Simple Gathered Ruffle

Have you ever tried to sew something with a “gather” and ended up having the fabric bunch up unevenly along your seam?  Well, I found a super easy tutorial that makes it almost fool-proof.  I say almost because I have found that I am perfectly capable of messing-up pretty much anything.

Simple Gathered Ruffle

The original tutorial on The Family Homestead recommends using cotton crochet thread, but I didn’t have any, so I used embroidery thread and it worked fine.  You then need to adjust your sewing machine to the largest zig zag setting and change your stitch length to create a longer stitch. (I set mine at 5.) You then lay down your heavier thread so that it is sitting under the center of the presser foot. Sew along the thread, but be sure to straddle it with the large zig zag stitch.  The idea is to be able to slide the thread easily under the zig zag, so that you can pull the fabric into nice even gathers.

Zig Zig Across Thread

Lay down the thread and make your zig zag stitches straddle it, so that it can later be pulled through the stitch.

Zig Zag

Your zig zag stitch must straddle the heavier thread.

You want to pin down the ends of your fabric to be sure that it will extend the full length of your backing (in my case, I want the width to match that of the orange backing). You then want to find the center of both the piece to be gathered and the backing and match them up and pin them together.  Do the same thing again, so that you end up with a pin every 3 to 5 inches depending on your width.  The key to this initial pinning is just to make sure that the gathered fabric will be evenly distributed along the entire length of the finished piece. You don’t want to end up with too much gathering in one area and too little in another (hence the need for this tutorial – I am speaking from experience here folks!)

Pin fabric

Pin the fabric at each end and then at the half way point and then quarters to evenly distribute the gathers.

tie one end

Tie one end of the thread around a pin in a figure 8 formation to secure it.

You then want to pull the heavier thread (dark green in my case).  This allows you to create gathers so that the larger piece of fabric (1.5 X the length of the backing) will fit nicely across the width.  You can play with it to ensure that the gathers are nice and even.  Once you have them spread out the way you like them, do a final pinning to ensure the gathers hold in place.  Sew a seam to secure the gathers, but be sure to avoid stitching over the zig zag.

Pin gather

Pin the gathered fabric evenly and then create a seam along the zig zag. Do not sew over the zig zag.

Remove the thread

Once you have stitched it in place, remove the thread from the zig zag by taking out the tied end and gently pulling it through the zig zag stitch.

Finished ruffle

Finished ruffle.

You can take out the zig zag or just leave it.  I left mine in. This was my first attempt at making ruffles following this particular tutorial.  I ended up doing three and all worked very well.  Be sure to check out tomorrow’s post to see what this cute little ruffle is going to turn into!

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About Cindy RoyI am a busy mother, wife and kindergarten teacher. I have a huge list of loves! I love my family, Springs Church, old houses, "up-cycling" and DIY projects, scrapbooking, volleyball, interior design, cake decorating, party planning, healthy eating, and sleeping. I am very organized and reflective, and am continually striving to do life more lovingly, passionately, effectively and successfully.

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