Wednesday, October 26, 2011

How To Make Ruffles...The Hard Way...a tutorial

There are, in my book, two ways to make ruffles. The easy way and the hard way.

The Hard way:

  • sewing machine
  • thread
  • fabric

Step 1

Cut your fabric to your determined width (plus any seam allowance or hem allowance).

Cut your fabric to determined length. Now this will depend on how full you want your ruffle to be. I usually use 3 to 4 times the width of my project. If your project is 12 inches, you will need at least 36 inches of fabric. I always err on the side of caution and cut extra.

Step 2

Set your machine settings
Tension to -3
Stitch length on longest setting

Step 3

Sew a Gather Stitch
Bobin side of your gather stitch
 Sew a gather stitch a few mm short of your seam allowance. Be sure to leave long tails of thread on either end. You'll notice your bobbin thread is very loose and could be pulled right out of your stitch.


Holding your fabric in one hand, pull on your bobbin thread to create gathers. You can work both ends or you can tie one end and work the other. Gather until your ruffle is at the desired length. You may not use all of your fabric ruffle, depending on how full you want it to look.


  Something to keep in mind is your edges. Are you going to hem them or leave them raw? You can also fold your fabric in half width wise and make a thicker ruffle eliminating the need for a bottom hem. I usually hem my long edge first and one of my side edges. Then, once I've pinned my ruffle to my project and determined my length, I cut the remaining fabric off leaving enough fabric for my final hem.

You will also want to use a TON of pins to keep this baby in place. You can never have too many.

A Table runner I did in burlap and muslin. Had 3 rows of very full ruffles.

Good Luck! Have any questions or need more pics or need help with your project, just leave a comment and I'll be happy to help out.

Coming up next is Ruffles The Easy Way!


1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this great tutorial. The only way it could have been better is if you had used a contrasting colored zipper and if this were a video. I have searched and searched for a good lapped/flap pillow zipper tutorial video and have yet to find one, but your photos and instructions are very helpful.


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