When it comes to sewing for little girls, RUFFLES are a must!
There are quite a few ways to create gorgeous ruffles: using a gathering foot, “Grandma’s Method”, and the Zigzag method. Each way works well. I recommend you try them all and see which method you prefer.
Here’s the scoop on all three.
USING A GATHERING FOOTA gathering foot is a magical little accessory that will help you create beautiful, evenly spaced gathers in no time! I purchased my gathering foot on Amazon for around $10 and it was worth every penny! The key to using the Gathering Foot is to increase the foot pressure, lengthen your stitch length, and increase your upper thread tension. The higher the upper thread tension, the tighter the gathers will be.
GRANDMA’S METHOD Grandma’s Method for creating ruffles is by far the most popular. It is a stand by that every sewer should be familiar with. To create ruffles using Grandma’s Method – You first set your sewing machine stitch length to the longest stitch. Along the edge of the fabric that you want to ruffle, simply sew 2 parallel rows of stitches about 1/4” apart. DO NOT backstitch at the beginning or end of the rows. You will want to leave a 6” “tail” of thread at the beginning and end of each row. Pull on the thread tails to gather the fabric. Use your fingers to gently slide the gathers toward the center of the fabric and distribute the gathers evenly.
ZIG ZAG Methods, the zigzag method is hands down, my favorite way to gather! It produces consistent results every time! To create ruffles using the Zigzag Method, set your sewing machine to its widest zigzag stitch. Cut a piece of embroidery floss or yarn slightly longer than the ruffle-fabric-strip. Place the floss on the fabric’s wrong side within the ruffle’s seam allowance. Center the presser foot over the floss/yarn and check the width of the zigzag to make sure it won’t catch the floss. Then, simply zigzag over the floss/yard from one side seam to the other, being careful not to catch the floss in the stitches. Gently slide the fabric along the floss to gather the fabric and create beautiful ruffles.