Mrs Bowden’s top tip – ruffles and how to apply them

Felixstowe Sewing School

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Mrs Bowden’s top tip – ruffles and how to apply them!
There is no need to get your feathers ruffled when adding ruffles.  I do like the look of this little chap…..

Following are a few tips that can really help when adding ruffles to a piece of fabric.  The way you gather the fabric being ruffled is key so here we go.

Picture one – stitching the gathering stitches either side of the seam allowanceSet your machine to the longest stitch length it has.  I also often change the colour of the top thread so I can easily see where I have added the gathering threads.
You are going to make ‘tram lines’ of gathering threads either side of the stitching line.  So, if your seam allowance is 1.5 cm you need to stitch along at 0.5 cm and again at 2 cm.  This creates a more controllable line of gathers to sew down later on.
Picture two – Marking the centres

Use a pin or create a little notch in the centre of the ruffle piece and the centre of the piece it’s being stitched to.  Pin the pieces with right sides together at the centre point.  This allows you to create the gathers from both ends of the the threads giving you more control and making adjustments easier.  If you are gathering a particularly long ruffle stitch the gathering in smaller sections so that you have less fabric to manage at each stage.

Picture three – pulling up the gathers

Grab the top threads and pull evenly to create gathers until the ruffle is the same size as the base piece.  You can then arrange the gathers evenly and to your liking knowing.  Repeat on the other half.  Remember to set your machine back to the standard stitching length and backstitch at the beginning and end of stitching.  You can then remove the gathering stitches by pulling them out – which is quite satisfying!

Here I am ready to leap into action and help you with your sewing.

Until then,

in stitches,

Mrs Bowden x

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