Fringe, whether you choose to love it or leave it, has undoubtedly stood the test of time. Dating back to 3000 B.C. in Mesopotamia, fringe became popular as a fashion embellishment in the 1920’s, then resurfaced again in the 50’s, and came full circle in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. Popular again today, it can be casual and trendy or utterly timeless, like in the garments shown here. Enjoy some ideas from Nancy Nix-Rice on these beautiful fringe accents.
On a multi-color tweed jacket, fringed along the off-grain center edge, I added a top-stitched band of Ultrasuede to both stabilize the edge and emphasize the diagonal line. Carefully snipping – at about 1” intervals – from edge to seamline parallel to the crossgrain threads allowed the fringe to shape off-grain. (Image 1)
On the Itch to Stitch Hvar cardigan, I eliminated the double layer front in favor of a soft cascade effect. I zigzagged 1/8” black satin ribbon along the seamline to define the inner edge of the fringe, slipping the ribbon through an opening in the loose weave to bring it to the opposite side of the fabric at the bottom of the cascade. (Image 2)
On a second iteration of the Hvar, I used a serpentine stitch to stabilize that endpoint of the fringe. The stitches melded invisibly into the deep tweed texture. (Image 3)
I expected that to be the end of my fringe-fest. Then Butterick came out with this gem – Pattern 6738 – that included directions for creating a fuller, more color-balanced effect by fringing on the true bias. That is especially helpful since many fabrics fringe to a very different looks along the crosswise vs lengthwise grain. (Image 4)
I didn’t actually make that pattern because I already had a black/gray/pink jacket in a bag in the closet – half-finished because of that very issue. The jewel neckline needed that bias technique in its curved areas and the front and hem edges needed an inset layer for a fuller look. Problem solved, and here is the result! (Image 5)