Ruffles on hems. Ruffles on purses. Ruffles on pillows. We see ruffles everywhere! Here’s some helpful tips from our in-house designer (who’s designs are full of ruffles) – Dian Stanley.
I’m not usually a ruffle kind of girl but there is something about ruffled purses that really speaks to me. I’ve now designed three Indygo Junction purse patterns with ruffles (Serged Satchel; Ruffled Revival; & Ruffled Trio) so I think I know a little bit about ruffled purses.
There are many ways to make ruffles today – from sewing machine attachments to ruffling tape. I don’t own a ruffle attachment for my sewing machine so I make the ruffles the old fashioned way by gathering. Start by stitching a long, basting stitch along the edge to be gathered. I find that using a different color thread in the bobbin makes it easier to see which thread to pull especially if you serged the top of your ruffle. The bobbin thread also pulls easier than the top thread.
It’s important to make sure that your ruffles are evenly distributed on the bag. I find the easiest way to do this is to divide the ruffle into quarters before you start to gather and place a pin at each quarter. If your ruffle goes all the way around your bag mark the center front and back. Loosely gather the ruffle and then match the pins in your ruffle to the side seams and the center markings. Continue to pull the bobbin thread (gently) until the ruffle fits the bag and the gathers are evenly distributed. Pin to hold in place while you stitch.
Sometimes with the gathered ruffle & the purse body & the batting, it can get kind of thick and your machine might get bogged down trying to sew through that many layers. If that happens, just loosen the presser foot a little so the purse will flow more smoothly under the needle.
Make sure as you add layers of ruffles that the upper layer covers the top of the bottom layer.
Thanks so much, Dian S.