Friday, April 9, 2010

How to make a ruffle

We recently went to our niece's 3rd birthday party with the itty bitty ruffle apron in tow. 


Since I posted about it (and this one, too), I've gotten quite a few emails asking how to make ruffles.  Here's a quick how-to.

FYI:  Some people have a ruffle foot for their machines. I don't, so this is how you get by without one.


To make a decently "full" ruffle, you typically need 2 times the length of what you'll be attaching it to, although you can get away with 1.5 times. 


Take your strip of fabric, and sew along the top with your machine's longest stitch length. Don't backstitch and leave a long tail of thread at both ends.  (Of course, on your actual project you wouldn't be lazy like me...you would hem the edges of your fabric strip.)



Sew another line, parallel to the first. (I just line up my presser foot with the first line to make it easy.) Again, don't backstitch and leave a long tail of thread.


After your two lines are sewn, gently tug at the bottom (bobbin) thread in the tails, one at a time. Your fabric should start to gather, creating a ruffle.



Yes, my hands look like an 80 year old woman's...thanks for noticing.

Spread the gathering out evenly towards the center as you go. Be careful not to pull too hard, and make sure you spread out the gathered fabric, otherwise you may break your thread.



And there you go...a ruffle!  
 
 

30 comments:

  1. Thanks for the ruffle info! Looks pretty simple! Weird questions here, I got the little tea set you showed in the first picture of your post at a flea market. Half the set is broken now, could you tell me where you bought that one? It's so darling and I really want to replace it! Thanks!

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  2. Great tutorial! It doesn't surprise me that I've been doing it wrong. I will try your instructions. I laughed about the hands - mine are in such bad shape. I have hot glued my fingers so many times and my nail polish is always a wreck. I'm always afraid to show them on my blog - lol.

    XOOX
    Jen

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  3. That might be the best ruffle tutorial I've seen. Thanks for explaining it so rookies can understand it!! :) So, you pull the bobbin thread from just one side? I'm going to link to this next Friday for my Favorites post. :)

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  4. You make me smile, Cheryl. I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who doesn't get regular manicures. I never really think about it until I post photos on my blog that include my hands! :o\

    Nice tutorial on ruffles! Have a great weekend!

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  5. Yup - I've got 80-year-old looking hands too. :)

    All this sewing in blog-land makes me want to learn to sew!! This looks easy - but I failed home ec the semester we went over sewing. It was sad - really sad.

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  6. I just love love love all of your projects! So inspirational. Thank you for always sharing all of your amazing ideas.

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  7. Great tutorial!! I linked to it on Craft Gossip Sewing:
    http://sewing.craftgossip.com/tutorial-how-to-make-a-ruffle/2010/04/11/

    --Anne

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  8. LOVE the toddler apron!!! Princess Caroline would like to place an order for one!

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  9. Thanks for the step by step! I have been wanting to learn how to do a ruffle...but I was afraid it would be hard to do. This seems pretty easy:)

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  10. Great tutorial. It is so much easier than people think!
    When my Nana taught me how to do this I thought I could get away with just one thread to pull. Nope, you definatly need the two :)

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  11. That is so cool. I am a very novice sewer and never understood the instructions pertaining to ruffles. This is so much easier to understand. Thanks!

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  12. Adorable apron! so pretty and cheerful! ..and a terrific tutorial. As long as beginners understand that you've GOT to have that second row of stitches, it's very easy to do! great job! I hopped over from "A Soft Place to Land" and I am so happy that I did! Please accept my invitation to drop in at my place one day this week when you get a moment. I have become a follower and hope that you will do the same!

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  13. Thanks for the info! I am hoping to get a sewing machine this summer, and I'm loving ruffles theses days.

    Also, we have a mutual friend! Leslie S from grad school is an old friend of mine.

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  14. Great tutorial!!! And I love the polka dot material! My fav...PINK!!!
    Hugs
    SueAnn

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  15. hey kiddo, really easy ruffles howto:

    1. turn your stitch length to Baste... thats the longest stitch.

    2. turn your needle tension as high as it will go... like, i think its a 9 on mine.

    3. sew .the fabric will ruffle up, like magic. no need for ruffler foot or any thingies.

    4.take the ruffled strip, attach it to the flat fabric(Remember to set the tension and stitch length to normal before sewing).

    5. see, all done. no pulling .

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  16. Great tutorial! I have featured it as part of a DIY project I worked on. Thanks so much for sharing all of your great tutorials and ideas... they rock!

    ~ Elizabeth
    www.to-be-charmed.com

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  17. Absolutely wonderfull!!Thanks so much!

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  18. @ jaya pratheesh - Wow, I just tried that and it worked really well! Thanks for the tip!!

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  19. Great tutorial - very easy to follow. I've linked to it on my blog if you'd like to check it out.

    http://mytwobutterflies.blogspot.com/2010/10/reinvention-skirt.html

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  20. I simply adore how so many of these comments are related to the hands, not the ruffles. Anyway, I was clueless about ruffles until now. Thanks!!

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  21. Hello Cheryl,

    You were the only site that has how to make a ruffle. Martha Stewart failed me, but you are great! And your hands do NOT look like an 80 year old!

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  22. This is a very nice ruffle. I have found that if your fabric is thin--such as gingham typically is, you can get by with only one row of stitching. If you select the tightest tension and let the fabric glide through, your machine will gather the ruffle for you. When I do this, I still keep a long tail on each end so I can make the adjustments necessary. If this gathers, it too tight, simply back off the tension a little. My ruffle attachment was $25. I make LOTS of ruffles, so it was worth the investment!

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  23. Love Love Love! But then what? do you just sew it on the the rest of the fabric where you want to the ruffle to be? With gathers and all? I'm assuming so, but will check it out for sure. Also, I LOLd at the "80 year old hand" comment, because before I scrolled down, I thought, oh good! Someone's fingers that look like mine!! She must know what she's talking about!
    hahaha! Thank you!

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  24. Thank you for this tutorial! I have been thinking about doing a ruffle quilt for awhile now, and this gives me the confidence to get started! I really appreciate the easy, step-by-step instructions!!

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  25. Thank you! The photos really help explain it for me. I have 80 year old looking hands as well. Handiwork is tough on a gals hands. My daughter wants a ruffle curtain in her room. I'll be trying this out in the morning. Thanks again!

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  26. You are a life saver x_x thank you so much for this! I have been looking everywhere trying to figure out how to make these darn ruffles lol

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  27. Thank you so much for this! I'm new at sewing, this helps a lot!!

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  28. Funny...I typed into Bing - "How to make a Ruffle" and since I typically like to take instructions from blogs I came across yours and read it. Wow! So easy and a great tutorial!! Thanks!!

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