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How to Make Ruffles: Using a Ruffler Foot

By: Carolyn Wainscott for AllFreeSewing.com
How to Make Ruffles Using a Ruffler Foot

If you love sewing ruffles on dresses for your granddaughter, or for decorative home decor projects, but hate spending time sewing them by hand, then you're in luck! Guest blogger Carolyn Wainscott is here to show you the basics of using a ruffler foot with How to Make Ruffles: Using a Ruffler Foot. This short and simple sewing guide discusses the basic functions of using a ruffler foot, and helps you get familiar with using this sewing tool.

Never heard of a ruffler foot? AllFreeSewing has you covered! We also discuss the definition of a ruffler and have even thrown in a few gathering tutorials, if you want to experiment with smocking or shirring. Learn the basics about using a ruffler foot, and find the perfect skill building tutorial for you, in our newest article for National Sewing Month.


If you're searching for more great sewing and quilting tutorials, be sure to check out Carolyn's blog, Carolyn's Canvas!

 

What is a Ruffler Foot?

While most sewists know that you can create ruffles and gathers easily either by hand or with your machine, many sewing beginners may not know what a ruffler foot is. A ruffler, or ruffler foot, is a sewing machine foot designed to create ruffles evenly and has the ability to tuck stitches. Designed to create uniform pleats, gathers, and ruffles, a ruffler foot is typically made for light to medium weight fabric, such as tulle, and can be adjusted to alter the stitching tucks.

My sister told a coworker that I have made matching outfits for my little girls and their dolls, so I get the phone call to see if I would make them for her daughter. She wanted something really frilly and girly and there wasn't anything in the doll catalog that she wanted.

This is what I have some up with:
 

How to Make Ruffles: Using a Ruffler Foot

The blue gingham check pinafores have coordinating crocheted headbands with large yoyos and tiny pink rosebuds while the burgundy outfits have lacy crocheted beanies with frayed fabric flowers.

I spent hours just ruffling all the yards of fabric and tulle for the pinafore skirts. I really love my ruffler. I decided on the pinafore style because the way it is constructed. It will go between 2 sizes and is an easy fit, and just needs a little knit top or blouse.

When I get around to it, I hope to make a video showing the way these are made. They are so cute, and they are well worth the effort and not really hard to do.

I do know that if Sis's coworker doesn't like these, I have 3 great granddaughters that will love to have them. That was another reason for making them in these sizes- Ashlynn, Jenna and Hannah can all wear them and they just love to dress up.

How to Make Ruffles: Using a Ruffler Foot

Tips for Using a Ruffler Foot

Here is my ruffler if you aren't familiar with the dinosaur-looking contraption:

How to Make Ruffles: Using a Ruffler Foot

The numbers indicate how many ruffles are taken - 0 is for straight stitching, 12 is a gather every 12 stitches, 6 is a gather every 6 stitches and the 1 is a gather for every stitch [this is the mode I use most - if I am going to ruffle, I want to really ruffle!].

How to Make Ruffles: Using a Ruffler Foot

On the machine:

How to Make Ruffles: Using a Ruffler Foot

To keep the roll of tulle in control, place it on a dowel in a box-rolls off easily.

How to Make Ruffles: Using a Ruffler Foot

Pictured on the floor to feed through the machine.

How to Make Ruffles: Using a Ruffler Foot

Tulle going through ruffler - gather per every stitch.

How to Make Ruffles: Using a Ruffler Foot

Pictured: Yards of ruffles quickly and easily gathered.

How to Make Ruffles: Using a Ruffler Foot

The roll of tulle has 100 yards. Rolls of 25/10 yards are also available. Of course, these are all bought on sale or with coupon. I have lucked into after season sales for the 100 yard rolls for about $2-3 at Hobby Lobby and get all I can afford that day. They are usually priced at $9.99. Regular fabric gathers just as easily as tulle.

If you don't have a ruffler foot, here is my video tutorial for gathering by zigzagging over yarn!

Don't miss any of Carolyn's excellent sewing and quilting tutorials on her blog, Carolyn's Canvas!

Sewing Tutorials for Gathering

If you've never created ruffles before, or are searching for even more beginner sewing tutorials, don't miss any of these sewing projects. They're the perfect way to build up your basic sewing skills!

* How to Sew Ruffles

* How to Sew Ruffles: Knife Pleats

* Shirring

* Gathering Fabric Sewing Technique

* Lattice Smocking

Lattice Smocking

Embroidery, Ruffles, Ribbon: Do you have a favorite embellishment you love to add to your projects?

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Wow, I always wanted the encouragement to use my ruffler, which I rarely put to use.. dolls clothes and aprons, plus cute towels is a really good use. Makes me also think of an old fashioned bed dust ruffle, have to try this soon.

Wow, I never knew ruffles were made using a special attachment! This definitely made me more appreciative of the craft.

I love embroidery... but this tutorial may inspire me to try some ruffles!

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