Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Tutorial: Using Pom Pom Trim in a Seam

When you imagine pom pom trim, you probably think of the big dangly kind that you might see on curtains. But pom pom trim comes in several sizes, from mini to jumbo! And there's a particular kind, often labeled as "petite" that is ideal for garment sewing projects because you can insert it right into a seam. This method is very similar to using piping, where the trim gets sandwiched between two seam layers. It can go into collars, cuffs, shirt front openings, necklines, and anywhere you have two layers of fabric stitched together in a seam (usually one layer is the garment outer, and the other layer is a facing, which means that one may be interfaced).

Shopping note: I've purchased most of my petite pom pom trim from this online shop, and have been very happy with them. I've also found it on Etsy, so look around!

Like piping, this kind of insertion works visually to emphasize seamlines. It can also add a splash of a contrasting color. And pom pom trim has a certain whimsy to it that makes any garment fun!

Here is what petite pom pom trim looks like before you sew it:

Much like piping, the pom pom trim has a "flange" or "lip" that allows you to sew it easily to a seam allowance. I would avoid the mini or baby pom pom trim that doesn't have this lip, because it's much harder to sew on the edge. Here's an example:

Here is the method I use to insert the trim into a seam. First, on one of the pieces, stitch a line of staystitching right along the seamline. So, if your seam allowance is 5/8", this line of stitching will be exactly at 5/8" from the edge of the fabric.

Next, use this line of stitching to help you place your pom pom trim. The little balls of the trim should go just to the garment side of the staystitching. Using a zipper foot, baste the pom pom trim in place. It doesn't matter where you stitch, right in the center of the "flange" is fine. I place the pom pom trim as I'm stitching (rather than pinning first), because it's easy to see underneath the trim to the staystitching.

Now, grab the other layer of your garment and place the two layers right side together, as you normally would to sew.

With your zipper foot still on, and stitching with the staystitching on top, place another line of stitching right on top of the staystitching. (See? The stay stitching works as a guide both for placing the trim and for making sure your stitching is accurate in this step!)

Trim and grade the seam allowances. Understitch the seam allowances to the facing using the zipper foot, if necessary/desired.

Press the layers so the wrong sides are together. Your little pom poms are just peeking out of the seam!

That's all there is too it. Just be careful: using pom pom trim is totally addictive!


  1. Replies
    1. Raquel, I hand wash to avoid abrading the trim. Now I'm interested to test the delicate cycle on my machine though!

    2. Please let us know how it goes! Thanks Gertie

  2. This is so helpful! I've used that other type of tiny Pom Pom trim and it was really frustrating. I also had no clue what I was doing. Now I want to try your method. Thanks so much for posting this!

  3. I lurve this so much. I may end up sewing pom pom trim to my head, as it's terribly wonderful. Thanks for the tute, toots!

  4. I love teeny, tiny pompom trim! I used mine to trim the dirndl I made last year-- sooooo cute!

  5. Definitely thought of the big pom-poms, so the tinies are a nice visual surprise. Thanks for the tute.

  6. Such a coincidence, but I made a dress with pom pom trim at the same time as your recent one! But mine was mint green :) I blogged it here: http://makingitwell.blogspot.co.nz/2015/11/completed-bunny-dress-with-pom-pom-trim.html

    Great tutorial, spread the pom pom love! It's just too cute!

  7. I prewashed a little Pom Pom trim to see how it would do in the machine and it did fine, so I put it on a garment and it has been machine washing on delicate just fine. I have even put it through the dryer! I would watch out for red dye running, though. Mine was black.

  8. Operating a home sewing business is perfect for people who want to stay home with their children or who are burnt out and in need of a career change. Many are planning a sewing related business as a supplement to retirement or as a new career after retirement.


Thanks for your comments; I read each and every one! xo Gertie

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