Sewing Tools to Use: Ruffler

by This is Carrie on March 23, 2009

It was only a couple years ago that I picked up a ruffler foot for the first time. Quickly I realized what I had been missing.
Note: Bernina rufflers are super expensive. Mine is a Bernina compatable ruffler and I picked it up on ebay for $20.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Natasha March 23, 2009 at 2:56 pm

Hi, this is Natasha B. I’m a friend/fellow ward member of Kage. I saw the dress you made for D and her doll and I LOVE it! I wanted to ask where your favorite fabric store is in Astoria. You said on 30th. Name? Address? Thanks a bunch! If you want to e-mail you can at natashalayla (at) hotmail (dot) com


dandelionmama March 23, 2009 at 5:18 pm

So is this totally worth picking up? I hate making ruffles with double rows of basting stiches- I always seem to catch the fabric in the wrong place… does this help that? Or am I totally Lame?

Two different questions, I suppose!


This is Carrie March 23, 2009 at 5:28 pm

tracy – I use mine a lot for gathering trim. For gathering fabric, and when using a pattern, it is harder to make the gathered piece the exact measurement you need. To get around this, when something has a fabric ruffle, I cut the piece longer and trim after ruffling.

Gathering using double rows of stitches should keep fabric catching at a minimum as long as you sew your seam right down the middle. I think this type of gathering, when done well, looks better than the gathering done with the ruffler. But for the time spent, I rarely find it worth the extra effort. The ruffler makes gather by putting tiny tucks in the fabric – one certain settings, the gathering looks like lots of tiny little pleats.

The other thing about the ruffler is that it sews the ruffling stitch 1/4″ from the fabric edge, so you have to keep that in mind when typical seam allowances call for 5/8″ seam. Chance to catching fabric is still high with ruffler.

That all said, I use my ruffler a ton and I am no longer afraid of dress styles that require huge amounts of gathering.


dandelionmama March 23, 2009 at 5:44 pm

Thanks for the feedback.

On those dupioni silk flower girl dresses I made a while back, I ended up having to use THREE rows of stitches for the gathers (and it was a TON of gathers) to keep the fabric from catching. It was horrible. So I’m a little gun-shy on gathering right now- I’ll keep my eyes out for one of these.

(I can’t get the button to work!)


Mommymita March 23, 2009 at 9:56 pm

I got one from Dr. Stieneckert when she was cleaning out a closet early one morning in the sewing lab.

I’ve switched to Viking though and wondering if they have a foot that would make this attatchment work on my machine. If not I’m going to borrow my Mom’s old Bernina.

I probably could have used that this week.


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