How To Make Ruffles And Sew Them On

Ruffles, ruffles, ruffles! We love ruffles and this tutorial will show you how to make ruffles and sew them on the professional way. It’s easy and with just a few detailed steps you can make ruffles and sew them on to almost anything.

How To Make Ruffles And Sew Them On

There are several ways of sewing ruffles so I am not saying my way is the right way and others are wrong 😉 This is just my preferred way to sew ruffles. It’s the best way for me to make pretty ruffled clothing that can meet the high standard of boutique clothing.

>>>See our tutorial to sew ruffles to a plain bib overall!<<<

For today’s example I am using my own pattern, the Jump Around pants pattern from Whimsy Couture. They are straight cut and perfect for adding ruffles!

Instructions to measure for the ruffles

Place your project (in my case the pant leg) in front of you and measure the bottom hem width. Before adding ruffles to anything that normally does not give that option, be sure to take off the amount of fabric from the hem area to accommodate the ruffle length. For my pants I actually shortened them a tad more to make them capris.

Determine how long you want the ruffles to be from top to bottom. My ruffles should ultimately be 3″ long so I cut my length (measured from top of ruffle to bottom of ruffles) to 4″.

I calculated 0.5″ for the seam allowance for sewing the ruffles on and 0.5″ for the bottom hem which I serged and folded up 0.5″, then sewed the hem down.

Set your machine to a gathering stitch

Not all machines are able to gather fabric that way but most do. I use my brother machine and it gathers so well. Set your tension to the higher number and the stitch length to the longest stitch.

Place your ruffle strip down with the raw edge under the presser foot, leave a thread tail of 10″ and start sewing with a seam allowance of 1/4″. Sew along the dashed line as shown below.

>>>See our tutorial to sew ruffles to a onesie!<<<

Once you finish sewing, leave 10″ of thread on the ruffle and trim off the thread. This is what your ruffle looks like now. It will naturally curl.

Pull gently on one side’s thread to gather the fabric even more.

Now pull on the other side’s thread as well until your fabric is evenly and tightly gathered. Be sure to gather it as much as possible without breaking the threads.

To continue with the tutorial please click on page 2 below!

This is how your ruffle looks now. Tightly gathered.

Press the ruffle

Now comes my tip which is not all too often known. Arrange the gathers so that the fabric looks almost completely pleated. Pull on the hem to help get all the gathers lined up as much as possible.

Press the gathered area flat but ONLY the area where the thread runs through. I tend to go down on the ruffle about half to three quarters way which is fine but I make sure not to steam that area and only steam the upper edge.

Sew the ruffle on

Take your tightly gathered and pressed ruffle and place it underneath the pants, both with right sides up.

Gently spread out the gathers so that the ruffle meets the pants edges.

Flip the ruffle up and over the pants, pin and sew them on. Be sure to sew slightly above the gathering stitches so they won’t show on the right side. Then finish the raw edges.

Check if your gathering stitches (top row, pointed to by the left arrow) are visible from the outside which in my case they are.

Using your seam ripper, gently break those stitches from the right side. Then press the area and top stitch on the right side about 1/8″ above the seam.

And your ruffled pants are done!

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Categories: Sewing
Tags: ruffles
Denise :Hi! I'm a craft & sewing loving mom of 4 (+ 3 dogs). When I am not crafting or sewing, you can find me playing with my kids and dogs! I am a slow cooker & coffee addict. My favorite color is any color and I have a degree in business management. My 24/7 job is DIY Crush and Whimsy Couture, besides being a mom. Hope to inspire you to DIY with me!

View Comments (1)

  • Another great tutorial, Denise. I love ruffles on little girls pants and dresses. I've featured your tutorial and your blog today.