If you ask me, no project is complete without a ruffle on it somewhere! :o)
But don't be fooled be it's fantasticalness! The ruffle is actually one of the easiest sewing techniques out there!
Start with a strip of fabric, your desired width, and one and a half to two times the length of what you're sewing it to. I always make mine two times the length, 'cause I like lots of ruffle!
Adjust your machine to a strait stitch, in the longest stitch length available. Then loosen your top thread tension all the way. (unlike my picture, your strip should be hemmed on the bottom before you start ruffling)
Sew two parallel lines down the side of your strip, leaving long threads at the ends.
Then find the bottom (bobbin) threads....
And pull them with one hand, while gently pushing your fabric away from them with the other hand.
Once your strip is the right length, gently scoot arrange your gathers so that they are even. (Do this while still holding your bottom threads, otherwise the gathers may slide further down your threads, changing the length of the strip.)
Then pin your ruffle to whatever it is your sewing it to, with right sides facing each other.
When you sew your ruffle on, change your stitch length/tension back to normal, and be sure that you sew your new stitches above your gathering stitches, so they don't show when it's done.
Then you may pull out your gathering stitches, if you'd like!
Look at that! A thing of beauty :o)
Makes you want to add it to everything, doesn't it?!
Now that I've given you the "official" way to make ruffles, I think I should tell you that, usually, I don't do it this way :o)
- I usually only use one row of gathering stitches. In fact, to tell you the truth, I have no idea why you're supposed to do two :o) More control, maybe? I'm sure some of you know the answer!
- Also, if I'm the fabric I'm ruffling isn't too thick, I often fold over the edge first, then sew the gathering stitches. That way, it's already hemmed, so I can sew it right onto my garment.
- Another thing that I do sometimes, is back-stitch at the beginning of my ruffle, to make sure that the gathers don't go too far, and "fall off" the other side of my strip. However, if you're doing a very long strip, you may want to leave both ends open, so you can gather on either side!