On my latest garment post about my first garment of the new year, January Knits, I added a ruffled trim to the neckline to spice up the very plain neckline of the garment. I’ve gotten several messages from my readers about showing how I made the trim, so I decided to share this technique in a New Picture Tutorial. Here you go!!
For my ruffled trim, I chose to use the same fabric as I used to make my top, but you could use something contrasting if you’d like. My fabrication is a cotton/lycra jersey, but you could use a woven with this technique as well. If you choose to use a woven and cut on the crosswise grain, you will not get as much of a lettuce edge as you would with a knit. If you cut your trim on the bias, you will get more of a lettuce edge with a woven.
Decide how wide you want your ruffle to be and then prepare and cut the fabric. I chose to make my ruffle 1 1/2″ wide. Cut your fabric in the crosswise direction. In the direction of most stretch for a knit. If you’re using a woven fabrication, you could also cut the fabric on the bias for more stretch. I measured the length of my neckline to determine how much ruffle I would need. If you want a very full ruffle like mine, multiply the length by 3 1/2 times. If you want a less full ruffle multiply by 2-2 1/2 times. If you want a fuller ruffle multiply by more than 3 1/2 times your length.
Set up your overlock/serger to do a narrow rolled hem stitch. Many machines do this operation with 2 or 3 threads. Choose the one you like best. I used contrasting threads with a 3 thread rolled hem to add another element to my trim.
Start at the end of the fabric and insert it into your machine. Pull the fabric gently as you stitch along to create the “lettuce edge”.
After you’ve finished off the edges, it’s time to gather into a ruffle. I stitched a single machine basting stitch and then pulled the bobbin thread to create the gathers. I gathered mine very tightly to get the look I wanted, but you could gather as much or as little to achieve the look you want. I just ran a long basting stitch down the center of my strip. You could also use a ruffle attachment if you’re familiar with one of those.
Once the ruffle is gathered in, run another stitch down the center of the ruffle to secure the gathers.
Trim can be added anywhere you like on any type of project from garments like mine, to Home Decor projects. Pin the trim to your project and sew down the center or the ruffle. I chose to add it to my neckline, because I felt it needed some Jazzing Up!
So if you make a garment and it ends up looks a little blah, consider making your own matching ruffled trim.