Sashes can be of two types. The first one is a sash that we wear around the waist with dresses. The other is worn across the body from one shoulder to the other hip, like a ceremonial sash.
This tutorial is about different ways to make the first type of sash. The type of sash which can be used with all dresses – for brides, bridesmaids, or kids.
Rhinestone and crystal sashes can be found in many stores. But making the sash yourself can stretch your creativity and save your budget.
You can easily make a beautiful sash yourself (the splendidly beautiful bridal sashes or the simple sashes around dress waistlines) even if you are a beginner sewist.
Any neatly finished fabric piece which is about 2 meters and above in length can be a sash around your waist.
In this article I will cover:
Bridal Sash is a popular accessory among brides. The wedding Sash as it is also called brings a certain elegance to the wedding gown. It is tied on the narrowest part of the body emphasizing the waistline and add a certain dimension to the wedding gown with embellishments on it.
Fabric used for making the Sashes
Usually, a satin ribbon in a complimentary colour to the gown is used. But you may prefer fabric because satin ribbon, unless of top quality, can pucker and look bad soon.
Sash can be made more substantial by making it in a satin or silk fabric.
Silk Charmuese , Duchess Satin, Tulle are all preferred fabrics for making the bridal sash. Whatever fabric you choose, ensure that it has a good drape.
Rose Gold, Ivory, White are the favourite colours for making Sashes.
Most of the sashes tied around a dress are about 1.5 – 3 inches wide.
Wider sashes are sometimes preferred, depending on personal preferences and body shape of the wearer.
Length of a sash can range from 80 inches to 160 inches
Body shape and sash
For a person with a thicker waist, it is better to use a sash that is without any embellishments; a heavily embellished sash will bring the eye directly to the sash and to the waist and you may not want that.
But if you want to emphasize the waist do not skimp on embellishments – sparkly rhinestones, beads and sequins, and even Swarovski crystals are used to decorate the sash and bring it to a level of couture. All done by yourself.
Different types of Sashes
You can make ribbon sashes by cutting good quality satin ribbons of about 2″ or 3″ wide about 2 meters and more ( your waist round + 50 inches extra for tails ).
You can take 160 inch long ribbon for an extra long sash.
Cheap ribbons will pucker with small fibers sticking out. Thick but malleable ribbon with a good drape is best.
Cut the ends in a fishtail shape as below to avoid unraveling. Tie a simple bow in the back.
You can make fabric sashes two ways – one fitted and the other a bow tying sash
Fitted sash is made with a fastening in the back – hook and eye or velcro or snaps (your choice) and even buttons can be used for the sash opening
To make a fitted sash Measure around your waist. Add 1.5 inches to this measure. This is the length of the fabric you should cut. The width of the piece should be 6.5 ” for a 3-inch wide sash; for a 1.5-inch sash take a 3.5″ wide piece. If possible cut the fabric on the bias.
Keep the piece folded by the middle, right sides inside. Stitch the long edges together, making a tube. Turn the tube inside out through one of the short edges.
The ends will be finished with bias binding strips of fabric
Take the seam to the back. Press in place so that the front of the belt has no seam line in the front or sides. Press in place. Keep it on the waist and try. Remember that 1/2 inch will be gone from the side edges as seam allowance
Attach a small piece of fabric 1″ wide and length 1″ more than the width of the sash to bind the edge. Do not forget to fold the top of the piece and stitch the edges. Turn it to the other side and stitch ( Effectively binding the edge) Do this for the other side as well
Long Fabric Sash
The bow tying sash is made by cutting a piece of fabric as per the pattern below. You need about 2.25 meters for a decent bow and tails. More length means you will get more tails after the bow is tied.
Fold an 84-inch long fabric piece that is about 6 inches wide. Fold by the center horizontally, then Fold again by the middle vertically.
(If you have trouble marking directly onto fabric mark on a piece of long paper and then cut with that paper on the fabric.) Mark on fabric and cut.
Open the folds. Keep 2 safety pins fastened on anywhere near the edges (not outside the seam allowance) This is for turning the piece inside out. (The star in the picture below is where you should keep the pin attached, inside the two layers of fabric)
Keeping the fabric piece right sides inside. Stitch along the edges (Redline in the picture above). Leaving the middle portion some 2 inches unstitched. After both sides are stitched, turn the sash right sides out through the middle hole with the help of the pin. Use a sharp tool for corners. Use a slip stitch to close the hole. Press nicely.
Another method is to cut the fabric sash in single layer and finish the edge with a hemmer foot. Turn the short edge to the inside to resemble the look of the ends of the sash as in the picture below.
Check out the post on How to tie a Perfect Sash Bow.
Embellishing your sashes
You can go bold or simple with the sash – some prefer sparkle, some flowers, and some plain and simple. The right kind of sash can totally change the look of the wedding gown or the dress you will be wearing for an occasion.
1. Sash with ready made trims
This is the easiest sash you can make. Go and buy a beautiful trim from your nearest sewing store. There are trims with rhinestones, crystals, beads, and what nots. Use gum to attach the trim to the middle of the ribbon sash.
You want the bulk of the trim only around the waist ( I mean you need plain no-trim tails to tie the bow behind the dress). So measure your waist round and mark this from the center of the sash and attach the trim.
2. Fitted sash with fabric flowers
Fabric flowers are beautiful and can be made very easily. They can change a plain sash to something exquisite.
I have made the fabric flowers here by cutting 3 satin fabric circles in 3 shapes, one smaller than the other.
Use a candle or lighter to singe the edges of the round shapes. Remember to just graze the edges to the flame. You do not want burnt edges, just a slight thickness of the cut edges. This will give a hard edge to the circumference of the petals, as well as fraying.
They are stacked one on top of the other.
Keep small beads in the center and stitch in place easily. Stitch the fabric flowers to the sash ( to the sides or at the center) You can add beads and sequins or other trims near the flowers as added embellishment
Make these flowers in chiffon or tulle as well. Check out the post on fabric flower making or DIY fabric roses for more details. You can make the flowers with pretty ribbons as well. Check out the post on How to make a ribbon flower
3. Sash with a big bow
You can decorate your sash with a big bow . Add the stitched bow to the back of a fitted sash or attached to the front of a ribbon sash. Checkout the tutorial to make fabric bows and to make a big bow ( 8 ways to make the fabric bow).
4. Bead edged sash
You can add bead edging to the edges of the sash belt.
Ensure that you do not extend the beading edge beyond the waist round. Measure half of your waist round on the center of the sash and do the beading there. Add the bead edging on the top or bottom or both edges. Checkout the post on Bead edgings and Beaded tassels (DIY) for more details
You can also add any of the 9 bead border embroidery designs to your beaded sash
5. Lace edged sash
This sash is made by stitching lace to the edges of the Ribbon sash or the fabric sash. Cut out ribbon or make a fabric sash. Cut out laces to the measure of half your waist round.
Keep the lace under the edges and top stitch in place. Do this for the other edge as well
Here is a tutorial to make another type of Sash belt – the Japanese obi belt.