Tag Archives: linen

The Simpliest Ruffle

The Simpliest Ruffle

First of all, PSA, you really should not be working on a craft project that makes a bit of a mess while watching Hoarders.  It can make you incredibly uncomfortable and lead you to question your decisions…including your multiple bins of fabric in the corner…maybe that’s just me.

Okay, beyond that, a great way to make any project more special or just too darn cute is to add ruffles.

Dog Outfits 005

As you can see here, they can really make a difference.

Despite this, the process of creating a ruffle detail is deceptively simple.

What you’ll need:

  • Needle and thread or sewing machine
  • Material that you would like to make into a ruffle


If you decide to create the ruffle by hand and not use a sewing machine the process is just as simple, but it may take a bit longer and be less even.

With your needle and knotted thread begin to sew a straight stitch along the length of the fabric that will have the tightest portion of the ruffle.DSC_0299

In the picture of the dog above that would be the portion sewn to the fabric.  This generally doesn’t matter unless you have a finished edge on the opposite side or the fabric has a pattern that would need to face a specific direction.

Continue the straight stitch until you reach the other end of the fabric.  Remove the needle from the thread and hold the thread while beginning to pull the fabric towards the knot. DSC_0302


The fabric will begin to gather as you move the fabric.  Continue until the ruffle is the length that you want.  Knot the now long thread that you have remaining and use the ruffle in your projects, it truly is that simple.


The tutorial for making a ruffle with a sewing machine is very similar to how you would do it by hand.  Begin at one end of the fabric, near the edge.  Back-stitch or knot the thread before beginning a long straight stitch along the length of the fabric.  When you reach the other end do not knot or back-stitch the thread.


Instead, lift the presser foot and remove the fabric from the machine.  Here’s where it can be a bit more difficult than doing it by hand.  Because you are using a machine that uses two thread sources (the bobbin and the main thread) it can be more difficult to figure out which thread to pull.  The easiest way to get around this though is to simply grab one and pull.  If the fabric won’t move, pull the other thread instead.  If you’re like me you WILL pull the wrong thread EVERY SINGLE TIME you do this, oh well…  Just like the hand sewn method you will continue to pull until you have achieved the ruffle that you want, then simply tie off the thread and use.


As you can see, no matter what method you use, the ruffle will begin to curve up.  This is easily corrected when you sew the ruffle to whatever it is that you are working on. DSC_0305

If you are working with a material such as cotton that will fray you may want to add a shirt tail hem.  To do this, you can either do it with a hemming foot on your sewing machine (an upcoming tutorial) or fold the fabric by hand.  For more information on how to do that, look back at the shirt tail portion of this tutorial on making a pillowcase.

On my new scale of how many glasses of wine I would need to complete this and still be sane, this rates a..drumroll please! ZERO.  This is very simple and not very frustrating at all.  If, you would like to see what a FIVE looks like (I hope to not meet up with a project worse than that) please zip on over to this previous tutorial that had me pulling my hair out!



I Want to Know What you Want to Know

I Want to Know What you Want to Know

Lately I’ve been struggling with what to write DIY posts about.  Then it came to me, DUH I’m writing them for you, I should find out what you want to read about!  So here is an opportunity to decide what the next post or so will be about.  If I get multiple ideas then I’ll either pick the best one or do multiple.  To reward you for participating, the owners of the ideas chosen will receive a special coupon code for my etsy shop!  So start thinkin!  I can’t wait to see what you come up with!!

While you’re thinking here is a picture of our fat adorable guinea pig, Bacon Bit, to help you along.  He thinks that all posts should be about the joys of carrots though so you probably shouldn’t listen to him…

Pillowcase Fight (Making a Fabric Insert)

Pillowcase Fight (Making a Fabric Insert)

While I love making pillows, the amount of space that they take up while I’m waiting for them to sell is less than desirable.  Talking to my mom she mentioned, “Why don’t you just make pillowcases instead?”  Okay, yes I understand I should have thought of that on my own, but I got so caught up with making those cutesy pillows that I didn’t really take the time to plan ahead and make them a standard size.  So now, mainly for the sake of space in our apartment, and how easy they are to ship, I have turned to pillowcases.  I had some aqua corduroy that I wasn’t using for anything in particular so I decided this would be the perfect thing to use for a pillow.  I then walked into the study, fabric in hand, and asked for boyfriend’s opinion about what I should do.  He suggested that I insert a square from a piece of creme that I had from an old pillowcase into the center of the corduroy.  Yeah I thought, that’s a good idea and probably why I keep you around, j/k it’s also because he’s a chef.  In all seriousness though I figured it wouldn’t be that difficult to do.  I’m going to spoil the end though, this project is completely do-able but I had enough problems that I thought it would be smart to make a post about it so that others could benefit from what I had learned the hard way.  For the post I’m using different fabrics from what I just mentioned because I didn’t take pictures the first time.

I began by cutting the size I wanted for the pillowcase. I then cut a square hole from the inside.  For the insert, I  cut a square from aqua linen that would be about a half an inch to an inch larger than the square I cut from the dark blue.    This will give you plenty of fabric to work with.  Before you do anything else, you will need to iron both of the fabrics if they are wrinkled.  If you don’t, when you pin the insert fabric (aqua) to the inside of the original fabric (blue) it may pucker or not go in straight.

To attach the two sections of fabric you will first need to snip the corners of the blue fabric so that it will bend backwards.  I cut about about a 1/4 of an inch into the fabric.  You should then fold back the areas between the snips and iron in the fold.  This helps to make a straight line for when you’re sewing.  Place the original fabric, right side down on a solid surface, then place the insert over the hole.  Before you begin to pin make sure that neither of the fabrics are wrinkled.  Once everything is straight you can begin to pin.  Using straight pins go along the inside of the fold that you ironed in and pin the insert to the original fabric.   Make sure that you put the pins on that side and not on the top because if you do you will be like me the first time, and have to pull your pins from the underside of the fabric while you’re sewing.  When you get all the way around, turn it over gently (please don’t prick yourself with a pin, I’ve heard that can make you sleep until a handsome prince…or you know do prick yourself, could be fun if the whole handsome prince thing works out) whichever you choose, if the insert looks even then you are ready to sew.

I sewed mine on the machine.  If you do this by hand it’s going to take much longer, but the same steps should generally apply.  Starting at one of the corners begin to sew down your fold line, making sure you backtack (go in reverse) at the beginning so that the thread is locked, and remembering to remove pins as you go.  When you reach the next corner get as close to the end of the corner as possible so that your nice corner doesn’t become curved or pucker like mine did a bit.  When you’re there, stop the machine, making sure that your needle is down, and raise your presser foot.  Turn the pillow 90% so that the next edge is available for sewing and replace your presser foot.  HERE IS A CRUCIAL PART!!!!!!!!!!!!!  If you read nothing else please read this!  After the presser foot is down, run you hand under the fabric and make sure that none is caught.  The first time I did this, I caught a good 4 inches of fabric from another edge and had to rip it out.  If everything is good then continue this process until the end where you again backtack and then cut the thread.

If you’re like me at this point you are holding your breath before you turn over the fabric, hoping that it looks good.  This was one of my first attempts, and some of the corners are puckering a bit but all in all I’m pretty happy with it.  As you can see I also added a lighthouse and some clouds, but creating your own appliques is another post for another day.  Good luck and please comment if you liked it!  If you have any trouble just get ahold of me here, or e-mail me at brushesandthread@gmail.com.  As always keep crafting!