The How To:
1. Change your machine to have a long stitch length.
2. Now we need to increase the tension! Remember how we pulled a thread to make the gathers in the old fashioned method? This time, we'll 'pull' that thread while we are sewing. You can increase the tension on your machine, but I find I get better results by using my right hand to create the tension while guiding the fabric with my left.
It's hard to see the thread in that picture, so here's where to press:
Sometimes I'll get tired of pressing and just pinch the thread between my fingers. If you pinch too hard, the thread will snap! It might take a bit of trial and error to figure out what works best for you.
3. Start sewing! Make sure to leave a long thread tail at the beginning and end of your strip. I normally leave 10-12 inches (but I'll admit I'm a bit paranoid.) If you need to let out gathers later (make your ruffled strip longer) you'll be limited by the length of the thread tails at either end of the strip.
4. You'll see the fabric start to bunch up on the other side of your presser foot.
When you're done, you'll have something like this! You'll notice that the gather's aren't as even as with the Old Fashioned Method.
If needed, you can still adjust the the gathers slightly by pulling on the needle thread.
Pros:Some great things about this method:
- It's quick! Since the sewing and the thread pulling are done in one step, this method is much faster than the Old Fashioned method.
- Still possible to adjust gathers slightly. If you need an extra inch or two, you can slowly scoot the pleats along the needle thread to lengthen.
- Um... did I mention it's quick? Seriously, for long lengths of fabric, this takes about a third of the time. And it's fun, too!
- Since there's only on line of stitching, if your thread breaks while either sewing or adjusting, you'll have to start over.
- One needle thread is not strong enough to ruffle thick fabric like twill or denim.
- Since there is only one line of stitching, ruffles seem to shift about while sewing. Even if adjust my ruffles to look absolutely perfect, I can almost always find a place where they look uneven once I've finished sewing it to my project.
- You'll have less control over the finished length of the ruffle. Sometimes I'll finish ruffling and find my strip twice (or half) the length I need it to be. This happens less with practice, but it can be frustrating.
When To Use:This is the perfect method to use on long lengths of light weight fabric where the finished length is not critical. I make a longer strip than I actually need, knowing that i'll cut off the excess when I'm done sewing a seam.
Try It Out:This Ruffled Scarf by Pink Lemonade is a perfect project to try using this kind of ruffling. The fabric is light weight, and it's ok if the scarf is a few inches longer or shorter than anticipated.
|Ruffled Scarf by Pink Lemonade|
I finally made a little button to use for this series. Simply copy and paste the code if you want the button on your own site-- it should link back to the original Rufflicious page where I'll have links to each post in the series.
Tomorrow when we talk about my absolutely favorite way of ruffling. I know the suspense must be killing you. :) I'll see you then! This tutorial was part our Rufflicious Series. For more ruffling tutorials see: