I am in the throes of sewing a ruffly pink sundress for my niece. It is really, really sweet. I just might barf.
Can I just say, I am suddenly very proud that I never sewed anything pink for either of my daughters? Thank you, thank you very much. (Honestly, I don’t mind pink in moderation. but this… that’s a lot of pink. And it’s not cool, edgy pink with skulls on or something)
It’s based on the Oliver & S Popover Sundress, a free pattern. You can see the difference in my stylish sketch there.
I’m actually only using about the top 5″ of the pattern, since I needed the dress to be twirly (my niece is 3 1/2, and any skirt that doesn’t twirl out is “broken”). The rest is gathered tiers.
Which brings me to the second problem… the ruffler foot.
I learned to use a ruffler foot on my mother’s gorgeous, ancient 1960s Pfaff. You could ruffle, pleat, gather pretty near anything on that machine. And I did. Ok, I didn’t, but I made a number of tiered skirts for bellydance, which is pretty much anyone’s ruffling quotient for a lifetime (the one in that picture has 9 tiers, 7 of them ruffled, and the bottom hem consists of over 30 fabric-width (45″) strips.
When I moved away, my mom bought me a new sewing machine as a going-away present. Aww. It’s a lovely little Janome, and as you know it has sewn me through jackets and jeans with relatively little hassle. Things could be much worse. One of the little things I asked for when we got the machine, though, was a ruffler foot. I was still in dance-sewing mode, after all.
And I did, actually, manage to make one more full scale tiered skirt on my Janome. So I guess I can’t say the ruffler doesn’t work… it just doesn’t work as well. I don’t know if it’s the machine (not quite as sturdy) or the ruffler (also not quite as sturdy). It certainly can’t pleat to save your life. It does a roughly 2:1 gather on its lowest setting, and heaven help me if I want to change that. It’s little things, like the poky bit the needle sometimes hits on…
Of course, it didn’t help that last night when I was trying to start on it, I kept forgetting to put the presser foot down (it’s very hard to see the difference with the ruffler foot on… and it still ruffles, just even less well). And then somehow I managed to switch it to a zig-zag stitch…
Yeah, that doesn’t work. Remind me to pick up more needles when I’m out this afternoon…
But things are going much better this morning. I got the whole bottom tier ruffled. When I finish this post I’ll go do the second tier up. I always start at the bottom on these things, otherwise my brain breaks with the enormity of the task.
I always forget how the tiers multiply. That bottom tier was 6.6m long (6 fabric width strips) before I ruffled it. At least it’s done now!
The best thing about ruffled tiers? They use up almost ALL of the fabric. All I have left over of that ghastly pink solid is a 10″ square.