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!


Hi! I'm Linda, the craft addict behind Craftaholics Anonymous®, a craft blog. Crafting is cheaper than therapy, right? When I'm not DIYing something, I can be found taxiing around our 4 crazy kids or working out. Or shoe shopping... because you can never have too many shoes! Happy crafting! ♥

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  1. 51

    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!

  2. 52
    dana j

    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!

  3. 53
    Carol fellows

    I just purchased a ruffler foot. I am making a ruffled crib skirt where the strip is 128 inches and has to be ruffled to 58″. Do you know what setting the foot should be set at?

  4. 54

    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.

    1. 54.1

      Yes, the teeth would indeed damage the fabric. But you can iron onto the top fabric a wash away film that is used in machine embroidery. Iron it to the top of the top layer of fabric and then run it through. Run a test first, of course. Hope this helps.

  5. 55
    Alex in NZ

    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! :-)

    1. 55.1

      I’m so glad my post helped you, Alex! Yes the ticking sound is perfectly normal. I too have to move my needle over a tiny bit for some ruffle feet. I’m so glad you stopped by! :)

  6. 56

    Having a horrible time with ruffles. Have to attach one to the bottom of a huge cape and have tried every method on the net I can find, the ruffler foot, will not make a consistent ruffle long enough, by hand one basting stitch line, thread breaks, two basting stitches, threads break, zig zag with dentafloss, even putting tape on the ends to stop them from pulling all the way thru, the come out of the tape and pull thru. Only thing I have found that works is to do little by little patches….as in 6″ by 6″, I have even tried a gathering foot, not consistent! Is there a fool proof way I’m missing??? I have 20 of these things to do! Please help!

  7. 57

    Your info was very helpful! My ruffler came with a small piece of paper with very little on it! haha
    I am having an issue I hope you can help me with, though.
    I cut the fabric as the pattern states. Ruffler is installed correctly and it is ruffling, but the fabric creates a circle and the fabric will not as a straight ruffle…does that make sense? After about 12 inches, my fabric is twisted…I have tried to adjust tension on machine…Help, please!!
    Thank you!

    1. 57.1

      I am having trouble with my topaz 20 Hus/Viking Sewing Machine Ruffler. I took it in to the Viking Store. The manager said there was a spring.. I went home and made ruffles with the 6 setting. It worked a while and then sewed straight. I tried the 12 setting, it started to work for awhile and then quit. I set it on one it was sewing ok.
      I guess I will take it back to the Viking store. The manager also does the Rufflers different. I put my material in and slide it toward the right where the guide is on the right. I take it and put it through a grove directly below the ribbon, which acts like a guide. While doing the Ruffler I seem to need to help the top r side of the Ruffler get through. I paid around $84.00 for this attachment. In the book it shows the material being being put though the left side of the Ruffler. It will not work which is a pain. I wondered maybe the 1/2 inch groves may be threaded for smaller trim. If some one can I will have more fun with it. You waste a lot of fabric and ribbon. I would love to see a video that explains this better. Help! Joan

    2. 57.2

      First of all…are you trying to ruffle on the bias? Almost impossible to do without reinforcing the backside of the fabric with an iron-on reinforcement product to keep the fabric from stretching. Second… you need to guide the fabric into the ruffler. If you are sewing on the right edge of the fabric, you need to guide the extra fabric on the left so that it “keeps up” with the fabric that is being pulled through the ruffler. Also, keep guiding the fabric toward the ruffler so that it continues to keep an edge against the ruffler guide you are using. In other words, keep advancing the fabric so it “keeps up” with what is being pulled through the ruffler and keep guiding the fabric toward the right to keep that edge against the guide you are using. Clear as mud?

  8. 58
    roisin cox

    i love my ruffler foot.At the moment i am making costumes for my school production of Oklahoma and without my ruffler foot to make miles of frills i would be tearing my hair out!!!, A great contraption altogether !

  9. 59
    Hayley Hanson

    Hi! After reading this I purchased a $15 ruffled Inspira foot at JoAnns. It worked great for a short while, then teeth bent back and no longer works. Barely used it. Constantly getting caught on loose threads, so used Serger. Then was catching on that! Very frustrating. Will a more expensive, brand name one work better and have better quality? I found a brother one online that looks higher quality. But will the same thing happen with the teeth?

    1. 59.1

      That stinks! So sorry about that! I’ve used the cheap ones from Joanns for hours of ruffly sewing without a problem. Maybe the cheap one wasn’t compatible with your sewing machine? Maybe a nicer one would work better like you said.

  10. 60

    Thanks for this tutorial. I have a low shank ruffling foot for my Pfaff 2140 creative sewing/embroidery machine. After I got it, I read somewhere that it shouldn’t be used on a computer machine, but I used it anyway and everything seems ok. Do you know why I shouldn’t use it on my computer machine, or do you think it will be all right??

    I have a quilted panel for a baby blanket to finish for my great niece (The other great aunt who purchased and began to bind it got frustrated, so I got the job. LOL) Anyway, she wants it bound with gathered satin binding. So my question is, do I gather both edges of the binding and then attach it to the blanket? I thought I could gather the binding with my ruffling foot. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated. Thanks again!

  11. 61
    Cornelia. Johnson

    Some of the videos I have watched show threading material through the slots in the ruffler. Why would you have to do that? I love your video. Thanks for the help. I have a Viking Topaz 30 and a Ruby. I bought my ruffler through the dealer and I don’t guess it matters which machine I use it on since they both use the same hoops and feet.

  12. 62

    I have an elna 9500 and purchased an Elena ruffler foot. The foot attachment shank is wider than my other press or feet, thus it has play in it and causes needle breakage, am I missing a step in getting anchored. I would love to learn how to use it since I have granddaughters to make frilly dresses and skirts for.

  13. 63

    Can I print the information about the ruffle. I found it very helpful and will not remember

  14. 64
    mrs ikram

    I just purchased a ruffle foot…but when i sew,, the stitch
    size is appear long and long ..i adjust stitch size and tension but no result..kindly help me

    1. 64.1

      Is your needle hitting the ruffle foot?

  15. 65

    Thanks so much for your help! I loved the tutorial! I would not been able to use the ruffler without your help!! Thanks so much!!

    1. 65.1

      You are so very welcome, Janice! Glad it helped you out! :)

  16. 66
    Megan Hunt

    Is there a different way of threading the sewing machine with a ruffler foot? I threaded as I normally would and the stitches just seem to fall out. I have a brother sewing machine.

  17. 67

    I recently bought a ruffler that is not any bigger than my regular pressure foot. It came with no instructions. Can you help me?

  18. 68
    Bets van biljon

    Het ook ñ fuffled en nog nooit gebruik nie! Gaan môre kyk of ek dit regkry!

  19. 69

    I use my ruffler foot for making satin ruffles on baby blankets. I’ve used it for quite a while and it usually does a great job. I have it set on 6 and suddenly it just starts catching every stitch. I took it in to my local store where I purchased my machine and the foot, and it worked fine, got home and started sewing and it started doing the same thing! I am at my wits end! Can you help? I’ve tried taking the foot off and put it back on, and also moved it to 12 and back to 6. Nothing seems to work.

    1. 69.1

      Yikes, that’s crazy! I am not sure what to tell you. Sorry!!