylish decoration for the piece of clothing. One side of the undercut is cut out longer than the other to extend it and make a fold. Then, both parts are stitched together with either a stitching or a stitching over the seams.

Hopefully, these sewing techniques will help you to create and trim your unique clothes.