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How to Ruffle Fabric (Video Tutorial)

Learn how to gather fabric with a sewing machine by watching this video tutorial!

Updated December 04, 2019
How to Gather Fabric Video

There are so many purposes that being good at gathering fabric can be useful for when sewing. This video on How to Ruffle Fabric is a fantastic intro guide to this method. Gathering fabric is a fairly common sewing technique for certain types of projects.

Seeing how it's done with this how-to video that takes you step-by-step through all the different techniques you could use for gathering fabric is incredibly helpful.

This technique is particularly useful in terms of creating ruffles or setting a sleeve, and this craft video shows you exactly how to get the perfect ruffles by hand or with a machine.

Whether you want to become a ruffle queen or you are simply just a beginner at sewing, this how-to video can really show you all the best techniques for how to gather fabric cleanly for ruffles and all sorts of sewing projects.

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How to Gather Fabric Video Tutorial

Traditional Gathering Method

  1. Secure fabric in place, then stitch one long seam down the length of your fabric. Don't lock seams.
  2. Repeat. This will create a flat surface at the base of the gathered fabric.

Image shows the basting stitch being sewn on a sewing machine.

  1. Pull the thread of the bottom seam, then pull the thread of the top seam to create a ruffle in the fabric.

Image shows a person pulling thread after the fabric was sewn on a sewing machine.

Floss Method Instructions

  1. Align floss on top of your fabric with the center line of the sewing foot.

Image shows the floss method of gathering fabric being sewn on a sewing machine.

  1. Sew a zig-zag stitch all the way down your fabric, making sure not to stitch through the floss. Don't lock your stitch.
  2. Pull the bottom thread, then pull the floss on either side to gather the fabric.

Gathering Fabric with a Gathering Foot

  1. Adjust the tension on your sewing machine. For a more full gather, increase the tension.
  2. Feed fabric through the machine, and your fabric will automatically gather as it's being stitched!

Image shows the gathering foot ruffle method of gathering fabric being sewn on a sewing machine.

Gathering Fabric with a Ruffler Foot

  1. With this attachment, you can adjust the size and amount of the ruffle you want to create. Select your ruffle size.
  2. Feed your fabric through the slot, and place the foot down. Sew fabric all the way down, and fabric will gather as it is sewn.

Image shows the ruffle foot method of gathering fabric being sewn on a sewing machine.

About Gathering Fabric Sewing Techniques

  1. Ruffler Foot: Pretty, but not great for exact gathering.
  2. Gathering Foot: Good for lighter ruffles, but can't be adjusted.
  3. Traditional Method: Easy, but not exact.
  4. Floss Method: Easy and the fastest option of the four, but doesn't look as pretty as the above.

Up Next

75+ Sewing Questions Answered: Ultimate FAQs Guide >>

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