How to Sew Ruffles

What You'll Need
Sewing needle
Cotton or polyester thread
Fabric ruffles

Knowing how to sew fabric ruffles by hand lets you adjust how much fabric you want ruffled, but a sewing machine can make the process much faster. Either way you decide, understanding how to sew these decorative pieces will add a pleasant note to your favorite dress or skirt.

Sewing Ruffles by Hand

Step 1 - Thread the Needle

Thread your sewing needle with a length of thread that is at least 12 inches longer than the length of fabric that will be gathered. This will give you enough thread to adjust the length of the ruffles in the fabric. Tie a knot at the end of the thread.

Step 2 - Needle

Insert your needle at the top edge of the fabric where the ruffle will be made. Use a running stitch which will make it easy to form the gathers.

Step 3 - Gathers

woman wearing black shirt with ruffles

As you sew, form gathers with your fingers at even spaces. Once the fabric is gathered, you can tie a knot at the end of the thread.

Sewing Ruffles by Machine

Step 1 - Prepare the Settings

Set your sewing machine to a five or six millimeter stitch length for the thread spool and bobbin spool. Leave six inches of thread hanging loose on the first side of the fabric before stitching. Tie a knot in the bobbin thread.

Step 2 - Begin Sewing

Sew one line of thread along the edge of the fabric that is to be ruffled. Leave six inches of thread on the other side of the fabric before cutting the threads.

Step 3 - Complete Ruffles

Cut the threads, then start to form the ruffles by moving the fabric along the line of stitching. Once the ruffles are in place, tie a knot at both ends of the thread, then cut off the excess thread.

Your ruffles are ready to be sewn as a decoration on a dress, shirt, or skirt.