Welcome to our first Bonus Lesson of the July Flowers Sew Along. This lesson will walk you through how to add a ruffle to the neckline of your July Flowers Dress. The video is below, so let's get started!
Determining the Length:
The ruffle is made from a strip of fabric cut on the bias. To determine the length of the strip needed, measure the front bodice neckline from Center Front to the shoulder. Then measure the back bodice neckline from the Center Back line to the shoulder.
Length of Ruffle = 2 x [ 2 (Bodice Front) + 2 (Bodice Back) - 2 inches for seam allowances.]
Width of Ruffle = 2 x Finished width + 1 inch (seam allowances).
My finished ruffle is 1 1/2" wide so my strip is 4 inches wide.
Cutting the Strip:
To cut the strip on the bias, bring the cross grain and selvedge edges together to find that true 45 degree angle and cut the strip. The video also explains how to do this with a ruler and shears if you don't have a rotary cutter. If you need to piece the strip, make sure to not piece 2 equal length pieces of fabric together. You don't want a seam at center front! Mark the center of the strip.
Sewing the Strip:
Fold each short end to the wrong side by 1/4" and stitch in place using a straight stitch and matching thread. Fold the strip in half, bringing the long sides together., wrong sides in.
Do not press. Set your machine for a basting stitch: straight stitch with a length of 5. Stitch the long raw edges together using a 1/4" seam allowance. Do not back tack or lock your stitches! Stitch a second line of basting stitches at 5/8 seam allowance. Taking the 2 bobbin threads of the 2 lines of stitching, begin to gather the ruffle.
Gather from both sides toward the middle. Continue to gather until the ruffle is the correct length.
We will apply the ruffle to the neckline in a future lesson, but so the instructions are all in one place, the ruffle will be stitched to the neckline from the center back line to center back line. Placing the middle of the ruffle at center front, and using a regular stitch length and a 1/2" seam allowance, stitch the ruffle in place.