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Tips & Techniques > Bias Ruffles [and test results]

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Posted by: SewVeryTall

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Posted on: 2/13/07 12:03 PM
Review Rating: Helpful by 2 people   Very Helpful by 7 people   
Web site/URL: photo
Bias ruffles are made from a single layer of woven hemming, not folded...the raw edge of the fabric is exposed. A true bias [cut at a 45 degree angle from the selvage edge of woven fabric] strip is gathered to form the ruffle.

See Marking and Cutting Long Bias Strips Tip

Also see Making Ruffles by Machine, No Special Foot Tip

I wanted to try this technique on a project, but hesitated to use it without knowing how it would look, after going through the washing machine and dryer. Test time!

I used a pale peach polyester satin, and sacrificed a triangle cut from the corner of the fabric, about 10" from the cut end. This gave me a 14" long strip of bias to play with. I practiced ruffling, using a tight upper tension on my machine [top section of photo link above].

I cut another bias strip from the triangle-shaped scrap of fabric, and gathered it close to one edge. Then I cut a straight-grain rectangle from the remainder of the scrap, to imitate a garment edge.

Next I attached the ruffle to the rectangle, RS together, with a zigzag stitch, which also finished the raw edge of the rectangle.

Last, I finger-pressed the ruffle down, and the seam allowances up [underneath the rectangle]. Then I topstitched to hold it in place [see second section in photo link above]. This is how I planned to sew it onto my garment, as a finish, instead of a hem.

Now for the laundry test. I realized my sample was so little, it could get lost in the washing machine or dryer. Normally, this would mean I'd put it in a mesh bag to launder it, but I wanted it to "take a beating", just like a full-sized garment would. So I hand-basted it to the hem of PJ pants that I was about to wash [third section in photo link above]. Tossed it in the wash, then in the dryer.

I'm happy to report that the raw edge of the bias ruffle came out looking very nice! It has a fuzzy or furry look to it, that I think is quite pretty [last section of photo link above has a close-up].

If a bias ruffle works this well in polyester satin [which has the wispiest of fibers woven together to make the fabric], it should work great with almost any woven fabric. But a test like this will let you know how each woven fabric will look, when used for a bias ruffle.

2-14 Edited to add a link to the Pattern Review for Satin Pajamas w/Bias Ruffles
Photo of the Ruffled Satin Pajamas

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oldpeacock said... (7/28/10 9:05 AM) Reply
Very good info, but I could not get the picture link to work :-(
solosmocker said... (2/18/07 10:38 PM) Reply
This is very helpful. I am anxious to try your technique with some poly georgette. You have inspired me.
yorkshire lass said... (2/14/07 3:46 AM) Reply
What a wonderful tip. Thank you. It sounds like a really fun thing to try and your explanation is very helpful.
KempCorr said... (2/13/07 7:36 PM) Reply
I always love your tips. They are always interesting and helpful. This one is no exception. Thanks for posting it.
kkkkaty said... (2/13/07 7:27 PM) Reply
cool! I might try this just because it sounds like fun!
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