August 2, 2009

Ruffles!


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!
Happy Ruffling!!

36 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing your creativity and skill!
    I have been waiting for this post :-)

    Kariann

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  2. This is the clearest tutorial on making ruffles I have seen! Thanks for the details. I also like the tip about folding down the edge before doing the gathering stitch, how efficient. :D

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  3. I haven't tried adjusting the tension in addition to the stitch length, I'll give that a go tomorrow.

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  4. What a clear explanation. Thanks for this! I've done ruffles before but I'm pretty sure I made it a little more difficult for myself than it needed to be.

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  5. Thank youuuu!!
    I´m off to ruffle my house up!

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  6. Hi Disney, great post. I have wondered the same thing regarding the need for two rows. Based on my research, I think 2 rows are recommended for long gathering projects - should one of your gathering threads break, you still have the other row.

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  7. I always have a hard time doing ruffles this way - I think it might be my machine, anyway, I found an easier way to do the ruffles (especially on really long pieces) - use you zig zag stitch and stitch over a piece of crochet thread (or heavier thread), making sure not to stitch into the crochet thread. Then to gather/ruffle, just pull on the crochet thread, making sure not to pull it completely out. super easy! Thank you so much for your posts! I have learned so much from you!!

    mackenziescraftymom.blogspot.com

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  8. From what I've read, you do 2 rows of gathering stitches in case one breaks. When you start pulling on the threads to create the ruffle, it's easy to rip one by pulling too hard.

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  9. Thanks, can't wait to try to make this.

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  10. If you use two gathering threads and then sew the ruffle down between the rows of gathering, it keeps the gathers much nicer. I did it for the first time this week and it was beautiful. Of course, you do have to take out at least the bottom gathering thread... I still like the lazy version! :) I've also used Janel's method--it works very well, especially with heavier fabric!

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  11. Thank you, thank you!!!
    Have I told you I love your blog?
    I've decided to follow your sewing tutorials to get back into the swing of sewing. I can't even sew a straight line, but I try and try. With your help, I sewed a ruffle. wahoooooo. Thanks! I heart ruffles.

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  12. Oh my goodness, this is great! I've been wanting to add some ruffles to my girls clothing...now let's see if I have the guts enough to try it, tee hee. Thank you!

    Jamie :)

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  13. I love all your tutorials, you speak in a language I can understand. Slowly but surely I am getting this!

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  14. Hi Disney, Great tutorial on ruffling. I use two gathered rows when ruffling and then sew in the middle of them that way my ruffles don't get folded or puckered when I'm attaching it to the garment. Don't know if that's why you are supposed to do it, but that's why I do it.

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  15. I can not thank you enough for your tutorial - I have always wanted to learn how to sew ruffles. Thank you!

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  16. Thank you for the clear instructions. I don't get the two rows either. One works just as well.


    Magnolia-Mountain.blogspot.com

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  17. I love your blog! your tutorials are so easy to understand and i luv your style. thanks for writing these things down!

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  18. wow love your blog and love this! thanks for all the pics --they're a big help!

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  19. Io faccio sempre con due righe.Perche' se una si rompe sempre c'e quella seconda.Grazie comunque di buona spiegazione.Kiss Ljerka!

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  20. Another way to ruffle fabric is to use your large zig zag over a piece of yarn, it works very well and you just pull it out when you have sewn the ruffling down.
    http://www.handmedownrose.blogspot.com

    Linda

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  21. I just had to say thank you for this post. I just made a dress for my daughter's birthday, and despite thinking I had good measurements, I discovered it was a couple inches too short. A ruffle was the perfect solution, but the idea scared me a little. You took all the difficulty right out of it, and I whipped it up in a hurry. I'll be making more, for certain! Thanks!

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  22. Thanks for this post! I have a project that I need ruffles for, and this was a great help!

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  23. I just made my first ruffle!!! I am making burp cloths out of reusable diapers and am sprucing them up with fabric. I don't have kids but I have a ton of friends who are pregnant. I was making this for a friend but now I think I am going to keep it for when I eventually do have kids. I can't give away my first ruffle!

    Ill e-mail you a picture when I get a chance to to actually take a picture :) I am proud. The tutorial made it so simple!!!

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  24. I've been following your tutorials and trying to learn how to sew. My first project? An apron with a ruffle on the buttom!! Thanks so much!

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  25. I love your blog and I am so thankful for your tutorials. They have helped me so much.
    I am trying to do a ruffle and for some reason about half way through my thread keeps breaking. Any suggestions on how to get this to stop happening or what I may be doing wrong?
    I am wanting to make my daughter a t shirt dress with a ruffle at the bottom and can not get any further till I figure this out.
    Any help would be great
    Thank you,
    Brittney
    amanchesgirl03@yahoo.com

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  26. Okay, this is a great tute for ruffles and I used this methid for YEARS! But I always had basic machines and basic pressure feet. My mother was a seamstress and had everything and recently passed down her old machine and feet to my daughter (age 10). So now we are using a ruffler foot. They are fabulous and make it so much faster and easier. They are well worth the money and the time to learn how to use. I am loving it for girls' clothes, and I have four to clothe! -Melissa

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  27. no lie. i texted my friend last week and proclaimed that i needed ruffles on everything. then i stumble upon your blog. must be fate. :)

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  28. I NEVER READ BLOGS BUT I LOVE YOUR IDEAS IM A YOUNG MOTHER I GOT 2 KIDS AND IM 21 BUT I LOVE MY HUSBAND AND KIDS AND I LOVE MAKING STUFF FOR MY LITTLE GIRL AND EVEN CAPES AND COTUMES FOR MY BOY BUT IM JUST STARTING TO LEARN TO SEW AND YOUR TUTORIAL ARE SO EASY TO UNDERSTAND THNKS !

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  29. I was taught (years ago) by my seamstress Mom a different way to do ruffles...Sew two rows of long stitching along edge of fabric, about 1/4" apart. Gather, using both seam threads. Then sew the ruffle to the garment with a third seam down the middle of the first two. This results in a very pretty ruffle that looks less like pleats. It takes only a little longer, but I like it so much better. That said, you're an inspiration to me, so talented, thanks so much for sharing. Kathy

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  30. Thanks so much for this tutorial, I've gone ruffle crazy since reading this!!

    I love twisting the ruffles into flowers and add them to everything :)

    Including this top I just made:

    http://mrslauralynn.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/t-shirt-transformation.html

    I love your blog and all your tutorials have been helpful to me - thank you :)

    I've mentioned this tutorial and linked back.

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  31. I found your blog a few days ago & really fell in love with it. I have gotten so many useful ideas, it's really been getting me feeling crafty. In fact I love your blog so much I have posted a link to your page on my "Blogrific!" page I have on my blog.

    xoxo
    Momma Rosie
    http://ticklemetattooed.blogspot.com/

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  32. I love your blog! I am a new beginner sewer and you make the sewing ruffles tutorial so much better than others I have read! Thank you~!

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  33. Ahhhhh this was amazingly helpful to this sewing newbie. Thank you for taking the time to post this. :)

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  34. thanks so much I love the fact so many talented people share their skills.I. on disability AnD do crafts for therapy .I love, love ruffles but until now I was afraid to try

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  35. I just stumbled across this blog and these tutorials are really awesome!

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