Sewing Tip: How to Sew Ruffles the Easy Way

How to sew rufflesI am in the process of sewing a couple of cute skirts for Rachel. And when you’re sewing things for little girls, you need a lot of ruffles! Recently my cousin shared a tip with me for sewing ruffles. Now that I know how to sew ruffles the easy way, I see a lot more handmade skirts in Rachel’s future. 🙂
sewing-ruffles

How to Sew Ruffles the Easy Way

To make ruffles, you have to gather the edge of your fabric. In the past, I’ve just sewed a basting stitch down the edge and then pulled the thread. The frustrating thing with that method is that sometimes the thread breaks and I have to start all over again. This new way is much faster and easier!

Here’s how you do it!

Cut a piece of string several inches longer than the edge of your fabric. Place your fabric on your sewing machine and set your stitch to a long, wide zig-zag stitch. Place the string near the edge of your fabric, making sure you leave a tail of string at the end so you can grab it later. Now just stitch over the string.sewing-tip-sewing-rufflesWhen you get to the end, you should have a tail of thread on that edge as well. Now all you have to do to gather your fabric is pull on the string. Easy peasy! And you can pull the thread from both ends, so it is much easier to make ruffles in your fabric!how-to-sew-rufflesDoesn’t that just make you want to go out and make something cute with ruffles?


Comments

  1. This is only method I have ever used. However if you are making a long ruffle you can still break the string. I saw another pin awhile back to use dental floss as the guide thread as it is really strong. I now keep a spool of floss in my sewing station just for this purpose. I hope this will help those you embark upon ruffle making. One other note gently pull the floss as you go and when you get to the end you are through.

  2. thanx for such a great tip on sewing ruffles. I never would have thought of this.

  3. heather says:

    I do a version of this but I use the thread from the sewing machine;- sew back and forward a couple of times–lift the foot–pull thru as much thread as you need –this will be double and the ‘folded end’ furthest away from the machine–put the foot back down and change to zig zag stitch and stitch over your double thread. You can pull up the gather while you are zig zagging or you can leave it all to gather up when you get the end of your fabric. I showed my daughter in law how to do this the other day—she almost died with amazement!!!

  4. Omg thanks I’m making a prom dress with lots of ruffles

  5. Wouldnt the string just pull out since the zigzag stitches are loose?

    • If you want to, you can backstitch over the end of the string to hold it in place on one end. But I like to leave it loose so I can gather from both sides. After you sew the ruffle to the skirt (or whatever), it doesn’t matter if the string pulls out, because the ruffle is attached and won’t go anywhere. Does that make sense?

  6. Rebecca London says:

    Just saw a version of this using dental floss in place of the string 🙂

  7. Want to make this even easier? Do it with your sewing machine! Turn the tension to zero and use your longest stitch length ( the one you would use for basting). Perfect even ruffles every time and you can even move them if needed. 🙂

    • Ellie, that’s the method I’ve been using for years. I thought it was easy until I tried this method. I couldn’t believe how much faster it was to pull the string to gather the fabric. You should give it a try!