Sewing Tip: Making Ruffles

Ruffles are making a comeback.  I am seeing them added to pillows again, on top and along the sides, to bedding, shower curtains, window coverings, slip covers, just about anything in the house!  I have a tip that I have been using for many years, that has helped me gather material to make ruffles easier to handle.

What you need:  a sewing machine (that will do a zig zag stitch), your material for your ruffle, thread and a crochet cotton or similar thread.

First I cut my material for my ruffle.  I double the width of the ruffle that I want to end up with, and add another 1″.  So for my ruffle, I am cutting a 5″ length of fabric so that I end up with a 2″ ruffle.

Fold your material in half, right sides together.

Press with your iron, so that the material stays in place and lies flat.

Take your crochet cotton (or whatever thread you are using) and lay it along the raw edge (what will be the upper edge) of your fabric.  Have it overhang the end about 1″.

Center the fabric and thread under the middle of your presser foot.  I make sure the outside edge of the presser foot lines up with the edge of my fabric.  The folded edge of the fabric should be on your left, and the edge where the fabric raw edges meet is on the right. Set your machine on a zig zag stitch.

Zig zag stitch over the cotton thread, continuing until you reach the end of your ruffle material.  Note:  Make sure that you don’t catch the larger thread with your needle thread.

Leave about 1″ of the crochet cotton overhanging at the end, so that you can hold it in your fingers.  Do not back-stitch at the beginning and the end of your sewing.

Grab onto the thread on either end, and using your other hand, start to pull the fabric back so that it gathers together.  I push the gathers toward the center, then take the thread on the opposite end and do the same until the entire length of the ruffle is gathered.

Now your ruffle is ready to use on any project.  It stays ruffled because the crochet cotton holds it in place.  It makes it easy to adjust without your threads breaking as well, and holds well when you are attaching it to your project.

This method works especially well when you are making long ruffles or are using heavy fabrics.

I hope this helps you!  Thanks for stopping by!

2 thoughts on “Sewing Tip: Making Ruffles

  1. Great tutorial! I haven’t made ruffles in a few years, so this was a helpful refresher. I’ve been seeing ruffles everywhere in the handmade world these days too.

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