Friday, May 20, 2011

Ruffle/Gather Tutorial

I know what you're saying......."Another one? Aren't there a million out there already?" Well, I can't say that I have seen this one out there and it is a fab-u-lous way to gather your fabric.
And it's ssooooooooooo stinkin' easy!!

sewing machine with a zig zag stitch
narrow twine, pearl cotton or crochet thread, kite string, etc.
the fabric you want to ruffle
*if you happen to have a special foot that holds ribbon in place, that would be great, but totally unnecessary

Technique one:

My machine, my string and my fabric

My machine set on a wide zig need at least 4, I like 5 or 6
loosen your tension too so your fabric doesn't bunch

Line everything up and start sewing

Make sure you don't sew the string down, then it won't work. Ask me how I know. LOL

Should look something like this. FYI, this string was a little coarse, slicker is better.

Hold string and gather
EEeekkkkkkkk ,when did I get old lady hands????


As you can see, the string pulls out slicker than..........well, you get the idea.

Technique two:

Almost exactly the same but uses a little known trick of a lot of machines!!

See that little hole?????

Lift up your plate and thread the string through it. Trust'll be alllllll right, I promise.

See!! Replace your plate, nice and don't want to break any needles. Don't ask.

Now, just like before, lay your fabric down and start sewing
This is what it looks like on top

This is what happens underneath.....awesomeness!!!

 The machine guides the string for you...I went all wonky to show you that it stays in the middle of the stitching no matter how you move the fabric!!! 
To quote my Friend Amy: AWESOME SAUCE!!!!

Just gather, attach and pull out the string. Heck, leave it in, I don't care!!
Yes, attach before you pull out the really keeps your gathers all tight and in place.

If that isn't thee easiest way to gather (other than special feet) I don't know what is!!

Now, go out and ruffle something!!!!!!


  1. Nicely done Ms. Gena. Makes me want to ruffle :)

  2. you quoted me!!! lol that's totally awesome sauce!

  3. It's my new favorite phrase!!

  4. That is SOOO cool! Thanks so much for sharing! It's easy-peasy and not so cheesy!

  5. Thanks I am so going to try this. I can't gather for the life of me so I spend a bazillion hours making neat little pin tucks instead. I bought a ruffler for my machine last year, but it doesn't work. It's probably operator error but even my engineer husband couldn't get it to work. This tutorial looks great. Thanks!

  6. Great tutorial!! I'm going to give it a try!!
    Now back to my projects!!! Go sew ladies!!!!!

  7. Oh if only my machine had that little hole!! I have an ancient but awesome Singer machine-pre hole I guess!

    bee blessed

  8. Oh my Goodness! This is an amazing tip. Thank you so much! You have no idea how much blue air, hair-tearing and temper tantrums your trick is going to prevent. Thanks a million.


  9. What a wonderful domestic Goddess you are! Thanks for sharing!

  10. That's an awesome trick to thread the string through the hole - ow I need to go and drill a hole through my plate cos mine doesn't have one and I do SO MUCH gathering!Thanks for the tip!

  11. let me know when any of you try it!! I wish I could give credit to who showed me, but for the life of me, I just don't know and it's been soooooooooo long since I learned that little trick.

  12. Wow-some help with a sticky problem! I avoid ruffling and only do it when I really have to and then it comes out uneven. I will try this.

  13. This is a great tutorial! It is a much less time consuming way to gather than the way I normally gather! Thanks for sharing. I am your newest follower. I would love it if you came over to Greetings From the Asylum and followed me too!

  14. Is it bad to say holy crap?! But holy crap! I'm excited is that what that little hole is in the plate or did you figure this out?? I want to know! I'm a ruffle machine and I am totally trying this!

  15. You can on my blog! LOL

    I think I learned about that little hole at a class on making victorian undies several years ago. The lady was doing pintucks in the drawers with the thread coming up in the tucks. Then the other day it hit me........can I? would it? *bing* light bulb moment. ! Gosh and darn it if it didn't work!!

  16. I've had the personal Regena tutorial and I know from personal experience that it works wonderfully!

  17. No matter how old we get... always a new way to do things!

  18. this is genius!! thanks so much for this tutorial and who knew you could use that little holed?!?

  19. I have been using this method for ruffling as long as I can remember. My tip though is to use waxed dental floss, its very slippery and slides beautifully, its very thin to zig zag over and super strong so even if you have the need to gather something super heavy like canvas, it will hold.


  20. I hate to ruffle - why I don't know it's not that hard. I might actually like ruffling with this method. And so that's what that hole is for. How fun!!!