Monday, April 9

How to Make a Ruffle Tutorial

I made the bag above last spring as a gift for my Brother-in-law's niece who lives in Mexico. His family comes and visits from time to time and I like to send some stuff back with them.

I have had some people ask me if it was easy to make these ruffles, so I decided to do a quick tutorial on how to make them. The great thing about ruffles is you can make a simple ruffle and add it to most bags or even clothing and it makes a big difference on the finished product.

Below I have made a simple tutorial on how to make the ruffle I used on this bag.

You will add the ruffle in the middle of making the bag. Usually this is at the point before you attach the front and back pieces together, but it depends on your pattern. Use your best judgement as when to attach your ruffle.

1) Measure the height and width you would like the ruffle to be:
For the height, measure the bag and double it plus 2". In math terms it is (height x 2) + 2.

The height of this bag is 13" so I doubled it to 26" and added 2". The total height of my ruffle fabric will be 28".

I want the ruffle to be 5" wide. So I double that and add 1", which gives me 11". In math terms it is (width I want x 2) + 1.

2) Cut out your Ruffle Fabric:
You can use most light-weight fabrics for a ruffle, like quilting cotton or lighter. I don't recommend using a heavy home decor fabric, but hey, maybe that is what you want, so go for it. I used a very light, almost gauze like, fabric for my ruffle.

Cut a rectangle using the dimensions you figured out in step 1. I cut a 28" x 11" rectangle.

3) Make your Ruffle!
Take your rectangle and fold it in half, right sides together, so the long sides meet. Now sew along the long edge, leaving the short edges open with a 1/2" seam allowance. Turn your ruffle right side out.

Once you have turned it right side out manoeuvre it so the seam you just sewed is not at the edge of the rectangle but in the middle. Press lightly.

Sew a long basting stitch through the middle of your ruffle. Make sure to backstitch at the beginning only! Before you cut the threads at the end pull them so they are about 5" from the machine.

Pull the threads at the long end to create your ruffles. Do this until you have reached your desired length and ruffleness. Make sure you leave your ruffle one or two inches longer than your bag. This will ensure that your ruffle gets attached properly when you put your bag together.

4) Attach your Ruffle:
Lay your ruffle down on the bag where you will be attaching with the seam side down. Make sure that you have a bit of an overhang on the top and bottom of the bag.

Sew along the middle of the ruffle to attach it to your bag with a topstitch. Attach a ribbon or strip of bias tape to the middle to cover up this stitch or not, it is up to you!

With a long stitch, baste the ruffle to the top and bottom edges of the bag 1/8" from the edge. Trim off any excess ruffle. Finish sewing your bag as you usually would.

A finished ruffle! Wasn't that easy.

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