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Topic: Need Help with Ruffliness  (Read 2373 times)
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« on: June 14, 2009 03:15:16 PM »


I've been sewing like an old lady who missed bingo night lately. I've got this black fabric and these awesome zippers (I think it's cotton, possibly poly/cotton or cotton/linen blend; smooth and slightly shiney) I want to use to make a tiered ruffly skirt. A rara for all intensive purposes. I did a trial run with a white cotton with tiny polkadots, buuuut I couldn't get it to ruffle properly.

Ideas of what I'm looking for:
From Urban Outfitters


How do I make the awesome that is ruffle? I tried a number of techniques I'd seen in tutorials and what not, but perhaps it was just the fabric I was using.
« Last Edit: June 14, 2009 03:16:42 PM by polutechnos » THIS ROCKS   Logged

« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2009 11:53:51 PM »

How are your ruffles not working exactly? Are they not full enough? Cotton, if not very thick (which I doubt yours was too thick), should ruffle quite well. If it's not looking exactly like those pictures, but you do get a ruffle, it might just be the fabric. The black skirt needs a relatively thin fabric, and the other one looks slightly slinky (not stretchy, but not something that could hold a crease... the term for this escapes me right now).

This is probably what you've already read in tutorials but to make a ruffle, if you don't have a ruffle foot, you stitch a line inside the seam allowance (I usually do 1/4 in. or 1/2 cm from the edge) at the longest straight stitch setting your machine has. Don't lock your stitches when you start or finish and leave a long enough tail to get hold of the thread. Then pull one of the threads so the fabric gathers, spread the gathers as evenly as you can, and stitch it on carefully to the waistband/previous tier. If the ruffle isn't full enough you probably need a longer piece of fabric.

Also, for a skirt like the black one, usually the bottom most ruffle doesn't attach at the same spot as the top ruffle (as in, it's not double the length so it sticks out), which gives a different look. There is a strip underneath the first ruffle that the bottom ruffle is attached to so that the gathering on the bottom ruffle is visible. The second skirt looks to be one shorter ruffle one longer, attached at the same seam.
« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2009 08:49:46 AM »

Thank you! The white fabric I tried with wasn't very thick, but what was happening is that it would ruffle right near the stitches but about 2" down from that it would go flat. Perhaps this fabric is just too stiff. I'll see if I can put your help to good use!


« Reply #3 on: June 16, 2009 10:22:13 AM »

It does sound a bit stiff. Sometimes it gets better after a wash or steam since it gives the fabric a chance to kind of set in its new ruffly position, so you could try that too (if you don't have a vertical steamer, you can try hanging it in a steamed up bathroom during/after a hot shower).
good luck with your skirt! I love ruffles  Smiley
« Reply #4 on: June 19, 2009 04:59:21 PM »

From what I can see, at least from the second picture, these ruffles are not just made by straight pieces of fabric. To me, it looks like a big circle, imagine a circle skirt with a MUCH bigger hole, gathered into ruffles, creating volume both from the gathering and the fact the fabric is bigger on the "lower" end. Smiley
« Reply #5 on: June 21, 2009 12:37:34 PM »

I think you're right about that, ronillebest. I've made a couple other skirts trying some things out, but haven't gone for the ruffly one yet. I've never made a circle skirt, but it's a good a time as any to learn. My future mother-in-law gave me this dress to recon, and the fabric is perfect for a light and ruffly mini.

Thanks again for the help Smiley

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