Ruffle Fabric Grab Bags (and instructions for a ruffle skirt!)

Four or five years ago, I discovered ruffle fabric, and had a great time using it in girls’ clothing. So much fun that I purchased a lot of it and sold it, along with an idea booklet. Well, I’ve lost interest, and I need the space (for the upholstery samples I’ve been given!)

So, I’m offering grab bags. I can fit at least 2 yards, and probably more, plus some nice soft waistband elastic, in a USPS Tyvek mailing envelope. $12.00  plus $5.00  shipping $8.00 shipping (I’m sorry, I just shipped my first batch of orders, and the shipping was a lot more than I estimated) The fabrics all sell for $15/yd. or more. The value of the fabrics and elastic will be at least $35.00. US domestic shipping, only. If you’d like to order, go to my contact me page on my website here, let me know what you’d like, and I’ll send you a Paypal invoice.

You’ll get at least two colors, maybe more. Some pieces may be small, but you can use small pieces for trims. But here’s the catch – no color requests. The choice is mine, and when a fabric is gone, it’s gone. But all the colors are pretty. There are solids, floral prints, tie-dye effects, and a netting fabric with rosettes.

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Also, you’re on your own for sewing the stuff. It’s not difficult. No hems required! I apologize in advance, but I just don’t have time to answer individual questions on how to use it. But if you’re a little adventurous, you can have a lot of fun for just a little money!

Here are some ideas…

A simple skirt with an elastic waistband (instructions at the end of this post.)

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A purchased t-shirt cut off, with a ruffle skirt added, and purchased leggings with a strip of ruffles sewn on at the bottom.

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Bodice made from the rosette netting, and skirt from ruffles.

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A woven cotton skirt with elastic waistband, with a strip of ruffles at the lower edge.

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A dress with sleeves cut from ruffle fabric, and a single ruffle at the neck edge.

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I have a limited number of idea booklets left, for an additional $5.00. You can see it here. But like the fabric, when they’re gone, they’re gone; I won’t be printing any more.

Here are those instructions for the 30-minute ruffle skirt!

30-Minute Ruffle Skirt by Susan Stewart

Make this quick and easy skirt for any size using knit ruffle fabric. This amazing fabric is a poly/spandex fabric with knit-in ruffles! No hems or seam finishes required! Most of the design work and embellishment is done for you! Just think of the twirl possibilities!

For this skirt you will need two measurements – the waist measurement where you want the elastic to sit, and the length of the skirt from the bottom of the elastic to the lower edge.

You will need:

Desired length plus ½” of ruffle fabric

Waist measurement of 1½” decorative waistband elastic

 

  1. Add ½” to the desired skirt length, and cut this length (or as close as possible) across the width of ruffle fabric. For a girl’s full skirt, use the full width of ruffle fabric. For a slim skirt, measure the fullest part of the wearer’s hips, and add 2” or 3”. Cut the fabric to this width.
    1. When cutting between the rows of ruffles, fold the ruffles out of the way so you cut through the backing fabric only. Most ruffles have a sheer strip and a heavier strip of fabric behind each ruffle. This gives a nice line along which to cut for most applications. The sheer strip is below the top of the ruffle, and the opaque strip is below the lower part of the ruffle.  
    2. Length measurements can only be approximate, as the fabric must be cut in between rows of ruffles. When in doubt, make it a little longer. To shorten the garment, all you need to do is cut off a ruffle or two!
    3. Make sure the ruffles are lying in the correct position when cutting across rows of ruffles.
  2. Before you stitch the seam, you need to hold the ruffles in place, so they don’t get bunched up or flipped up in the seams.   “Tame” the ruffles by pinning, serging or zigzagging, or use blue painters’ tape to hold the ruffles in place.
  3. Right sides together, stitch the short sides together, matching rows of ruffles, and using polyester thread and a stretch needle. While seams can be serged, I usually prefer to simply zigzag them. Why? Because if a ruffle is caught in a zigzagged seam, it’s easy to open a few stitches, release the ruffle, and re-stitch. If it is caught in a serged seam, it may be cut off! Zigzag (approx. W = 2.0, L = 2.0) on the seamline, and again about ¼” from the first stitching, within the seam allowance. Trim seam allowance close to second stitching.
  4. With a lengthened straight stitch (L = 4.0) and slightly loosened needle tension, stitch two rows of gathering threads around top of skirt, one row about ⅛” over the top edge of the upper ruffle, and the other about ⅜” from the first row, within the seam allowance. Fold skirt in fourths and mark the quarter points.
  5. Measure elastic to fit snuggly around waist, by measuring around the wearer, if possible. If that is not possible, then cut the elastic an inch or so shorter than the waist measurement.
  6. Stitch cut ends of elastic together. Fold the waistband in fourths and mark the quarter points.
  7. Pull up the bobbin threads of the gathering stitches to make the skirt top edge fit the waistband. Match the quarter points and adjust the gathers evenly.
  8. Pin the lower edge of the waistband over the gathered edge of the skirt so the edge of the elastic just meets the top of the upper ruffle (for the floral ruffles, let the edge of the elastic cover about ⅛” of the upper ruffle, which is white instead of printed.)
  9. With the skirt inside out, stitch the waistband to the gathered fabric. You should not need to stretch the elastic to fit the fabric, as the fabric is gathered. There are several ways to do this stitching, which must stretch:
    1. Use a 6.0 double needle. Use a second spool of thread, or wind an extra bobbin, for the extra needle. The bobbin thread will zigzag between the needle threads and provide the needed stretch. Do some test stitching to determine if the tension needs to be adjusted.
    2. Stitch with a multi-step zigzag, about 6mm wide. Test and adjust the length so the points of the zigzags are about 4mm apart.
    3. Stitch two rows of a “lightning stitch” or a straight stretch stitch about ¼” apart.
  1. Pull out the gathering threads so the skirt can stretch. On the wrong side, trim off any excess skirt seam allowance above the waistband stitching, if necessary.

And that’s it! Your twirly, ruffly skirt is done!

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