Family Life

Machine-Made Ruffles

In one of my first posts, I mentioned that I had a love/hate relationship with making ruffles. I do. I really really do. When I discovered how to make ruffles the easy way on Pinterest, I was set. I knew I could handle making ruffles. No problem!

So I set out and this is what I came up with. I took some old maternity shirts, cut them up and went to town.

This is how I did it.

First, I set my machine properly to make the ruffles.

Wait.. I lie.

I looked at the machine’s manual online and figured out what dials I needed to adjust to properly make the ruffles. If you don’t have your manual on hand, head over to and search for the make and model of your sewing machine. Chances are you can find the manual you need- no problem!

After I figured out what dials did what, I set my tension dial to the highest number and the stitch length to the widest stitch possible. Here’s a little diagram of my machine and what I did to get it ready.

Then, I fed my strips of fabric into the machine and away I went!

It should automatically ruffle just like this once you feed it through. Magic!

Here’s the first pass through. Doesn’t look pretty? Feel free to use thread that matches your fabric. I was too lazy to do that.

Once I got through with the first run, I took my rotary cutter, eyeballed how wide I wanted my ruffles, and ran the cutter right down the fabric. Then I took the excess fabric and ran it through the machine again to make another ruffle.

I would highly recommend you have a cutting mat underneath your rotary cutter when you do this. My poor craft table is all cut up now. Whoops!

You can also just make a bunch of ruffles all at once and cut in between the stitches after you’re done. I do not prefer this method because it gives me less freedom to make the ruffles as wide or as narrow as I wanted.

It just was weird to me. But it’s an option nonetheless.

Here’s my awesome pile of ruffles. Mama’s proud!

Now on to sewing them to something else.

If you want to sew them to another piece of fabric, just sew along the stitch made when you were ruffling.

Is ruffling even a word?

If you can’t get your stitches to line up, just sew your ruffle on to your fabric and seam rip out the “older” stitch. That should work just fine.

And there you have it. I actually made Big V and Little V’s dress and shirt that I sewed the ruffles onto. I was going to throw that into this tutorial but it was a complete and utter failure, so I decided to leave that out for now. Typical rookie flop.. LOL!

Did you notice the girls’ hair bows? I made those using the extra ruffles. Be looking for a tutorial on how to make those coming in the next day or two. I think they turned out super cute.

Let me know how your machine-ruffle-making goes. Hope you enjoyed this tutorial!

Oh and I almost forgot- I want to give a HUGE shout-out to Rachel from Bubbly Nature Creations for linking up her Bunny baskets and Sarah from Hope in Every Season for linking up her yummy Lemon Muffin recipe last week! Much appreciated, ladies!. Thanks for participating in my little link party!

Linking up to:

Hey! Meet Vanessa

A foodie, crafty, homeschooling mom of 3, who loves her Happy Planner and all things Mid Century Modern!


A foodie, crafty, homeschooling mom of 3, who loves her Happy Planner and all things Mid Century Modern!

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  1. So cute!!! Great idea!! I love how it looks on little V!

    1. The Rookie Seamstress says:

      Thank you!!

  2. SO cute!!! I have ALWAYS been intimidated by ruffles! Going to have to give it a try I guess.

    1. The Rookie Seamstress says:

      It was sooooo easy… Trust me!! And I think the ruffles turn out so pretty!

  3. I love it! I'm jealous….I would love to just know how to turn our machine on. You did a great job with the outfits!

    1. The Rookie Seamstress says:

      Thank you! I bet you could do this too.. It’s seriously really easy!

  4. This is such a great tutorial and your girls are so adorable!!! 🙂 Thank you for this! Pinning now! Thanks, also, for the shout out! I think I forgot to link up yesterday..oops! Will go find it now! 🙂


    1. The Rookie Seamstress says:

      I am behind, there’s no link up for this week because of the whole drama with my machine! yet! Lol! Thank you!

  5. I love ruffles! Love the shirt you made your daughters. 🙂

    1. The Rookie Seamstress says:

      Thank you!

  6. You will be featured tomorrow! yay!

    1. The Rookie Seamstress says:

      Thank you so much for the love, Rachel! I Feel so special! 🙂

  7. […] a sewing machine?  Want to make some quick and easy ruffles?  Check out this Machine-made Ruffles tutorial from Vanessa @ The Rookie […]

  8. […] Your first step is to make your ruffles. You can find those instructions in my Machine-Made Ruffles post. […]

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