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Help with Ruffle

harleygirl | Posted in General Sewing Info on

Okay guys, don’t laugh I am in need of help.  I bought a ruffler foot for my machine and know how to use it.  My question is, how do i get the finished edge on the ruffle?  I am trying to take  a pair of jeans that are too short for my daughter and add a ruffle on the bottom to match a shirt i made her.  And I just don’t get it. 

Should I sew the ruffle to the inside to the jeans or on the outside bottom?  Any suggestions?




  1. User avater
    Becky-book | | #1

    Here are several suggestions:

    make the ruffle of folded cloth (length wise) baste the raw edges together then ruffle that to the inside of the finished leg...or..

    make a small hem on one long edge of the ruffle first then attach to pant leg so that ruffle hangs down over the hem of the pants

    I have only played around with a ruffle foot and don't own one now but it seams like it would be easier just to pull up some gathering threads on a ruffle as small as this.

    Are the pants already finished?  Could you add the ruffle before you sew the last leg seam, so you can work flat instead of around the leg?  Ops! just re-read your post the jeans are now too short and you want to extend the life by extending the length!

    You can stitch on the out side or inside, the resulting look will be different; outside will 'pouf' more and inside will be restrained by the hem of the jeans.

    Hope this helps,


    1. harleygirl | | #2

      Thanks Becky!  I guess I am just not getting it!  If I choose to sew the ruffle to outside of pants and I have folded material to ruffle, how will the top edge be finished.  Or should I just do a small hem on each side of a single strip of fabric, then ruffle.  That way, both edges would be finished for sewing on outside. 

      I just don't see it in my mind.  Of course, that could also be the fact that I am blonde and it takes me a while to understand things.  Ha!





      1. User avater
        Becky-book | | #3

        If you sew the ruffle on the outside, right sides together, with the ruffle going up the leg; then when you let the ruffle fall into position it will cover the raw edge.

        Maybe I do not understand how you want the ruffle to look when completed?


        1. harleygirl | | #4

          So Becky, should I trim back the bulk of the pants hem on the leg.  I get it now, I am silly I told you.  Do you think the pant leg will be to bulky if i leave original hem on there and add ruffle on top?

          And by the way, thanks for all your help!


          1. User avater
            Becky-book | | #6

            I would not want to try to stitch through ruffled fabric and a jeans hem!  If you don't cut the hem off, then stitch the ruffle to the leg above the existing hem.

            A few more ideas:

               without using the ruffler foot - I would cut the ruffle at least double the circumference of the pant leg and double the length of ruffle desired (plus seam allow.) seam the short ends together (makes a circle) then fold in half lengthwise (fold line is hem of ruffle and raw edges are seam allow.) baste raw edges together with long machine stitch, divide leg into quarters, divide ruffle into quarters and draw up basting threads to gather the ruffle.

            If you are short on fabric or don't want to fold the ruffle double, you could serge both long edges of the ruffle piece and stitch it in place with a top stitch technique that results in a small ruffle standing up and the longer ruffle hanging down. (you sometimes see this on curtains).

            When you are deciding how big to cut your ruffle piece remember to figure from the stitching line on the leg down to the desired length (not from the bottom of the hem!) for example... if you need 2 inches of additional length beyond the bottom of hem and you plan to stitch above the bottom of the hem by 1 inch, you will need 3 inches plus seam allow.  If you will fold in half, you will need 6 inches plus 2 seam allow. (for each raw edge in the seam).

            Hope this helps,


  2. samsmomma | | #5

    I'd serge  or zigzag the edge to be gathered , then hem the bottom edge, THEN I would ruffle it. otherwise you have raw edges that may fray out over time and have to be reattached.

    Hope that helps.

    1. harleygirl | | #7


      I was thinking the samething with the zigzag stitch.  Thanks for your advice.  I have sewed a lot of things but getting all these feet to do certain things with my machine has made my life so much easier. 

      I can't wait to get the narrow hemmer foot (rolled hem).  I have learned these different feet make my sewing so much nicer looking. 

      I appreciate your help.


      1. Josefly | | #8

        Another cute way to finish the edges of the ruffle is to enclose the raw edges in purchased bias tape. The narrow (1/2" wide tape) can be folded over the edge and zig-zagged, making a 1/4" trim. It looks really cute on a ruffle; the tape can contrast your ruffle fabric or can match one of the colors in the fabric. Good luck, and let us know how it turns out.

  3. Teaf5 | | #9

    You can narrow-hem both edges of the ruffle before using the ruffler foot--love the ruffler foot-- and then use a zipper foot to straight stitch the ruffle to the jeans, stitching just above the denim hem, and adjusting the zipper foot so that it aligns against the heavy hem inside of on top of it.

    If you finish both the top and bottom edges, it doesn't matter whether you attach it to the inside or outside of the jeans.  If you attach it to the outside, allow a little space above the ruffling stitch to make a cute top edging for the ruffle, a kind of double-sided ruffle.  If you attach it to the inside, do the ruffling and the straight stitching along the top of the finished ruffle to prevent extra bulk inside the pant leg.

    As much as I love this look on little girls, on anyone over ten years old, a ruffled jean just looks like mom is trying to make a short pair of jeans look longer.  My daughter has a 36" inseam, so I've been there, done that!

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