My New Favorite Attachment – Ruffler Foot

I recently purchased some new sewing tools to make my projects a little bit easier.  I just tried one of them out on some new little girl’s ruffled aprons that I made.

Using Anna Maria Horner Loulouthi – super cute!

The main feature of these sweet aprons are the ruffles lining the bib and skirt.  Anytime I make this apron, I am always surprised by how long it takes to make the ruffles.  I have even posted a shortcut for making ruffles, but this shortcut still involved stitching across the top of the ruffle strip and then pulling to gather the fabric.  And, I would still have the problem of breaking threads while I was making the ruffles.  Very frustrating!

So when I found a ruffler foot that would fit my sewing machine, I was immediately interested.   I have to admit that I was a little bit intimidated by the look of it (it looks rather unwieldy), and I had to study the instructions for a bit before I understood how it was supposed to operate.  The foot I bought is pretty adjustable, letting you make pleats or gathers in your fabric.  It lets you adjust the spacing between pleats and the tightness/fullness of the gathers.  I was using gathers for my ruffles and played with the adjustments on a few scraps to find the setting that was closest to what I would do by hand.   I always thought that I gathered my ruffles pretty tightly.  It turns out, though, that the loosest gather setting was closest to my original ruffles.   Once I got the adjustments set correctly the ruffler foot made very quick work of all the ruffles that I was making – and I was making enough for six aprons!  It probably saved me 2-3 hours of work, maybe more. 

The making of the ruffles was pretty uneventful, but it does take some getting used to.  Part of the foot moves forward and back as it is tucking the fabric to make the gathers or pleats, which was unsettling when I was starting out.  The efficiency makes it totally worth while, though, and I will definitely be using this foot again and again!  One thing that I did notice was that the finished ruffle was more difficult to sew onto the skirt or bib than ruffles that I had gathered by hand.  I think this is because the tucks are so uniform that the gathered fabric is thicker/heavier-weight (??).  I just used a new denim weight needle and sewed very slowly and got through it without breaking a needle.

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