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Message Board > Patterns and Notions > A ruffler foot for my SM is $40. ( Moderated by Sharon1952)

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A ruffler foot for my SM is $40.
Is it worth it?
PattyU
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PattyU
Intermediate
OH USA
Member since 3/26/03
Posts: 1316
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Date: 5/22/06 1:00 PM

This weekend I made a tiered skirt from the recent Threads article for DD. It is a VERY straightforward and easy skirt, but I tired of gathering the fabric for the layers. I've been aware that some use special gathering feet with sergers and SM, so I called my dealer. A Janome low shank ruffler foot costs $40. That sounds expensive. Is it worth it? I wanted to make another set of matching tiered skirts for me and DD. Since DD is ony 6, I do make gathered items. For me to pay $40 for the foot, I want it to be great. I would hope to wonder how I ever made gathers without it. So what do those who have used these feet think? Should I just stick with the two ways I gather (zigzagging over dental floss or basting and pulling the bobbin thread)? I have a serger, but i am more adept at using a sm.

------
Patty

redhead
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redhead
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TN USA
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Date: 5/22/06 1:04 PM

It probably depends on how much your time is worth and how much time the ruffler will save. Now if you were sewing a bedskirt.... I would say go get that attachment, right now!

MaryLynn in Long Beach
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MaryLynn in Long Beach
CA USA
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Posts: 1725
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In reply to PattyU


Date: 5/22/06 1:17 PM

I would have needed a bank loan to buy the Bernina ruffler for my machine. Instead, I bought a generic with an adaptor and would not be without it. The gernics work fine and cost MUCH LESS.

ETA: This thread has a good discussion of rufflers of all varieties: Ruffler discussions
-- Edited on 5/22/06 1:19 PM --

------
Mary Lynn (Who's finally sitting up and taking nourishment)

Design Degree??? I prefer my artistic license

"A woman who works with her hands is a laborer; a woman who works with her hands and her mind is a craftsman; but a woman who works with her hands and her brain and her heart is an artist." (St. Thomas Aquinas, modified)

PattyU
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PattyU
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OH USA
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In reply to redhead


Date: 5/22/06 1:18 PM

I am pathetic. When I read your post, my reaction was ....Hmmm....a bedskirt....I should make a bedskirt for our bed, so I can buy the attachment. What a good excuse. Actually we do need a new bedskirt. We upgraded to a kingsize when we moved, and we still don't have a bedskirt.
I am wondering how much faster is a ruffler, and how easy is it to use.
Marylynn, I'll check nancy's notions, which is where i purchased generic feet in the past. i would rather buy from a local dealer if it's hard to learn how to use.
-- Edited on 5/22/06 1:20 PM --

------
Patty

MaryLynn in Long Beach
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MaryLynn in Long Beach
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In reply to PattyU


Date: 5/22/06 1:19 PM

Patti, I ruffled 17 YARDS of fabric in about 15 minutes with mine.

------
Mary Lynn (Who's finally sitting up and taking nourishment)

Design Degree??? I prefer my artistic license

"A woman who works with her hands is a laborer; a woman who works with her hands and her mind is a craftsman; but a woman who works with her hands and her brain and her heart is an artist." (St. Thomas Aquinas, modified)

KAB
KAB
Intermediate
PA USA
Member since 4/9/06
Posts: 418
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In reply to PattyU


Date: 5/22/06 1:32 PM

Patty,

I second Redhead's time/money argument. I have a ruffler for both my SM and Serger and although I do not sew for children, I seem to use the rufflers 10x per year - for home dec, for inserting a design detail in a garment, in place of shirring, sometimes just for testing the "drape" of a mystery fabric.

Whether you can justify the cost of a ruffler should probably be gauged over many years' use, not based solely on the 2 gathered skirts you'll be making. It's a very convenient and very fast alternative to hand gathering, but sometimes more importantly, you can be assured that you'll have very even, predictable gathers or mini-pleats.

Kate (KAB)


Debbie Cook
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Debbie Cook
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Date: 5/22/06 1:52 PM

I love my ruffler foot for my sewing machine. I don't use it all the time, but when I do, it's SO worth what it cost.

I also have a gathering foot for my serger and I'm making one of those skirts right this very minute (except for this break). I chose to use my serger gathering foot because I want to get to know it better and because my fabric is kind of ravelly so the least I have to handle it, the better. You don't really have to be proficient with the serger foot to use it ... at least mine anyway. It's doing all the work almost on its own. I'm just holding the fabric.

Either foot would be a good choice for your projects.

ETA: My ruffler foot cost at least twice what your Janome foot costs (Viking really gets you on their feet!) but I *still* think it was money well spent and I'd buy it again without hesitation if I had to.


-- Edited on 5/22/06 1:53 PM --

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--
"I base my fashion sense on what doesn't itch." Gilda Radner
http://stitchesandseams.blogspot.com

funsewer
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funsewer
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AB CANADA
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In reply to Debbie Cook
thumbsup 1 member likes this.


Date: 5/22/06 2:08 PM

I used to sell sewing machines and I was the "ruffler person" -- so you can tell that I am a fan.

I use my ruffler for almost all gathering. I figure out how much I want the fabric to gather - say I want 50 inches of fabric gathered into 30 inches - and I use this to test my ruffler with a scrap of material.

I take the scrap and mark two marks with very visible permanent marker 10 inches apart. If I want to gather 50 inches into 30 inches then that means that 10 inches will be gathered into 6 inches.

Then I ruffle the scrap, changing my ruffler setting and/or my stitch length until I get it right. (Usually 3 tries does it.) To remove the thread, I just give the whole thing a sharp tug to shap the stitches and then pull them out. (Check the length between your marks if your fabric is not stable to be sure it hasn't stretched.)

I sew Polynesian dance costumes with ruffles at the hem. I just create a very long piece for the ruffle, finish both edges and then gather the whole thing. I then cut this to length for each dress. Save a ton of time.

I am a machine nut so I find that adjusting my ruffler is faster than gathering by hand but that's just me. If you are not a mechanical person and don't mind hand gathering, then you will likely only use a ruffler for very long pieces.

$40 is about what a generic ruffler costs IMO.

CAREFUL: There is a metal prong on the bottom of the ruffler with a zig-zag edge. This is what pushes the fabric to gather it. If you yank your fabric backwards out of the ruffler, this part breaks and only some rufflers can be repaired. To remove fabric from the ruffler, always move it away from yourself.

cheers
jean

diane s
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diane s  Friend of PR
Intermediate
OR USA
Member since 8/24/02
Posts: 4531
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Date: 5/22/06 8:02 PM

I had to buy a ruffler for my Viking ($60.00) when I took a tutu making class. The russian pancake style had 22 rows of ruffles. It took longer to cut them out than to gather them up with the ruffler. It's also very nice to have for home dec. I've used it for curtains and vanity skirts. My mother used to sell doll clothes and used her ruffler to gather the skirts. You might look at Nancys notions or Clothilde, I think they have generic rufflers.

------
My grandmother taught me to sew when I was 10, and I've been sewing ever since.

KitnRose
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KitnRose
Intermediate
TX USA
Member since 6/18/03
Posts: 2074
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Date: 5/22/06 11:53 PM

I'm soooo no expert on ruffler feet since I've used mine for an actual garment (vs. just playing with it on scraps) all of once. Gathers and ruffles just aren't me. With that said ...

I inherited the foot with my machine and had to go online just to figure out what it was - they're really funny looking things! Even with no more than what instructions I could find, I've had no trouble using it, once I knew what it was and which way it went on the machine. The one time I really used it the only 'difficulty' was in determining just what look I was going for and playing with the three different settings (# of ruffles per stitch, ruffle length, and stitch length) to get it right. So that's my long way to say that if you go with the generic one the loss of lessons shouldn't be a huge deal. Sure, it's always good to get advanced tips from those in the know but the foot is easy enough to operate to not need a demonstration.

------
Kit
"Never underestimate the power of the right dress!" - drsue
"Hyu gots to know how to sveet tok de costumers, dollink" - Girl Genius, 11-24-08

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