Tutorial: how to sew ruffles

Ruffles are very useful and widely used for many types of doll clothes. They do not end up just on sweet princess dresses. How about a simple skirt, puffy sleeves or gathered neckline? Choose some nice model, cut out your pattern pieces and iron them carefully.

Thread your sewing machine – use a contrast thread which will be clearly visible on your fabric. Use different thread colors for the top and the bottom thread. Trust me, it will be useful later. Now set the top thread tension to zero and stitch length to 2. (Writing down your previous settings may be useful.)

Ruffles sewing tutorial

This is my wrong side – my top thread is black, bottom thread is pink. Top thread is too loose for regular sewing but perfect for ruffling. And finally, sew three seams – one above your future final seam and two under. Pin this piece to appropriate other piece but do not pull any threads yet. I usually divide the longest piece into quarters and ruffle them individually.

Ruffles sewing tutorial

To start ruffling, pull out all three bottom threads at once.

Ruffles sewing tutorial

Distribute the ruffled fabric layer as equally as possible. Secure it with pins, the more the better.

Ruffles sewing tutorial

And the second half. Check your ruffles evenness and pin them all. Now put your sewing machine back to yout usual settings and sew the ruffle over. Do not try to make all rufles first and then sew but finish the ruffle when you pinned it. Later handling with the pattern piece can disarrange your ruffles.

(You can also buy a ruffling foot for your sewing machine but I’ve never had any.)

Ruffles sewing tutorial

Ruffles sewing tutorial

Take all contrast threads out – start with bottom ones, it’s easier. And you are done! Bravo, you made a ruffle. For doll clothes, do not forget to press the ruffle down with your iron. Otherwise they would look too bulky and “dolly”.

Ruffles sewing tutorial

I made this tutorial while sewing a ruffled hippie skirt for Alexandra. To see it, wait for the next post. 😉

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