Thursday, August 16, 2012

Ruffles Tutorial - Fast and Easy !!

I love to ruffle but it was always such a pain.  There are so many ways to ruffle but I really didn't like any of them.  There are ruffling attachments you can get for your machine but I didn't want the expense.

So....when I stumbled across this way of ruffling......let me just say, "It was a life changer for me!"
This is high on my list of "Things I could not do without!" or "Why didn't someone tell me this before?"

So, here you are - and now you can't say that no one ever told you..........

Start with a length of fabric that you want to ruffle.

Set your machine tension to the highest number.

Set your stitch length to the longest stitch.

Put it in your machine and sew down the edge, or the middle or wherever you want that ruffle.

Your fabric will curl up and send chills up your spine.

If it doesn't ruffle enough for you, then hold the tension a little tighter with your fingers where the thread feeds in.  Don't hold too tight or the thread will break.

This piece was ruffled while I was holding the tension with my fingers.  See how tight it is.  It almost curls up around the needle.  I had to keep moving it out of the way.

And that is ok, if that is what you are looking for.

This piece was ruffled with no added finger tension.  I like it just fine.  It makes it a pretty good 2 to 1 ratio.  I can pin it to my piece and not have to pull one gathering thread!

This technique works great for light to medium weight fabrics.  You can even fold it over and sew it double and it still works.  It does not work with heavy duty fabrics like denim.  You will have to go back to the old methods for that.  Darn!

Now, grab some fabric and give it a whirl.  

You're gonna thank me for this one........It's a life changer..........

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Rows of Ruffles Pillow Tutorial - You're gonna LOVE this one!

This was the pillow that was IN my head - not UNDER it.  Ha Ha
I will show you how it came to life.

Once again, I am loving it.

I had two fabrics, a soft pink polka dot for the back and accents and the brassy flower print for the ruffles.

We will start with the front.  Cut 4 - 2 1/2" x 15" strips for the spacers between the ruffles.  Cut 2 - 4 1/2" x 15 for the outside strips.  (I was making multiple pillows so I have too many strips shown here for one pillow)

Mark the middle on the backs of each strip.  This will be important as you are sewing it together.

For the ruffles, cut 6 - 3" x 30".  I serged one long end of each.  (This picture shows that I also serged each short end.  Then I sewed the ends into the seams and realized that serging was a waste of time.)

Then I gathered the raw edge of the other of long end of each ruffle piece. 

 I also marked the middle of the ruffle with a pin.

Pin the ruffle to an outside 4 1/2" x 15 strip, wrong side to right side as shown.  (You may wonder why the polka dot strip seems so much smaller than the ruffle - and I have an answer for that.  In this picture it actually is.  I changed my mind after I took the picture.  I wanted the strip to show more.  It was originally going to be a 2 1/2" strip and I changed to a 4 1/2" strip for the outsides only.)

This is where the middle marks come in handy.  I pin each end first then I pin the middles together.  Then I ease the rest of the ruffle into the space that is left.  Do not sew yet, just pin.

Lay another strip (2 1/2" x 15") on top of the ruffle matching middles.  Pin these three layers together.

Finally, you can turn on your machine.

Sew 1/4" from the edge through all three layers.

Open up the top layer and topstitch.

Then pin another ruffle to the strip with another strip on top and sew again.  Do this with three of the ruffles and strips.  Topstitch each strip open.

After 3 ruffles are in place, the middle strip (2" x 15") goes in place.

It's starting to look good now.

 You add ruffles and strips to the other side, just as you have done before, but the last strip will be the other outside 4 1/2" x 15" piece. 

Sew them all down and don't forget to topstitch.

 You can trim your top to be a perfect 15" x 15".

Looks great, huh!  You want to hang it on the wall just like this, don't you?  I love how the serged edge on the ruffles makes it look so finished.

Now start the back.  Cut your piece 15" x 20".  Then cut that piece in half with two pieces each 15" x 10".

On each piece, iron 1/4" in on a 15" side.  Then fold it over another 1/4" and iron again and sew close to the open edge.  This will give you a nice finished edge for your enveloped back.

Then lay your back on your front with right sides together.  Make sure the ruffles are straight on the inside and the edge of the ruffle gets sewn into the seam.  The backs will overlap.  That is good.
Sew all four edges with a 1/4" seam.

Clip the corners like this.

Turn it right side out, stuff a 14" x 14" pillow form into it and waalaa!  Look what you have!

She's a purty one!

Yep, I'm liking her a lot!

I am going to show you an easy way to do the gathering for the ruffles in a "soon to be" post.  This way of gathering changed my life.  You will LOVE it.

Ruffles and Pillows.....again.

So, I am liking this ruffle thing.  When I finished with the Red Polka Dot with the Ruffle in a circle, it just naturally led me to putting the ruffles in rows.
This is what I came up with.......and I am in love again.

But it is sad that I pick out fabrics that go with NOTHING else I have.  I just love the fabrics and think they will look good together.

So, I am stuck with a beautiful pillow that doesn't match my couch or buy a new couch........ummm, that's a tough one.........