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Thursday, July 12, 2012

How-To Gather Ruffles Without Swearing

If you've ever sewn a Create Kids Couture pattern, you've most likely had to gather lots of ruffles! Ruffles!!! They are one of the features that make our designs really stand out, but they sure can be a headache sometimes, can't they? I remember one of the first CKC patterns I ever sewed-- Addison's Triple Ruffle Dress--ruffles galore! After reading Shannon and Tiffany's sage advice "Some seamstresses prefer to have two rows of stitching in case a thread breaks, however, if you are using high-quality thread as we do, then one row of stitching should be sufficient." I decided that since I used high quality thread, I would do one row of stitching. As I got a layer almost completely gathered, the unthinkable happened!!! My thread broke!!! I spewed a few obscenities and started over. Phew, I made it through that layer, and on to the next only to have the same thing happen AGAIN!!! I remember thinking at that moment, "Wow, Shannon and Tiffany must be friends with that chick who can spin straw into gold thread, because my "high quality thread" obviously isn't quite as high quality as theirs is!"  If you've ever been in my shoes, you know just how this STINKS!!! That moment, I decided that I would find a better way!

So here's my secret...upholstery thread! I buy it from Joann's. In my local store it's on the top shelf with other specialty threads. It's a little more expensive but so totally worth it, plus you can usually use a 40 or 50% off coupon to get it! I just use that in my bobbin and I NEVER have a break! Plus, the thread is really smoothe, so you don't have to do a lot of tugging and wiggling, the fabric just slides right along no problem!!! I've also heard of people winding fine fishing line on their bobbins for a similar effect, but I've never tried this myself.

In case you haven't been there, you really need to visit the Create Kids Couture Sewing Forum. I was just browsing there and ran into an entire thread dedicated to gathering/ruffling tips. I ran into this awesome video link about gathering posted by kaliechloe who claims to be a newbie but apparently has really good instincts. Go watch it!

Or maybe you're like me and you actually invested in a ruffler foot, but can't figure the dang thing out!!! Carissa74 shared a link to a free ebook "The 'Ruffler'...Unruffled." I'll be snatching that up!!!

Well, now that you've got ruffles down, go check out some of my favorite patterns featuring ruffles and get sewing!!!
Rosanna's Corset Peasant Dress

Serena's Double Layer Stripwork Dress

Kiki's Extra Ruffled Top

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