Monday, 27 April 2015

Sewing Tools: Ruffler

 Once upon a time, I was lurking around in my local fabric and sewing notions shop and stumbled upon a weird looking gadget. "? What are you?" I wondered. Never before had I seen such a thing and I was instantly curious as to what it does. It automatically gathers and pleats all types of fabrics? I have been slightly underwhelmed by the standard  on my sewing machine as it is quite picky about how and what types of fabric it gathers so I decided to try out the ruffler. 

It looks like something out of a steampunk meets futuristic movie. And at first I thought it was quite intimidating with all of the moving parts, screws and setting. However after reading through the instructions and taking a quiet moment to get to know Ruffie(like I like to call him), I realized that he's a really awesome gadget and a must have in one's sewing arsenal.

You can gather/pleat(depending on the settings) simply one piece of fabric or gather/pleat one layer of fabric while you sew it to another layer of fabric that is not gathered/pleated. Which is great when you are making something where you have to gather a lot of pieces and then sew them onto regular fabric(for example if you're making pettiskirts)

Ruffie functions based on stitch length, gather/pleat depth and pleat/gather interval. There are four options for pleats. Pleat every stitch(interval 1), which creates gathers, pleat every 6th or 12th stitch(which creates pleats) and the forth setting is no pleating. The depth of the pleats can be manually regulated with the black screw in front of the foot. I made a few examples of each setting. The stitch length was 2,5 unless otherwise stated so you can see the difference the different settings make.
Interval: 1
Depth: 1
Stitch: 2,5
Depth: 1
Stitch 1,5
Interval: 1
Depth: 4
Interval: 6
Depth: 2

Interval: 6
Depth: 8
Interval: 6
Depth: 6
Interval: 12
Depth: 8

I love that the whole process is automated, all you have to worry about is keeping the sewing line straight. But as there are handy seam allowance guides on the foot, that's really easy. Also there's no risk of your gathers disappearing because you pulled the wrong thread or the thread breaking and having toi start all over or any other horrors as you face with gathering by hand  as the machine sews through the gather as it gathers so it's all set and ready to go. I used Ruffie to create the gathers on the sleeves of this dress and I was amazed on how even and neat the pleats were.

You can find the Ruffler/Ultimate Ruffler in Amazon/eBay or in your local sewing shop. There are cheaper and more expensive versions available. I paid around 30€ for mine but I think it was totally worth it.

Disclaimer. I was not asked or paid to write this post. I just wanted to share something I think is a great addition to one's sewing tool collection.


  1. Interesting. I have a gathering foot that goes with my grandmother's treadle machine, but not my new machines. I should give the treadle attachment a try. Might be fun!!

    1. You really should! They make life so much easier.