I am a proud owner of a ruffler foot for my sewing machine. I love it, it is handy, and is perfect when I am doing loads of ruffling. However. My one miff with the ruffler foot is that it's not at all conducive for a 'quick' project. Meaning, I wish I could have a dedicated sewing machine for just my ruffler so I didn't have to take it on and off, adjust the settings, etc. All of you who have a ruffler are nodding in agreement.
So. When I need to gather or make a ruffle in a flash this is what I do. Oh..and say bye bye to double rows of long stitching and pulling thread.
1. Set your stitch length to the longest length on your machine. (Same as regular gathering.)
2. Increase the tension. This is where it becomes a little 'dependent on your machine'. You may want to play for a few quick minutes to play around with the tension to see the outcome.
This is how it works on my machine:
increase my tension to + 1 = a light gather
increase my tension to + 2 = a good ruffle, the fabric comes out to be just about half it's original length
increase my tension to + 2.5 = a fuller ruffle, the fabric comes out to be a little less than half it's original length
increase my tension to + 3 = very full ruffle
|You can see the gather/ruffle getting tighter and fuller as I increased the tension.|
I should also add that this way of ruffling is VERY forgiving. You can always pull the strings to make the ruffle fuller. You also can push the ruffle around to redistribute the placement or to reduce the fullness. (Just make sure you leave nice long thread tails on both ends!)
3. Once you've increased the tension and set the stitch length the longest it will go, the fun begins! First, pull your machine threads so you have a nice long tail.
4. Start ruffling your fabric using 1/4" seam allowance. (If I need to fold under the edges of my fabric later, I start ruffling about 1/2" in from the short edge.) IMPORTANT: Hold on to those long thread tails for the first few stitches so they don't get pulled into the bobbin causing a royal mess! (I always hold the thread tails when I begin sewing anyways but it is especially helpful in this situation.)
Start sewing and watch as the gathers appear!!! WOW!!! (Do not backstitch.)
5. Stop gathering about 1/2" from the edge of the fabric again. Do not backstitch. Remove the fabric from the machine and again leave a long tail of thread.
6. Depending on your project you may want to secure the ruffles at this point. Do that by setting your machine for regular sewing. Then just sew on top of the stitching line for the ruffles. Or you can simply tie off the long thread tails at either end of your gather or ruffles. Once you do this, you will not be able to adjust the ruffles.
Result: Quick and easy ruffles! Ta-da!
Thanks for reading,