Walkthrough: Grell’s Ribbon from Fabric

This is the process I followed to make Grell’s standard ribbon, with a few notes from the Romance Collection ribbon’s assembly. 

Pictured: Grell’s standard ribbon, Grell’s Romance Collection Promo ribbon.

I prefer cotton-based fabric to typical ribbon for this piece of Grell’s costume because it’s heavier and doesn’t even give a hint of being weird when it gets tied into a bow. The difference between the fabric and purchased ribbon is, of course, that the edges aren’t finished for you.

 I made the standard ribbon from calico and the Romance Collection ribbon from a shirting that had to be ironed into submission after I bought it. Although it might come off as a waste of fabric, I bought at least ¾” of a yard for each. In both cases the stripes ran parallel to the selvage edge, and the only place I wanted there to be a visible seam was in the center of the ribbon. That spot would fall on the nape of my neck, and so wouldn’t be visible thanks to Grell’s long tresses. Fabrics like these are pretty versatile, so they’re not bad scraps to keep around.

 After deciding on the final width of the ribbon (I used between 1.25” and 1.75”), I picked a seam allowance (because you don’t have to stick to the commercial pattern 5/8” standard) and doubled both measurements and added them together. I just clipped and ripped after determining these widths.

 At this point I pieced two lengths together to get the final length necessary for the bow. This had to be done before the next step. Folding in half with right sides together, I stitched along the length of the fabric, making a casing that I then turned inside out after trimming seam allowance down to 1/8”.

 I finished the standard ribbon’s ends by folding in the raw edges, pressing, and closing with a slipstitch using clear nylon thread, and the Romance Collection’s ribbon with a machine edgestitch. Personally, I recommend the slipstitch. It takes a little longer, but it looks much nicer in my opinion.

Much love,



About greyrondo

My name is greyrondo. I've been a cosplayer since Fall 2006, and I've noticed that the best conversations I have with cosplayers usually involve the question, 'so how DID you do that?' So after studying costuming and making a closet's worth of costumes, that's what I'd like to help answer. Drop in and stay awhile whether you're a cosplayer or just a curious spectator; one of my musings is bound to be what you're looking for. If you have a question or something to say, leave a comment or contact me! I don't bite, I promise. View all posts by greyrondo

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