Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Ruffle Some Feathers

Hello! A while back I did a guest post over at Keeping it Simple. I shared a very simple... in keeping with the theme of her blog... tutorial on how to sew a ruffle and table runner. I realized that I never actually posted about it over here on my own blog.  So, here it is... in case you didn't see it over there.

For Christmas (yes I am aware it is March) this year I decided I would do all handmade gifts. Ok, maybe not ALL handmade but at least the majority. I wanted to make table runners for all the ladies in my life. When I looked up tutorials on how to make a ruffle I was surprised at how complicated most people made it. I knew there had to be an easier way. I called up my good friend Rachelle and she explained it so well, and so simply, I knew I had to pass it on to the rest of the bloggy world. So here it is:

I started by sewing my table runner. All I did was cut out my fabric using an old table runner to measure. Then I just hemmed the edges so it wouldn't fray when washed. Next came the ruffle. Cut your fabric for the ruffle about 4 inches wide and twice the length of the end of your runner. You can do it with less but the ruffle won't be as full.

Next, you can hem all 4 edges of the ruffle if you want a finished look, or you can fray the edges for a shabby look.  If you are planning on washing this in a machine I would recommend hemming the edges.  Now you are ready to make your ruffle.

Set your sewing machine at the longest stitch you have.  The higher the number the longer the stitch.  Mine is a 4.

Sew a straight line about 1 inch down from the top of your fabric all the way across.  Do not back stitch, just sew straight across and leave plenty of thread on either side.  

Start on one side and pull the top thread.  Scrunch your fabric down on the thread and it will start to ruffle.  Don't pull too hard though, it will break your thread and you will have to start all over... and then you will be sad.  I speak from experience.

(Excuse the dark pictures, I tend to do my crafts after the little one goes to bed.  A 1 year old doesn't understand why she can't play with mommies scissors)

When you have scrunched all of your fabric, line it up on your runner and spread out the ruffle to your liking.  Pin the ruffle in place and sew straight over the line you just sewed, only this time using back stitching.

Repeat this process with your second ruffle on the other side of your runner and you are done.  It is so simple and looks so pretty!

So there you have it peeps.


  1. Very cute!! The ladies will be happy to get such pretty gifts! I especially love the lacy one.

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  3. Here is some advice to ruffle your feathers….1. it is easier to make a ruffle if you widen the stitch length a bit. It makes it MUCH easier to pull the thread to form the gathers. Also if after you sew the ruffle to your runner you notice some of the gathering stitches show, they are much easier to pull out if they are looser.

    I always sew TWO lines about 1/4 inch apart. If one of your threads breaks you don't have to start over... you simply start gathering the ruffle on the other line of stitching. Sew the first line as you instructed and then sew another line inside that line- closer to the raw edge of the seam. If you are gathering a very large length of fabric this technique can be a life saver. I ruffled my daughter's crib set- bumper pads and quilt and it literally saved my sanity (this was BEFORE having such adorable bedding became a sign public enemy #1 to infants).

    I found you at Tatortots and Jello's Linky party. I am enjoying your blog a lot. You write in a voice that I find very close to my own….as in smartass. It is funny to read another blog that sounds so similar to my own. My blog is raining