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How to use a Ruffler foot on your sewing machine

ruffler foot

Bulky but beautiful Ruffler foot

This is a sewing machine foot attachment used on low shank home sewing machines to make beautiful gathers and ruffles. The presser foot looks bulky and complicated but it is seriously not. 

4 things the ruffler foot can do for you

  • You can make ruffles and small pleats – this is the basic function
  • You can change the depth of the ruffles
  • You can change the space between the ruffles
  • You can make ruffles and attach ruffles to fabric in one go.

How to attach the foot to your machine

To attach this foot on your machine you have to remove the existing foot as well as the shank. This foot comes with its own shank.

ruffler foot

After removing the foot and shank, fit the ruffler foot with shaft

There is a groove in the foot. This should fit on the needle screw.

ruffler foot

Keep the foot carefully so that the needle screw (clamp) rests inside the groove and the groove for the shank. Tighten the screw attaching the foot on your machine.

Once you have attached, move the wheel towards you slowly by turning it by hand. Ensure that the needle does not hit the foot but is moving as it should.

The fabric will be kept between the two blades of your foot – the blades look black in color, you wouldn’t miss them.

There are many ways to change the type of pleats, depth of pleats and the fullness of your gathers/pleats with this ruffler foot.

How to adjust the width of your gathers with the ruffler foot

There are 2 ways to adjust the size of the ruffles with this foot.

The fullness of the gathers depends on the stitch length you will be selecting. If you keep the stitch length as ‘1’ the pleats will be formed very close to each other. As you increase the stitch length you get lesser fullness; the pleats are formed not as close to each other

Then there is the different distances which can be set between folds, which is adjusted on the foot. This determines how the pleats will be formed by changing the space between the pleats. 

There is a shaft which is used to adjust this. If you keep the shaft on the slots 1, 6 and 12 and finally a star you will get different spaces betweepleats .

The first gives 1 fold each stitch – this is your standard tight gathers.The kind you would want on a full frill.

ruffler foot

The next gives a fold every 6 stitches 

ruffler foot

The next one every 12 stitches

wider ruffles with ruffler foot

And no folds using the  groove with the ‘star’ sign on the foot – this is useful when you have to gather and then sew a straight line and then gather again. No need to change to a regular foot in between.

ruffler foot

In some ruffler foot, you can adjust the depth of the stitches. The numbers are indicated from 0 to 8. You can loosen the screw and move the pointing needle to the number you want.

Higher the number wider/deeper the gathers.

Make ruffles and attach ruffles to fabric in one go

Best thing about this foot is that you do not necessarily have to make the ruffles and then as a second step attach it to the base fabric. You can do this together. You just have to insert the 2 layers of fabric in the ruffler foot 

First insert the fabric (which is going to be the straight fabric) ; then insert the fabric which is to be ruffled. Adjust the settings as you need. Start sewing. Your fabric will automatically ruffle and attach to the fabric below, all in one go.

Related posts : Different types of ruffles and gathers; How to use a Gathering foot. ; Braiding foot; Sewing machine presser feet guide

AUTHOR : Hi, I am Sarina. I am passionate about clothes, sewing, fabrics, fashion and surface design techniques in no particular order and absolutely love writing about all of these including what I learn, what I experience, and what I have bought to do all these. You are more than welcome to stay here and learn with me.

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