Saturday, February 16, 2013

A Useful Tool

I watched some you tube videos about presser feet the other day and saw a foot that would make ruffles and attach them all in one pass on the sewing machine. That caught my attention! I love the look of ruffles but the process is pretty tedious. Mess up your tension settings, sew the gathering line, pull the loose thread in order to scrunch the fabric into ruffles, hoping the thread doesn't break, pin everything down and then you can sew it together. And don't even talk about what scene happens when you do break your thread. Ugh! Do I have a witness?

After looking around for this ruffler, I was finding hefty prices for it. Nothing under $50. Some were nearing $100. What? Really??? I don't make that many ruffle pieces so I passed on getting one.

Then I went to my local Joann's and saw it. It was like the light of glory shown down on the wall where it was hanging, waiting to be spotted. Their generic version for low shank machines was under $20! (insert trumpet fanfare and angel songs here) And can you guess... yessir, I got one!

This things looks kind of intimidating. It's not, really. It just does a lot of stuff in order to make the ruffles for you. You hook in onto the shank and place a grabber onto the needle screw bar. Then there is a slotted plate that moves with gears so you can have a ruffle inserted every stitch, every 6th stitch, every 12th stitch, or not at all. Set the needle to center, choose your stitch length, place your flat fabric under the foot plate, and the fabric to be ruffled through a guide above the foot plate. As you sew, a metal rod pushes the top fabric in to make a ruffle by the needle and it immediately gets sewn in place. When you are done, the magic is revealed with a ruffle all made and sewn down, nice and neat.

This was my test piece. I set the foot to make a ruffle every 6th stitch. Both of these pieces were the same length (about 16 inches) when I began. When I was done, I had this lovely, professional looking ruffle on the straight strip. This was a good practice piece and will be my guide for measuring reference in the future.

Every now and then, you get a great find for a useful tool. This was mine and I like it! What great find have you discovered lately?

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