Girl's Brigade Ribbons - A Quicky Tutorial

It's nearly that time again ... the GB Parade! Everything else is perfectly manageable, the white shoes, the right socks, those awful PE knickers, no problem! Even the ribbons aren't a bother. Ribbons in the hair ... well that's different. Hair and ribbon is like oil and water, the two just don't mix. Even Chloe's mass of curly hair manages to shrug them off in no time. Mothers of straight haired kiddies, I feel your pain. The simple answer is to use a regular bobble or hair elastic and tie the ribbon over it, but the ribbon still falls out and you're left with a bobble which gets you marked down, so I've knocked up a quickie tute for making a ribbon think it's a bobble ... a robble or a bibbon even:)
Click to Enlarge
I went with the collage to save you getting scroll fatigue.
  1. You'll need red and white ribbon in your preferred width, I've used 3/4 inch, and elastic a little bit narrower than your ribbon. I've used a 1/2 inch elastic.
  2. Cut your ribbon into half meter lengths and carefully melt the ends with a match or lighter* to prevent fraying.
  3. Cut a 2 inch length of elastic for each ribbon and again carefully melt the ends. You'll end up with a little singe on these, its just the nature of the material don't worry about it. Fold each length of ribbon in half and use your fingernail to crease the centre.
  4. Measure 2 inches out from the centre crease of your ribbon and, folding the end of the elastic under slightly, pin the elastic in place at each end.
  5. Place one end of the elastic under your machine foot and secure in place with a bar stitch.
  6. Stretch the elastic out in front of your presser foot and with a long stitch length, zig zag stitch to the far end and add another bar stitch to secure. Trim threads.
  7. The elastic will gather the ribbon a little.
  8. Make as many ribbons as you need in whatever colours you happen to need. These will work just as well for things like Irish dancing, gymnastics, whenever you happen to need a ribbon for your girl's hair.
Then just tie the ribbons as you normally would. The idea is that the ends of the elastic should just get caught in the first part of the knot as you stretch to tie it, but not the bow itself. The elastic then tightens and grips onto itself, the ribbon and the hair to stop it falling out every five minutes. *Go easy when melting the ribbons, a bit of discolouration on the elastic is no big whoop but you really want your white ribbons white so go slow, it takes surprisingly little heat to melt ribbon holding it half a centimetre away usually works for me without scorching or discolouring the ribbon. Next up: Matching bow hair clips


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  1. Oh the joys of GB parades and displays!

    You can make a fortune churning these out for the sewing-challenged-fraught mothers throughout the land!

    Good to see you blogging :)

  2. wow nice work hope i can do it also

  3. Great stuff ! I like it a lot ! :)


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