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Cosplay Tutorial: Seamless Trim

By firewolf826
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This seamless trim technique is a method I’ve been using for years to add custom trim to my costumes without any top-stitching at all.

Similar in a way to bias tape, but with many key differences in implementation and results. No one taught me this technique, but now I’m teaching it to you! Please read through all the instructions before asking any further questions, and happy trim-making! C:

Apologies for the length, it's more complicated than it looks!

Tutorial written by *firewolf826
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© 2012 - 2021 firewolf826
anonymous's avatar
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LauraDoodles's avatar
Really love this tutorial.
narutogoldylocks's avatar
This is awesome *^* Thank you for this tutorial!
italktotherain's avatar
Does this technique work well with spandex?  I've been trying to figure out how to do something that looks as clean for a body suit that has weird shapes, and while your multi-colour panel tutorial was helpful and definitely the look I want to go for, I think that some of my shapes are far too complex for it... So have you tried this with stretch fabrics?
eternalukyou's avatar
This is a great tutorial!!
 The technique is called 'under stitching' btw ^^.
ArtofSyo's avatar
This looks like a neat tutorial but I am totally lost after step 8.  I've read through this a half dozen times and I just cant comprehend how you flip it, or where your sewing or which side, do you happen to have other pictures of a video of that part?  Is there a gap from step 7, then its inverted, sewn then reflipped?  @_@ gaou gaou gaou....
KyouyaGavin's avatar
Thank you for this Tutorial! I tried it on my Dark Magician Girl Costume and it went out AWESOME!
GypsyOfHades's avatar
Thank you for posting a tutorial like this! I'll be in need of it once I make my Hades Alone cosplay in the future as well as Caster (Fate/Extra version). ^_^
AwesomeOlive's avatar
hi! i was hoping to use this tutorial for trim on a bodice but i'm unsure of how to go about it due to the curves. do you have any tips for this sort of thing? thanks!
Vicky-V's avatar
Hi there!

First, thank you so much for taking the time to put this together. It'll serve very well in future.

At the moment I'm going through it to add the yellow trim at the bottom of Gary Oak's shirt. But I'm having a little trouble figuring out how you've pinned the two pieces together in step 9. I've read through comments and I get the idea of a pillow case and whatnot but I still can't figuring out exactly how to do it. Would you be able to show a picture of the other side of the fabric (the side with the trim pinned on instead of to the red wrong side of the fabric shown in the tutorial) or do a little diagram or something? If you could, it would be very appreciated.

Out of interest, would you consider doing video tutorials for things like this? Sometimes it helps to watch somebody do it bit by bit and copy them.
44NTW44's avatar
Thank-you so much! I have never sewn before, and am trying to make a shawl for my Halloween costume. This is exactly what I needed. 
ambie13's avatar
Just wondering, when you first sew the trim on do you sew it onto the right side or the wrong side of the fabric?
firewolf826's avatar
When you first sew the trim (step 5), it's sewn to the right-side of the fabric. After sewing that inner seam, you'll have the trim in place as it will be for the final product other than the enclosing the raw edge.

And for reference, the picture from step 8 is the wrong-side.

I hope that makes sense!
ambie13's avatar
It does, thanks! Also would this technique only work on garments that have lining or could it be adapted for ones that don't?
firewolf826's avatar
This technique only really works if there's a lining. Without one, there's really no way to do it -- you'd have to have top-stitching along the outer-edge, which would show a seam (kind of the opposite of the point of doing it this way)

To make it work, I think the only way would be to hand-sew the final seam -- fold over the raw edge and "hidden stitch" it to one-layer of the [wrong-side] fabric. Or make your trim more like bias tape, and hidden stitch that to the wrong-side of the fabric.

OR fold the a fabric and the trim inward so raw edges are encasing each other and hidden stitch along that edge. This would actually most closely resemble the finally product of the original technique, but your hand-sewing would have to be pretty tidy since it'll be slightly visible.

Either way, it would take a lot longer to do by hand than with the machine, but it could be worth it.

Sorry, those are my only ideas! That's why I think this works best for jackets, which are more-often-than-not lined!
Mines-of-Moria's avatar
This made. Absolutely. No sense. I sat and tried to read it for about 30 minutes and it just made no sense.
firewolf826's avatar
I'm sorry my words didn't come across clearly for you. It's not a particularly easy concept to explain in text, and if I could have my way I'd explain it in person, which is much easier. But obviously I can't do that! If you want you can look through some of the comments people have made, since I've answered some of their specific questions which may make things clearer.
luxuryvandal's avatar
This is great! Thanks for sharing!
Duves's avatar
Very helpful tutorial! I definitely want to try this technique. But I don´t understand the part where you have to turn it inside out, do you have any pictures of this part?
firewolf826's avatar
I don't think I have any pictures of turning-right-side-out specifically... But imagine that your garment is like a pillow case. One side is the "good" fabric of your garment and the other is the lining. If you turn the pillow case inside-out you'll see all the stitching, the hem, and whatnot.

So, you're essentially first sewing the garment inside-out, with the good-sides of the fabrics facing each other, but leaving a small hole to flip the good-sides right-side out. The hole is like the opening of the pillow case, except you'll eventually be sewing that closed.

The result is, say on a jacket, all the edges of the jacket have no visible stitching, because it was all done from the inside. In order to do this method, you'll need to line the garment (with an identical match of the garment)-- otherwise it won't work.

Hopefully that helped clarify some stuff! If not, let me know and I'll try to explain it better! :)
KomoRiN's avatar
It would really help if you could find similar pictures of the last stages - it might be me not understanding what you're saying, but right now it feels like I'm just not understanding physics. What exactly flips what way and how? ( ._.)>
firewolf826's avatar
Inside-out: [link]
Right-side-out: [link]

In Step 9, you sew along the edges of the garment (with right-sides of fabric facing together), leaving an opening somewhere so that you can "flip" the garment right-side out. This you can see in the first pic above. This is the wrong side of the fabric. The ends on the sides of the pic are open (no seam).

Step 11 is when you "flip" it right-side-out through the side opening, as seen in the second pic. Here the edges (along the yellow) need to be pressed, and then the last seam sewn together. (Sorry it's a weird garment to use as an example since it has no armholes, but it's the same for a jacket or whatever)
Yuffeh's avatar
Hi there, thankyou for the lovely tutorial. :) I think a lot of people have a hard time understanding the concept because we didn't realise you've actually added a yellow "trim" to both the fabric AND the lining; and then sown those two "trims" together at the top. I think it would be really helpful if you added those two pictures you just posted to the tutorial; otherwise it looks like you just left the top raw edges on its own and magically made them disappear. :P By the way, do you prefer this method, or stitch-a-ditch?
KomoRiN's avatar
Alright! Thank you, that makes more sense to me now. :3 You're great~
Duves's avatar
Thanks for your reply! After reading your explanation and thoroughly reading the tutorial again, I finally understand(turns out I misunderstood a different part..). I tried it on some scrap fabric and it looks great! Thank you for making this tutorial, this will certainly be useful :D
anonymous's avatar
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