3/12/2014

Ruffles, Ruffles and More Ruffles

Ruffles
Oh, my, I have been visiting the other blogs to see what everyone has RUFFLED up! So many wonderful ideas and projects. I want to start making some of everything! 

I must thank Amy and Madame Samm for gathering so many of us to ruffle our way into this blog hop. I thought it sounded like a great blog hop. I wanted to see what I could come up with. Also, I wanted to share some ruffling tips with others. I have learned more tips from others, too. 

A few tips to share 

1) When sewing stitches for gathering, lessen the top tension on the machine. Use a thread that is a bit heavier in the bobbin, like hand quilting thread, #30 or # 40 weight, (even dental floss if the fabric is thick). Use two colors of threads to know which is the bobbin to pull. Anchor the top thread at each end and pull the bobbin thread to form the ruffles. I do this by placing a straight pin at each end and winding the top thread in a figure 8 style around the ends of the pin. Since the bobbin thread is not pulled up into, or close to the fabric, it pulls very easily. Tie the ends or secure in the straight pins. 

2) For very nice ruffles such as on a dress or pillow, sew 2 rows of gathering stitches, one a bit less than the seam allowance and the other 1/8" away from those stitches on the raw edge side of the ruffle. Follow the same steps as in #1 above, but pull both threads as if they were one. 

3) After gathering the ruffle the length needed, sew a smaller stitch 2.5-3.0 at a regular tension setting to hold the ruffles in place so they don't move as you pin or sew.

4) If you are making long lengths of ruffles, sew the gathering threads in smaller sections such as 22". Leave long thread tails at the start and finish of the smaller sections. Secure every other set of thread ends in pins or tie them. Pull the loose ends of each small section to form the ruffles and then secure when they are the length needed. This helps because you are not pulling yards of thread through yards of ruffles and reduces the possibility of breakage. 

My Project!

So what did I come up with? A Christmas decoration! (Why not start early?)


9" tall Christmas tree.

I have lots of fabric. I had a styrofoam cone (base 4", height 9"). I 
measured around the cone to estimate the length of ruffle needed.



I started cutting 3" x WOF strips and got 7 from my fabric. I cut the 
fabric ends at 45 degree angles and sewed the strips together, 
end to end.


I folded and pressed the fabric strip in half lengthwise with the right
side out. I folded the starting end inside to hide the raw edge.


I sewed gathering stitches as described above and sectioned them 
off about every 22". 



I gathered the entire length of the strip section by section. Pulling that 
loose bobbin thread. 


When completed, I sewed a smaller seam to hold
all the gathers together.


I began wrapping at the base, pinning with T-Pins.
I angled up a bit when I came to where I started.
I spiralled around the cone up to the top. 


I cut the extra length of ruffles, leaving about 1 1/2" to tuck inside the end
to hide the raw edge of the end. 

I made a circle cap (and it really looks like a hat on top) to cover the 
end of the styrofoam. I sewed two circles together, cut a slit in the 
center to turn it right side out. Pressed the edges.
I pinned around it to keep it in place and tied a bow
to cover the pins. I will probably think of something else later, but for now, it works.


I thought it might be fun to sew some rick-rack or beads on the folded edge 
of the ruffle for decorations. I might try making the ruffles wider at the bottom










53 comments:

jan said...

Nancy- that is a great idea! I will definitely have to try this! And thank you for the ruffling tips.
xo jan

Amy said...

It turned out just tree-mendous. It is never too early to work on Christmas gifts. Thanks for all the ruffling tips. ;)

Theresa said...

It's a very cute tree! I agree, never too early to start.

Judy B said...

What a beautiful addition to your Christmas decorations! Thank you for the tutorial and for sharing.

Terry@ a quilting blog said...

Cute tree and fun way to decorate for Christmas…thanks for the tips :)

Anita said...

Cute Christmas Tree!

Vicky Myers said...

You are getting organised for Christmas:) thanks for sharing:)

Shari said...

What an interesting idea for a decoration. Great way to use up fabric or to recycle. Thanks for the tips on ruffles and this cute little tutorial!

Britt-Inger said...

A wonderful idea to make a Christmas tree. Thanks for the tips and the tutorial.

charlotte said...

What a cute idea. You are so clever.

Debby said...

Nancy, very clever! Love that idea. I have one of those cones that was never used and I may use that idea next Christmas! I tried to click on your "I'm a Cutloose Press Designer" icon but it didn't go anywhere. Thought you should know. Thanks for sharing.

Elizabeth Coughlin said...

Your tree is wonderful, and thank you so much for all the tips!

Dorian said...

Very creative! Thanks for the tips.

Thearica said...

It is never too early to start on Christmas! Love your tree!

Nancy said...

I have fixed the link. I normally send an email to all who leave comments and did send you one. But wanted to let other know the link is fixed.

Marjorie's Busy Corner said...

This is a unique and wonderful idea!!

Leah said...

Very cool. I love the idea of getting ready for Christmas early. Less stress in December and more time for enjoying the holidays.

Anonymous said...

Well, you are never too early to start projects for x-mas, I already spotted a quilt for this season, LOL!
Great idea with the tree!

Doris Rice said...

I really like the Christmas tree. Great idea. And there are so many ruffled projects I want to make now. My list just gets longer and longer.

Purl Buttons said...

What an interesting idea. You know, it IS a good idea to start holiday sewing right now. Thank you for sharing your project.

Mdm Samm said...

I know I know I am late this morning, we are being hit by a wicked wicked storm and white stuff is falling from the sky like sheets….eeeek…lol

Now where was I, your treeeeeee .LOVE IT the colours and photos….lovely….does it have special powers….if soooooo please work it now…warm up our earth over here lol

StitchinByTheLake said...

What a novel idea! I have a cone tree like that which has crocheted ruffles. It was a gift from a friend thirty years ago and I could never figure out how she made it. Now I know! Blessings, marlene

Linda said...

Good for you for starting now on Christmas! Love your little tree! Your tips are a great reminder of lessons learned when I was much younger. Its good to be reminded of these things!

Beth Strand said...

How fun...you and I must have learned all the same ruffling tricks! I was tickled to see the shot of your thread wrapped around the pin...just like I do it! Lovely project, thanks for sharing how to do it! Beth @ Words & Stiches (also on today's hop.)

Sheila said...

Great project and a nice start on Christmas ! Thanks for the tips on ruffle making too :-)

MooseStashQuilting said...

Great tutorial and cute holiday tree!

evelyn said...

It is never too soon to sew for Christmas! Love the tree. Thanks for the "tut".

Lana said...

What a neat idea!!! I will have to remember that for next year! Great job!!!

Brenda said...

What a clever idea, and what an amazing tutorial on both ruffles and the Christmas tree ornament.

Heidi [Banks of Frog Creek] said...

Thank you for the tips! What a fun Christmas decoration!

Carolyn said...

Love your ruffled tree! I love making holiday items all year long. Thank you for the tips. They're great! :)

Kay said...

Thank you for sharing your project, and most especially for the tips too.

Mary said...

Your tree is adorable. Great idea. Thank you for sharing.

Jill Rimes said...

How clever and so sweet!

Createology said...

Thank you for sharing your in depth ruffle technique. Such a cute ruffled Christmas Tree and it is never too early to begin preparing for holidays and gifts. Thank you sew very much for Hopping...

Vickie said...

What a cute little tree (you're smart to start early) and thanks for the great tips on ruffling !

madebymeinred said...

Thanks for the tips. Ruffles can be challenging. Your tree is so neat. Wonderful idea and thanks for the "how to" for it.

Rose Best said...

What a wonderful idea..Thanks

Carla said...

Very clever idea and great tips. Thank you.

Sherry said...

It was super that you took the time to share your tips on making great ruffles. Your project is fun and would be a great one to share at our church craft and sewing night.

Scrapatches said...

This is sew cute! I never would have thought of it. I really want to make one of these for next Christmas. Thanks for showing me how! ... :) Pat

Mary Ann said...

What a fun idea!

Linda J said...

Very cute and ready for holiday decorating! Clever girl.

Teatime Creations said...

What a lovely way to use ruffles. Thanks for the directions. This will be on my Xmas DO list.

JanesQuilting said...

That is very cute. Thank you for the tips. I am making my next ruffels your way.

Margaret said...

I love the way you used your ruffles. Thanks for showing us how you did it.

Suze said...

Very cute and you have a start on Christmas. Thanks for the hints. Thanks for participating in the hop. I'm headed back to look at more of your posts.

maggie said...

That is so clever! I love the idea of adding some little "decorations" to your tree. So sweet.
cheers
maggie

maggiemine42@gmail.com

Nancy said...

Rose, Thank you for visiting and commenting. It was an easy little tree to make. Enjoy the rest of the ruffle hop.

OhioLori said...

Very Creative use of ruffles!! Love your idea to do another one..but this one is super as it is...in my humble opinion anyhow. :)

Janarama said...

It's never too early to make something for Christmas. Your ruffled tree is adorable and so very creative.

LJ said...

Thanks for the tips; I was surprised at how many of them I already use and didn't even realize it. The possibilites are endless when it comes to decorating the trees - optional things really would be fun.

MoeWest said...

That's a good idea for an easy Christmas decoration! Thanks for the ruffling tips too.