Shey B

Tutorial #8 – How To Use A Ruffler Foot (from my archives)


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Hey everyone!  Sorry I skipped yesterday’s tutorial!  The day got away from me!  But I will be posting 2 tutorials for you all today!  :)  Today’s tutorial was written over 2 years ago, but I wanted to bring it out from the archives for those of you that haven’t seen it, and those of you that are dying to use this particular sewing machine foot, but are too intimidated to try.  Believe me, this foot is amazing and once you learn how to use it, you’ll wonder what took you so long to try it!  :)  This is actually more of a how to, so sit back and relax.  (you can see my original post HERE).

I have had a lot of people request instruction on
how to use a ruffler foot on their sewing machine.
So, I am happily obliging that request
by providing a tutorial.
First of all… if you don’t have a ruffler foot…
you need one!  They’re amazing in every way!
Have your sewing machine ready?
Yes, the above is my new sewing machine.  :)  
OK, here we go…
First thing you need to do is remove the boot & the foot
on your sewing machine… like so:

Say hello to the ruffler foot…

I assure you it’s saying hello back.  :)
OK.  See this screw below?  The screw that essentially
holds the needle in place?

Good.  Now see this part of the ruffler foot…
it looks like a wrench …

OK.  The wrench looking piece needs to
go onto the screw that holds the needle.
Basically, it looks like that wrench piece is grabbing the screw.
Like so:
OK.  Now, once that wrench looking piece
is “grabbing hold” of the screw that holds the needle
{I have no idea what it’s called… can you tell}
then the ruffle foot will have no choice but to
end up wrapped around where the boot would normally go.
If that makes no sense, email me.
I couldn’t get a good picture.
Anyway… the ruffler foot comes with a long screw
like this one:
Tighten the screw.  Make sure that ruffler foot is on their
nice and snug.  But don’t over tighten, or you
could accidentally strip the screw.
It will look like this:
We are almost ready to make ruffles!
But not quite yet.
See this?
This “tells” the foot how often to make a ruffle.

Now you need to decide how much you want
your fabric ruffled.
Once you decide that, you’re ready to sew!  :)

There is a little slot in this foot.
That is where you put your fabric in.
If you don’t, it will only sew.  There will be no ruffle making.

Ok.  So as pictured above.  Slide the fabric in the slot, and
push it up and under the “claw”.  I push mine all the way until
the fabric is right under the needle.
Now… start sewing, and watch the magic happen.
Because I assure you.  It’s quite magical!

Told you.  :)

A couple things I recommend…
Make sure your bobbin is FULL before
putting the ruffler foot on.  Just trust me.
Make sure your bobbin is loaded correctly.
Or your machine will throw up
bobbin thread at you.  Trust me on this one too.
Make sure your needle lines up above the
opening in the foot, or your
needle with jam and wrap around your fabric.
Resulting is a broken needle and frustration.
Again, trust me once more!
How much are ruffler feet?
For the Singer they’re anywhere from $15-$30
For Viking they’re $80
Not sure about other machines.
Mine was $80.  And worth every. single. penny.

Come back and tell me if you tried
using a ruffler foot!
Better yet… share pictures of your projects!!  :)
Happy Sewing!

Don’t forget to check out the other 7 tutorials I’ve shared so far this month as well!

Tutorial #1 – Handmade Candles

Tutorial #2 – Stamped Clay Tags

Tutorial #3 – Small Clay Doily Bowls

Tutoral #4 – Zipper Pouches & Clutches

Tutorial #5 – SheyB (Inspired) Camera Strap Slipcover

Tutorial #6 – Front Door Wreath Alternative

Tutorial #7 – Spray Painted Doily Canvas


  1. Oh man! I think I have one of these and just never knew the magic it possessed!!!! I’ll be looking as soon as I get off work, lol

  2. I have one of these awesome feet and I can’t get it to work. I have had problems with it since I got it from my Grandmaw. I did everything just as you posted, think its time for a new one?

  3. Found this on pinterest and oh my lord I’m amazed. I didn’t even know this existed! Must. Buy. One. Thank you so much for enlightening me!!

  4. I agree the ruffler is amazing. What I have always wondered…. is there a magic formula for figuring how much fabric you need to get XX amount of ruffles. I know it all depend on how many ruffle/stitch etc but is there a way to figure it approx.

    • It depends on how ‘rufflie’ you want it, I tend to triple the length that I am sewing on. I just bought the foot, will be using it tomorrow, have been doing ruffles for 20+ yrs with out it!

  5. This tutorial is amazing! I just bought my first ruffler foot and used this to attach and create ruffles for my curtains. Thank you so much!!

  6. Best tutorial I have found yet. I will try it out tomorrow.

  7. Did you use a serger to edge the fabric in your turtorial or just your machine?

  8. I needed to gather around 40 yards of tulle to make a can-can type petticoat to go under a poodle skirt for a school musical. I’ve had the ruffler attachment for something like 30 years but had never used it and thought this might be a good time to learn. I pulled it out and there were no instructions. I studied it for a while and was thrown off by the space’s that I thought were for weaving the fabric through. As I know now, they don’t really have a purpose but I thought of searching for help only after I did all of that gathering the old fashioned way. I zig-zaged over a heavy thread that I pulled and then of course I had to adjust the gather’s as I pinned and stitched. It was crazy!

    Thanks to you I now know that its really simple to use. I’ve tested different settings and from now on I’ll save myself a lot of extra effort.

    As for the question about knowing how much we need, I think the best way is to make a test piece. I’ll start by putting marks on my strip of fabric 12 inches apart and then, after setting the ruffler up for high loose or tight I want the gathers, sew out a yard or so. With that done I’ll measure the distance between the marks to know the length after the gathering. That will make it easy to know how much I’ll need for a given project.

    Thank you so much for the help!

  9. Thanks a lot for your photos ! It helps me to make work correctly the foot I paid for 25 eur.
    I was wrong with the position of the upper thread !

    Now I have to sew ! :-)


  10. Thank you so much for this tutorial! I have one of these and plan on trying it out! Question – I want to put ruffles on the bum of one of my little girl’s onesies. Is there a way I can simultaneously create the ruffle (using the ruffler foot) and attach it to the onesie? Or do I need to create the ruffle first and then attach it to my onesie (2 separate steps)? Any advice would be appreciated! Thanks so much!

    • I know it’s a little bit late, but you CAN attach the ruffle as you make it. You simply have to place the fabric you want to attach things to (the onsie) under the ruffle foot completely.

  11. Hi thanks for great instructions. I have the ruffler on my new machine…had major problem halfway thru my project. It started making loops on stitches underneath and skipping really badly. My husband repairs sewing machines at a factory and his reaction was don’ t put that thing on it…do it old fashioned way…..yikes…why give me a gift not expect to be used? Any suggestions? I rethreaded bobbin and needle and followed instructions u have here…sews fine till ruffler….then its a mess. Help!

    • Hey Betina… This has happened to me a few times, but I always just needed to rethread my machine. Maybe it’s the fabric you’re using? Or the thread? Maybe you’re going too fast? Or maybe you’re ruffling it too much? I’m honestly not sure. Sorry I’m not more help!

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