If you’ve just recently started learning to sew you’re probably having a great time practicing new stitches and making small things for yourself and your family. It’s nice when you can learn one technique which helps you do many different projects. In fact, there are some things you can sew that have many different uses. One is a ruffle. There’s a simplistic ruffle you can make and it looks fabulous on a shirt, curtains, baskets and much more! Once you learn to make it there will be no stopping you!
Cut a long piece of wide or narrow fabric to start the ruffle. Cut the band wide and you’ll make a wide ruffle; narrow will give you a small ruffle. Good fabric types to use for making ruffles include most anything that is thin or medium-weight. Thick fabrics, like denim, will not ruffle well.
On one of the long sides of the fabric, turn it under an eighth-inch and press with a warm iron. Turn it under once again and press. Do this to the opposite side as well. Pressing the fabric will help it lay flat and stay in place as you hem it. Start at one end, use a straight stitch, and sew to the other end. Stay close to the edge as you sew. Hem both long ends.
Fold one of the short ends over a quarter-inch, press, turn again a quarter-inch, and press. Do this to each short end. Sew both short ends separately using a straight stitch.
Measure and mark straight down the center of the hemmed fabric. Use this line as the guide for quarter-inch elastic. Start at one short end of the fabric, position the elastic, then begin sewing with a straight stitch. Keep the elastic on the line and keep the needle going straight down the middle of the elastic. As you sew, tug slightly on the elastic, and this will help gather the ruffle. It’s important that you keep the same amount of pull on the elastic if you want the ruffle to be evenly gathered.
You can make the ruffle even more frilly by starting with two bands of fabric. One should be slightly wider than the other. Position the more narrow one on top of the wide one, then sew the elastic to the back. This will give you a double ruffle that looks great on dresses and shirts.
You can add the ruffle to a garment which has a plain bodice by simply sewing down the center of the ruffle while it is placed down the center of the garment. To add the ruffle to a basket simply hot glue the elastic to the basket. Use the ruffle as a curtain tie-back by adding loops of cord at the ends. To do this, place the small loop of cord between the elastic and the fabric, at each end, before attaching the elastic. Use the loops to hang the tie-backs on the hooks.
Make a slightly different ruffle by sewing the elastic next to one long edge of the fabric instead of down the middle. This ruffle technique can help you make a bed skirt, little girl’s skirt and similar things. Learning to make a simplistic ruffle can give you lots of sewing fun because you can use them in so many ways!