How to make a Ruffle {Apron Series}

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how-to-make-a-ruffleNew to this series?  Start Here.

When I was a little girl, I loved wearing frilly dresses.

I had this one dress that had little purple flowers all over it.  But my absolute favorite part of it was that it had a sort-of petticoat underneath that had layers and layers of ruffles.

I felt like a little, Dorothy Hammil princess! {because you know I had that Dorothy Hamill haircut, yo.}

Do I like to MAKE ruffles? Hmmm…  it’s not the most horrible thing in the world, and the more you do it the easier it gets.

So, back to our apron.  Before we make add the ruffle to the apron skirt, there is one little thing we need to do:

  • Zig-zag or overcast the side edges of the skirt like below:

how to make a ruffle-18

Now, we can learn how to make a ruffle!

Step 1

  • Zig-zag or overcast the bottom edge of the ruffle
  • Turn under 1/4 inch and stitch.

how to make a ruffle-1


Step 2

  • Set your machine to a loose basting stitch.
  • Sew a line 1/2 inch from the top edge. {Sometimes, I stitch 2 lines of basting.  If you have a complicated garment, it helps because you can then sew the seam between the gathered rows.  This project is simple enough for one, I think, but if you want the extra stability, go for it!  Then you’ll just need to pick out the lower thread after you sew the ruffle on your skirt.
  • Make sure to reverse your stitch at the start so you don’t pull the thread out when you gather the ruffle

how to make a ruffle-2


  • Make sure to leave the end of the line of stitching free.
  • Ignore the hems on the edge of my ruffle.  You don’t want to do this at this point. We’ll do it in a minute.  I just got ahead of myself.

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Step 3

  • Separate the top thread from the bottom thread.

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  • Begin to pull gently on the bottom {or bobbin} thread, moving the fabric down the line, creating the ruffle as you go.

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  • Lay your ruffle over your apron skirt to check if you have the length correct.

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Step 4

  • Place the ruffle and the apron skirt right sides together.  Pin securely.
  • Make sure you’ve put the ruffle at the bottom end of the skirt.
  • Sew 1/2 inch seam and trim 1/4 inch.

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  • Using your zig-zag or overcast setting, encase the seam for a finished edge.
  • Allow the needle to go off the fabric on the right.  This will make it look all professional and junk.
  • Play with the width of the stitch and try to get it as wide as the seam, which should be 1/4 inch after you’ve trimmed it.

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In the photo below, 04 is my zig-zag and 06 and 07 are overcast stitches.  Just so you can see what I’m taking about. 🙂

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  • If your ruffle migrates like mine and just wants to have a party and hang out,  don’t worry! We’ll fix that in a jiffy.

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  • Here’s the finished seam.

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Step 5

  • Turn your apron skirt over and iron the ruffle down.  Or up is fine, too. I’m not good with directions. Just ask Morgan.

how to make a ruffle-8


  • Remember that little bit that was hanging over.  Just trim it.  But leave 1/4 extra.

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  • Turn under the edge of the ruffle.

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  • Then turn under the entire side of the apron all the way down to the ruffle 1/2″.
  • Stitch 3/8 inch seam.

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Now that wasn’t so bad, right?


Next up: Box Pleats! Yeah, baby.  I’m all excited now, yo.

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