Ruffles: You either love them or hate them. Or maybe you are like me and love them but hate sewing them! But did you know there is an easier way to get a perfect ruffle in half the time? I give you the secret to easy ruffles…
Clear Elastic: An Alternative Way to Ruffle Fabric
This is SOOO easy guys! First thing you need to grab is some clear elastic. You can find it in the notions aisle of your favorite fabric store, or you can buy it here on Amazon.*
Cut the fabric to the size you need your finished ruffle to be. So if the fabric you are ruffling is 8″, but you want it to be 4″ when finished, cut your elastic to 4″.
Start at the end of the piece of fabric that you want to ruffle and put a few stitched in to hold the elastic in place. I’m using this technique for our new Amelia Maxi, Dress & Top. The waistband on it is ruffled at the side seam, so I’m going to go ahead and sew the two bands together AND ruffle them at the same time. Because of this, I am ruffling on the seamline. If you were going to ruffle first and then attached the piece to a garment, You could also apply the elastic within the seam allowance so it won’t be seen afterward.
As you are sewing, stretch the elastic to the total length of the fabric you are trying to ruffle. The beginning part of this is the most difficult as it might try to shift your fabric out of place. But once you get going, it will get easier. I often hold the back end of fabric at first to keep it in place. When you get to the end, backstitch to keep your stitching in place.
You did it. This is what the ruffle looked like on the outside of the two pieces I sewed together. This was a much easier way of sewing the ruffle than basting since the fabric piece was so small. I also made a handy video for you of the whole process which you can view here:
Now you can go out and ruffle all the things! Clear elastic is so handy to have in your sewing toolbox. I use it on anything from ruffles to stabilizing seams. What is your favorite thing to use clear elastic for?
*This post contains affiliate links. That means when you click on the link and purchase something, we get a small percentage of the sale which helps keep this blog running. We only promote things that we recommend and love.
Free Patterns You Will Actually Use
Subscribe to get your free copy of our Isabella's Banded Skirt PDF Sewing Pattern.