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Ruffler Foot 101

Happy Tuesday, Crafters! How many of you have heard about a Ruffler Foot? Well, today I am going to share everything I know about this genius crafting tool that creates perfect ruffles with very little effort.

tips and tricks for using a ruffle foot

I will be the first to admit this little contraption can be very intimidating at first. {i mean, seriously, it doesn’t even look like a sewing machine foot!} I remember opening up the box and thinking there had to be a mistake! This hunk of metal was NOT meant for my sewing machine! But alas, it is. And I use it all. the. time. and love it! {oh and i just might have 3 of them….}

What Does a Ruffler Foot Do?

It creates pleats or ruffles and secures them into place  in one pass on the sewing machine. Sounds magical? It is. {examples of projects: Ruffle Trees, Ruffled Nursing Covers}

What Ruffler Foot Should I Buy?

First things first, make sure you know what brand and make your sewing machine is and whether you have a low shank or a high shank. These are crucial tidbits to know when you are searching. There are many generic or off-brand Ruffler Feet that are made to work well with many makes and models of sewing machine. {examples: Distinctive and Inspira}

You may find that one generic brand works better with your machine than another. For example: Distinctive’s Ruffler foot works better on my Viking sewing machine than the Inspira brand although both are made for low shank machines. The Inspira brand worked, but always made a grinding sound when I used it. {yes, red flag, i know.} After only a few months of use, the Inspira foot broke.

Where to Buy

My first ruffle foot was purchased at the local fabric store around the corner. They had to special order it and I paid around $40. I thought that was a lot when I ordered it, but I thought I was buying the name brand {Husqvarna Viking} to go with my Viking sewing machine that I also purchased at that store. When my foot came in a couple weeks later, I was surprised to find that I was charged $40 for a generic Inspira foot.  But I took it home and after some tweaking and much hair pulling, I attached it to my sewing machine. It clunked and clattered, but it worked fine.

Fast forward to a couple months ago, and the blasted thing broke. So this time, I looked online for a new one. And found ruffler feet for as little as $10! And then my friend found the exact same Inspira foot that I had special ordered at the fabric shop in a bin at Joanns…..for $15. She bought it with a 50% off coupon and got it for $7.50.

So, the moral of my story is, you do not need to order a Ruffler Foot from a specialty shop.  You can find them online and in some craft stores. Research online what brands fit your sewing machine and then price shop.

How To Install a Ruffler Foot to Your Sewing Machine

This can seem really tricky, but its not! Here’s how:

how to install a ruffler foot

1. All you need is the little screw driver that came with your sewing machine.

2. Using the screw driver, loosen and remove your standard pressure foot and the screw.

3. Leave your needle in place.

4. Take your Ruffler Foot and angle it as shown.

5. Insert the foot from the right side of the needle placing the top clasp on the needle bar and the bottom clasp around the shank.

6. Screw the foot into place and use the screw driver to tighten the last little bit. {you want it tight, but not too tight or you could strip the screw}

How to Insert Fabric Into a Ruffler Foot

how to sew with a ruffle foot
Now that you have your foot in place, how and where do you put the fabric? I will let the pictures and diagram do the talking. Its kind of hard to explain! haha

Ruffler Foot Settings

With the flick of the wrist, you can change how many ruffles and how big the ruffle pleats are.

how to adjust

 

 

1. There are 4 settings on the Ruffle Foot: Star, 12, 6, and 1. These represent how many stitches between each pleat or ruffle. The star gives you a straight stitch so that you don’t have to remove the foot in the middle of a project just to sew a straight seam. {yay!}

2. The orange knob {may be different colors depending on the brand} changes how deep the pleat or ruffle is. For smaller pleats, tighten it. For larger pleats, loosen it. You can also adjust the pleats by varying the stitch length on your sewing machine.

3. Examples of different number of stitches between pleats. I usually set mine to 6 stitches between pleats.

So that’s what the low down on Ruffler Feet. I use mine all the time and love it! And yes, I will have a project tomorrow that uses one of these handy little tools :) So stop by tomorrow for a great Ruffle Foot project!

 

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About Linda@CraftaholicsAnonymous

Hi! I'm Linda, the craft addict behind Craftaholics Anonymous®, a craft blog. Crafting is cheaper than therapy, right? When not crafting, I can be found chasing my 2 small {but very energetic!} boys or playing with my new baby girl. Or shoe shopping... because you can never have too many shoes! Happy crafting! ♥

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Comments

  1. 1
    christina says:

    wow thanks! i bought one awhile ago and it came without any directions. i actually thought it was the wrong one for my machine, but now that i know i have to take the screw out it makes total sense. thanks!! i will be giving this a try today:)and by the way this is the best tutorial out there for it. i searched for one this weekend and none of them said to take the screw out and their pictures were very hard to see. yours is great!

  2. 2
    Jamie Lee says:

    This was very informative! I just bought Simplicity pattern 2238 and maybe a ruffler foot would come in handy. I have a Janome. Can anyone recommend an off brand foot?

  3. 3
    amy says:

    okay…maybe i can win this one! xo!

  4. 4
    natalie says:

    i LOVE mine and use it any chance i get! i got a bernina one to go with my machine (not sure how much it cost though…), but good to know i won’t need to get a brand name one if anything should happen to it!

  5. 5
    Danelle says:

    Maybe a dumb question, but how do you know whether your machine is low shank or high shank? Is that something that would be specified in the manual? I have a Babylock Ellure Plus.

  6. 6

    great post! I just bought one and haven’t gotten it out of the box because I thought it might be hard to use – - -

  7. 7
    Jessica says:

    Thanks for the tip. I would have thought it would be expensive for the ruffler foot. Thanks for the tip on the low/high shank. I will have to look to see what mine is.

  8. 8
    Kelli says:

    I got a ruffler foot a few years ago. It worked pretty well, but I surprised at how LOUD it was! And mine always seemed to come loose and get in the way of the needle. I need to get it out and give it another try soon!

  9. 9
    Beverly says:

    This is great info! I have trouble deciding how much fabric to use if I am designing curtains, or adding a ruffle to a skirt. Is there some rule of thumb on fabric length in comparison to the ruffle depth and stitches between ruffles? This is where I struggle with it. Every time I use it seems like a trial and error. Other than that I love using it and love to use it instead of gathering because it is so uniform.

  10. 10
    Leigh Ann says:

    Thanks for this! I bought a ruffler foot and it wouldn’t fit on my machine so I got frustrated and gave up. Maybe I’ll try it again.

  11. 11
    Melissa says:

    I can’t agree with you more! I love my ruffling foot! the only thing I didn’t love was the cost, I have a Bernina sewing machine and the foot was $65! I don’t use it as often as I’d like, but I do love it!! I also learned something new today, I didn’t realize that the star was as traight stitch!! Thanks for telling me!

  12. 12
    Bethany D says:

    I didn’t know such a thing existed. Very cool!

  13. 13
    Angie says:

    Thank you!!! I have been wondering about ruffled foots! I’m making up Lilahs Easter dress and ruffles are a must with it! Thanks again and hope you all feel better!

  14. 14
    Amanda says:

    Great post! I have a Viking too and the ruffler foot that comes with the machine doesn’t work well. I’ve been looking at buying one but didn’t know what to get.

    Thanks!

  15. 15
    Melanie says:

    I need one of these so bad! I’ve been going to my mom’s house to use her ruffle machine; a sewing machine specifically for ruffling. It’s awesome, but the drive is a little much when I could just change a presser foot…

  16. 16

    I cannot thank you enough for this post… I got a ruffler foot for Christmas and I had to watch YouTube videos in another language to figure out how to use it – there just aren’t any tutorials. I’m bookmarking this one for sure!!

  17. 17
    laura @ on{thelaundry}line says:

    My ruffle foot came in the mail just today! It’s my second one, the first one broke on me. i think I paid under $20 with shipping via ebay, my serger is a brand name but my sewing machine is a europro that just won’t die to get replaced, so you can’t even pretend to special order for that baby.

  18. 18

    I work part time at a fabric shop and my boss actually GAVE me a ruffler foot, but I have been too nervous to use it. I think this post has inspired me. :) Pinning this! Thanks so much for sharing.

  19. 19
    deedee says:

    I have a Viking 1+ that I recently purchased the ruffler for.. I use it so much I almost just need to leave it on….lol.. I didn’t know the star was just normal stitichin.. you have saved me lots of work with this little hint… I will look forward to a ruffler project .. thanks so much for the tutorial….

  20. 20
    Melissa Rubinstein says:

    Wow you literally read my mind and posted this! I have been thinking about buying one but they seemed so confusing!

  21. 21
    Helen Dearing says:

    In Fifties and Sixties, I never made ruffles any other way (and there were lots of ruffles back then). It looks complicated but follow her directions– try on scrap pieces of fabric — you’ll soon get it right! HelenD.

  22. 22
    Megan DeJesus says:

    I had never even heard of a Ruffler Foot before reading this post (big fan of your blog, btw!)! I went to Joann’s tonight, found a ruffler foot, brought it home, and started pumping out ruffles within just a few minutes… ALL due to your wonderful tutorial! Thanks!

  23. 23
    Carolina says:

    Genius! I didn’t know there was such a thing as a ruffler foot. I’m going to get me one of those. Thanks for the tip!

    • 23.1
      Susan Jensen says:

      I bought one for my (35 yr. old) singer work fine. Linda ruffled towel was fun, made 2. Thanks S.J

      • Jennifer Barkey says:

        My ruffler foot was special ordered for my old singer machine. I showed them the original book that came with my machine to help them order the right foot. When I put the foot on, my needle doesn’t clear the foot…even when I moved it to the left. Is there something else I should be adjusting?

  24. 24
    Susan Jensen says:

    IThanks Linda:: I just received a ruffler for my singer. The towel— love it. LOL

  25. 25
    Jamie says:

    I have had my Euro-pro sewing machine for about 6 years and this foot came with it Can I say how cool this tutorial is, I would have never used this because I also thought this will not go on my machine, so it has set in the box for 6 years now I can dust it of and use it. PS: It also came with Cut and Hem foot (never used any idea’s) AWSOME THANK YOU

  26. 26
    monica says:

    Hi to make the pleated fabric that you use in the ruffle tree proyect ,what number use for the ruffle foot and what number use in the pleat dept ?
    I hope can help me , because its like the ribbon pleated that sale to make flowers

    regards

  27. 27
    Megan says:

    So glad I’m not the only one who finds these confusing! I’ve had mine for a few months, and thought I had it figured out, but now the underside just turns into a giant knot that I have to cut out of my machine. Is this what you meant by your foot “breaking”? If not, any ideas on how to fix it? I’m about to give up!

    • 27.1

      Hi Megan,
      Are you making sure your pressure foot is down? I know I forget when my ruffler is on because it looks like its down, but its not and makes a big mess when I start sewing. If that’s not the case, yes, your foot may have broken like mine did. The bottom hooks that grab the fabric broke off on mine. If you want, you can send me a picture of your ruffler foot and I’ll see if I can see anything wrong….
      happy crafting,
      Linda

  28. 28
    LarainShancal says:

    Thanks for the instructions mine did not come with any, I am off now to make a lampshade cover. Thanks for sharing.

    • 28.1

      Awesome! Glad it helped. Let me know if you have any questions, Larain.
      happy crafting,
      Linda

      • Sulayne says:

        My question is, when using a ruffler foot for to gather for a sewing pattern where you have to adjust the gathers/ruffles to fit within a certain space, how do you know what ruffle setting to use? Can the ruffles/gathers be adjusted after the fact or are they stitched into place?

        Thank you for your help!
        Su

  29. 29
    QH says:

    LOVE ruffles and can’t get enough. My ruffle foot, a generic one, just arrived today! Pulled up your tutorial and am going to try it in just a bit. So excited!! I make all kinds of ruffles now, but hope this will cut back on my time….that is the no fun part of ruffles. : )
    Oh, I have a low shank machine…to those who were curious, it is in the book that came with your machine OR if you don’t have a book, go to the website for the brand of your machine and look up your model number…it will be listed on the site with the info. you need. As for discount feet, I ordered mine after reading another blog’s praise of the foot she purchased. I got mine on Amazon.com for all of $13.00. WOOHOO. Let’s hear it for more ruffles in the world!
    Great tutorial. Thanks.

  30. 30

    Thank you for the info. it is very helpful. I was wondering if you could help me troubleshoot? My ruffler did work for 10 min. and then the tread started bunching & getting stuck. I’m thinking it is because of my tension settings on my machine. Can you help with tension, length, width..etc.?
    Thank you,
    ~janette

    • 30.1

      Hi there! I’m glad you found my post helpful! I use regular tension and stitch length with my Ruffler foot, but you can vary both for different sized pleats. With that said, the bunching is probably not related to the tension or stitch length, but you can play around and see if that helps. Is the fabric you’re sewing slick? Did you make sure to put your presser foot down? {I do this all the time and it makes your fabric bunch! lol with the big ruffler foot on, its easy not to notice the presser foot is still up} Check the bottom of the ruffler and make sure the metal thongs that grab the fabric aren’t broken or chipped. Also check to make sure your needle is tight. Sometimes my ruffler loosens my needle. Those are a few issues I’ve had. Hope this helps!
      happy crafting,
      Linda

  31. 31
    Anita says:

    Today i bought a new generic foot for an old Broether sewing machine. I finally got it to run without jamming and now the stitches will not lock. Can anyone help.. I am a beginner so any advice would be appreciated.

    • 31.1

      Hi Anita,
      Sounds like you may need to adjust your tension on your machine. Try different tension settings on your machine and see if that works. Also make sure there isn’t any dust or debris around the bobbin. Is your machine sewing fine without the ruffler foot?
      happy crafting,
      Linda

  32. 32
    Nanato6 says:

    Since I’m sewing for 4 grandgirls who are 5 years old (a single and a set of triplets born 10 days later) ruffles are in high demand for everything “Nana” makes. Purchased my generic ruffler on line for less than $15.00 which included shipping & handling. Thanks so much for the uncomplicated tutorial and great pictures.

  33. 33
    Melissa K says:

    Thank you so much for this! My ruffler just came and I opened it and went WTH! You saved me a lot of frustration and craft angst!!

  34. 34
    Carolyn says:

    I’m making 9 little skirts with three tiers of fabric, each gathered and sewn on top of the tier above, creating gathered ruffles at the seam line. Can I use a ruffler foot for this? Is there a way to set the foot to a finished length so the gathers are all even and ready to attach? I would LOVE this! So time consuming to sew long stitches, gather, adjust, sew and remove the long basting stitches. And no matter how hard I try, even if it looks perfect when pinned, the gathers are not even when attached. They look good but I’m a perfectionist and want a better result faster!

    • 34.1

      Hi Carolyn,
      Yes, a ruffler would be perfect for 3 tiered ruffled skirts! This little sewing foot will change your life if you’re sewing ruffles. I sew ruffled nursing covers and use my ruffler for the ruffles all the time. So much faster and the ruffles are perfectly even and gorgeous. {you can see them here: http://www.etsy.com/shop/ruffledbegonia} Hope this helps!
      thanks for stopping by!
      happy crafting,
      Linda

  35. 35
    Dina Rae says:

    Thanks so———-oo much. I could not get the positioning right on something obviously so simple. One of those days, I guess. I am doing thermally lined holiday placemats with matching valances and napkins and wanted to offset the outstanding print with a co-ordinating color and use a tight ruffle. Now I can do just that.

  36. 36
    Agnese says:

    This is the most usefull post i read!!! Thanks a lot!!!

  37. 37
    ann hector says:

    I bought one bought a. Ruffler and it do not work with my janome

  38. 38
    Ruby Murray says:

    Thank you sooooo much for this. I have had mine in the box for 18 months and been too scared to use it.Just tried the other day and could not work out how the fabric went in.This has solved all my problems, and 18 m later I have a beautiful baby girl to sew ruffles for!

  39. 39
    Lin says:

    So thats how to put it on, I really got confused with other tutorial websites but this shows really clearly on how you actually put it on your machine. It’s a real big help thank you

  40. 40
    Cheryl Lancaster says:

    Hi, I just purchased a generic ruffler foot for my Singer machine. I’ve followed all instructions from their site, asked Singer site, followed their directions and I’m still having bobbin feed issues. The back of the ruffles are an absolute mess of thread spaghetti. Any ideas?

  41. 41
    Annette says:

    I just bought my stupid ruffler 2 DAYS AGO. It worked on a sample fabric, then a needle broke and it hasn’t work right since. It works on 0 ( no gather) and 1 (every stitch gather) only. Is there a way to fix this, or just return it?

  42. 42
    Kim says:

    Love my ruffler. Have used it for dust ruffles etc…. My question is: in the past I have used a janome machine and janome ruffler, now I have a bernina machine/ruffler. When I make ruffles, the stitch right over the edge of the ruffle is longer, like a double stitch. Is this normal? I’ve tried different sz needles but always the same result.

  43. 43
    Sally says:

    I LOVE YOU!!!! You have just opened a whole new world of projects to me with this one post!!! You have no idea how excited I am! I’ve tried to make ruffles before the usual way and couldn’t do it. There are so many projects I passed over because I couldn’t make ruffles. If this new ruffle foot works for me like it did for you I am going to be jumping up and down like a cheerleader! Just ordered mine from Amazon for $10 :) THANK YOU THANK YOU!

  44. 44
    Colleen says:

    pictures are great! I like it that you show how each ruffle looks. How do you determine how long to make the ruffles

    • 44.1

      Hi Colleen,
      It just depends on how many ruffles you want for your project and how much fabric you have. I almost always use the 1 ruffle per 6 stitches setting with a regular stitch length. I suggest playing around with the different settings on your ruffler and stitch length and see what you like the best.
      Hope this helps!
      happy crafting,
      Linda

  45. 45
    Mikey Johnson says:

    My ruffler was working for 5 minutes no problem then it started breaking needles. Any suggestions?

    • 45.1

      Hi Mikey,
      Hmm, you may need to adjust your needle’s position left to right. It might slightly be hitting the ruffler, which would tweak it and then break it. Also, check to make sure your bobbin isn’t too tightly wound. Another thing to check would be to make sure your ruffler is secured tightly. Hope this helps!
      Linda

  46. 46
    Rosanne says:

    I am I process of buying new machine. Probably a janome. I. Have about 12 attachments of which one is a ruffler. Came from a white sewing machine in 40′s. I took it to a store and they fit a Viking emerald 118. What do you think of it working on janome? And it pleats? I need to get my new machine… Hard to select model. Want to spend $350-$599.any suggestions? Mechanical vs computer? Thanx!

  47. 47
    dana j says:

    So great!! Thanks for sharing. Can you ruffle the MIDDLE of a strip? I want to make long ruffles to attach to curtains but need to ruffle the middle, not the side of the fabric. Wondering if this will help ease the gathering pain I have!

  48. 48
    emily says:

    I am using two layers of chiffon and crepe back satin. I am really afraid to use my ruffler that is might tear the fabric any suggestions.

  49. 49
    Alex in NZ says:

    Thanks so much for this article. I just received my ruffler and thought I was going to have to return it to the store as couldn’t conceive how it would work. I watched videos on You Tube and they were little help. Came across your blog and WOW! it works a treat! Thanks so much for making my sewing life so much easier! It’s an amazing little gadget! It is quite noisy though and makes a tick-tick-tick sound as it’s working, I assume this is normal??? I had to position my needle a bit to the right so it wouldn’t hit the foot itself and damage the needle. But so far it seems to be working fine! :-)

  50. 49.1
    Susan Jensen says:

    Thanks Linda !! Its the fast & fun. Somany things going thru my head to use it for. Thanks for sharing. LOL

Trackbacks

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