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Using a Ruffling Foot – Melissa Stramel
Melissa Stramel demonstrates the use of the ruffling foot as she makes a party dress.


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Updating Every Day Garments with the Ruffler Foot
By Melissa Stramel
Lilac Lane Patterns http://LilacLanePatterns.com

Ruffle fabric used in this demonstration provided by Riley Blake Designs. http://rileyblakedesigns.com
Adding ruffles is an easy way to make a regular garment spectacular. In this segment, Melissa Stramel adds ruffles to a circle skirt. The ruffles are created with the ruffler foot, an attachment for the sewing machine. The ruffler foot easily ruffles fabrics without the hassle of gathering.

You will need:
Fabric to create ruffles. Fabric must be twice as long as the desired area to ruffle and also twice as wide as the ruffle size desired.
Single fold bias tape.
Thread to match bias tape.




Before, the skirt is lovely, but plain.




1. Begin by choosing the width of the ruffle you would like to make. For this project, I wanted a 2 ½” ruffle. Cut fabric twice as wide as this number (5” for me) by twice the length of the desired length of the ruffle. If a very long ruffle is needed, such as for the edge of a circle skirt, several widths of fabric may need to be pieced together. Simply sew or serge together, end to end, until twice the desired length is achieved.

2. Press the fabric width in half with the wrong sides together.

3. You are ready to use the ruffler foot.

Although this foot may look scary, it is really very easy to use. It attaches to the machine by simply placing the black fork (looks like a backwards C in this photo) on the needle bar and then slowly lowering the presser foot. It will attach itself. There is a lever in the front that says 1, 6, and 12. 1 means it will make a tuck with each stitch. 6 means it will make a tuck every 6 stitches and is the setting I normally use. And 12 means it will make a tuck every 12 stitches. I have used this for heavier fabrics that do not require as much ruffling.

There is also a screw that adjusts the amount of fabric ruffled with each tuck. You may need to play with the settings on a piece of scrap fabric. We want to ruffle the fabric to half of its beginning length.
4. Insert the fabric 1 inch past the needle.

5. Make sure the needle goes through the hole in the ruffler so that you don’t break a needle. The most important step in using the ruffler foot is to sew slowly so that the ruffles are very evenly spaced.

6. You are ready to attach the ruffle to the garment. Use a seam gauge to determine where the ruffle should be attached and pin to garment.

7. Sew the ruffle onto the garment. I like to use a wide zigzag (3.5 length 5 width).

8. To cover the seam, place bias tape over the raw edges and top stitch both sides.

There are many, many uses for ruffles of course. Use your imagination! Your outfits will never be boring again.

A pattern for the basic circle skirt is found in Melissa’s book, A Year of Making Life Beautiful: 45 Projects to Bake, Grow, Craft, and Sew.

Written by Melissa Stramel. Please e-mail her at lilaclanepatterns@gmail.com with any questions.

Sewing Machine Featured in this Segment:
Brother Innov-ís NX2000 Laura Ashley® Limited Edition Sewing Machine





Host: Melissa Stramel

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