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What in the world did we do before there was rickrack? The myriad uses of this notion made it a fabric
store staple before your grandmother was big enough to even sit at the sewing table. You probably
already know that you can applique a skirt with it, gather it into flowers for a crazy quilt, use it as
an edging on a pincushion or pillow, crochet around it and even incorporate it into nifty embroidery

But, did you know you can braid rickrack?

I almost feel silly sharing this “technique” with you, but when I first came across this treatment on a
vintage tablecloth in a thrift store, it was a real ah-ha moment for me. Sometimes the simplest ideas are
the hardest to come by.


The pictures really sum it up pretty well but I’ll tell you how to make braided ric rac just in case. Ok,
first, take a deep breath. Now, take two same-sized lengths of ric-rac, pin them together at the top and
wrap them around each other to form a candy cane pattern. I recommend pressing the final result just
to “set” the trim and get it to lie perfectly flat. Ok, that’s it – you’re done. Now you have an authentic
vintage detail for your next dress, skirt, apron or tablecloth! How’s that for easy sewing?


  • Missing

    Jan 6, 2011, 05.32 AMby GabbyMeola

    LOVE IT.

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    Dec 29, 2010, 06.13 AMby sewhipmomma

    i love this :) i will use this on the next vintage look dresses i make my girls for easter :)

    1 Reply
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      Dec 31, 2010, 06.06 PMby eringilday

      Aw, perfect for Easter! Enjoy!

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    Dec 26, 2010, 05.25 PMby tatomta

    This comment was deleted by the author.

    1 Reply
    • 35323_1550195117626_1317563306_1450393_3860676_n_large

      Dec 31, 2010, 06.06 PMby eringilday

      You’re welcome, Vogel!

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    Dec 23, 2010, 01.14 AMby nessys

    I too, thank you for this wonderful post. I adore rick-rack. There is something so wholesome and comforting about it – it must be it’s vintage appeal, a real everyday item used to beautify in a simpler time.

    I actually bought some yesterday prior to reading this post to probably pop on a gingham skirt. Rick-rack and gingham – what a winner of a combo!! Love the woven rick-rack too – you can make cool little flowers and things from it. Thanks again!

    PS I have read that post below about adding it to jeans – but I can’t picuture in my head (must be a bit slow!) – does any one have photos and/or how toos for this??? Thanks! xxxx

    1 Reply
    • 35323_1550195117626_1317563306_1450393_3860676_n_large

      Dec 26, 2010, 04.14 PMby eringilday

      Hi Nessys! Great question!

      The way I imagined it was adding it to the bottom hem or just above the bottom hem of the jeans and top stitching it on down the center of the woven band. But maybe that was just me. Anyone else have a different vision for that?

      I would link pics but I’m not sure I’ve ever seen this done specifically with the woven rick rack braid – more often, I’ve seen it done with bands of other trims – lace, woven bands, embroidered bands, flower trims – a la “hippy jeans.” Does that help?

  • Dana_senior_session-dana_senior_session-0112_large

    Dec 21, 2010, 08.36 PMby dannygirl101

    Love it! Never thought of that before… I think I should try this next chance I get. Thanks!

    1 Reply
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      Dec 22, 2010, 07.10 PMby eringilday

      You’re welcome, Dannygirl! I’d love to see what you end up doing with it.

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    Dec 18, 2010, 01.19 PMby FabricUiPhoneApp

    There are whole books on using rick-rack particularly in the 1920s and 1950s. They can be found on eBay generally. You’ve only scratched the surface for their use. I don’t mention them in my fabric iPhone app, but has anyone thought about stretch rickrack? They’re cute applied on a t-shirt. I think a plaid pattern would be cute (use KK 2000 to create the pattern beforenhand). Jumbo rickrack? Don’t get me started!

    1 Reply
    • 35323_1550195117626_1317563306_1450393_3860676_n_large

      Dec 18, 2010, 07.41 PMby eringilday

      Oooo stretch rickrack! I’m going to have to go look up those vintage books on ebay right now. Thanks for the tip!

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    Dec 17, 2010, 06.57 PMby tatuswelle

    love this

  • Missing

    Dec 15, 2010, 09.29 AMby DevorahAllen

    Your practical tips are very useful and I am very lucky to came accross Skirts fashion tips like this. Plus you have a very lovely braided rickrack feature outfit there. Thanks a lot:)

  • Missing

    Dec 15, 2010, 09.25 AMby DevorahAllen

    Your practical tips are very useful and I am very lucky to came accross Skirts fashion tips like this. Plus you have a very lovely braided rickrack feature outfit there. Thanks a lot:)

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    Dec 14, 2010, 11.26 PMby yomamareally

    Wow! So simple. So obvious. Yet I totally missed it. Thanks for the heads-up!

    1 Reply
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      Dec 15, 2010, 11.20 PMby eringilday

      I felt exactly the same way when I saw it for the first time! DUH! Glad you liked the post!

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    Dec 12, 2010, 01.57 AMby caramia-made

    What a brilliant idea! I totally agree with you – sometimes the simplest things have the biggest impact!

    1 Reply
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      Dec 12, 2010, 05.15 PMby eringilday

      Thanks, Mia! Hope you have fun with it! =)

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    Dec 9, 2010, 07.46 AMby littlemisssew

    LOVE it! Although,it’s not a new thing to me,I never actually thought it could look that fun… I used to see it on my gramma’s linen,but never imagined doing it myself. i can already see it edged on some christmasy things looking like candy canes^^

    1 Reply
    • 35323_1550195117626_1317563306_1450393_3860676_n_large

      Dec 9, 2010, 04.30 PMby eringilday

      Candy canes for x-mas sewing – why didn’t I think of that?!? Genius. I’d love to see what you do with that idea!

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    Dec 9, 2010, 06.33 AMby sewlikeabee6

    eringilday thanks for the reply back, on the jeans I saw the big ric rac on the bottom. The other day I saw a lady wearing jeans that back in the day,they would make a slits in the left side and right side and fill it in with material you have to use jeans with some room at the bottom. I like that style have not done that one yet I am new on burtastyle I have seen a lot of cool and neat stuff like you make.Have a great day!

    1 Reply
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      Dec 9, 2010, 04.29 PMby eringilday

      I know the kind you’re talking about! This would be perfect for a pair of those. Thanks for reading, Bee!

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    Dec 9, 2010, 05.55 AMby luxihere

    i am loving it…now i need few yards of ric rac please…

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    Dec 9, 2010, 01.24 AMby eringilday

    You’re welcome embaby! Enjoy!

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    Dec 9, 2010, 12.25 AMby embaby

    I never knew ric racs could be used this way. Thanks for the cool tip!

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    Dec 8, 2010, 10.19 PMby loyl8

    wow really simple and has a whole new look to your everyday sometimes i feel too cheesy rickrack. thank you

    1 Reply
    • 35323_1550195117626_1317563306_1450393_3860676_n_large

      Dec 8, 2010, 10.35 PMby eringilday

      You’re welcome, Loyl!

      I agree, it is a very different look – I didn’t recognize it as rickrack when I first spotted it. The colors I used in the sample were the only two rickracks I had in exactly the same width but you can achieve a more subtle effect with similar toned colors ~ white and cream or light blue and dark blue would be pretty. It doesn’t have to hit you over the head with a candy striped effect to add interest!

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    Dec 8, 2010, 09.50 PMby crocka

    This is a great idea! I was just thinking last night as I stared at some of my scraps of fabric, I wonder how I can braid these. I know they’re not ric-rac but this is still an excellent idea.

    1 Reply
    • 35323_1550195117626_1317563306_1450393_3860676_n_large

      Dec 8, 2010, 10.11 PMby eringilday

      Fabric braiding is a whole ‘nother enchilada, for sure. I’d love to see what you come up with!

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