how to use a ruffler foot

ruffler foot
I finally bought a ruffler foot a few weeks ago. After it came I couldn’t believe that I’ve been ruffling so long without one. What a waste. It’s a funny looking contraption with super powers. I wanted to tell you about it because I love it and have been using it a ton, especially during the ruffle event.

I got this one from amazon. That’s a long name. I just call it the ruffle foot. I bought this one because it is fairly universal and fits most machines. I didn’t get the same brand as my sewing machine because those are more expensive. It fit right onto my machine and if I decide to switch sewing machine brands there is a good chance it will switch with me. 

This thing is my new best friend. Look at what it can do:

ruffles in all sorts of ruffliness:

lace ruffles:

twisted pleats (I think I may have invented this)

You can even make huge ruffles:

And twirl them into flowers:

in a matter of seconds. It is so fast! No more breaking baste stitches while you ruffle. No more uneven ruffles. This thing is sharp. Anyways, I love it. Highly recommended if you like ruffles even a little. Of course, you can do all of these things without a ruffler foot, it’s just a lot harder.

You can even make a ruffle at the same time as you apply it to another piece of fabric. Amazing? Yes.

Although it looks complicated, it’s not. There are two ways to adjust the size and depth of your ruffle. The top part tells your ruffler foot how many stitches to put in between pleats. (The star means don’t ruffle. So you can do a normal straight stitch without changing it out.)

“1” makes a pleat every time, which is pretty cool. “6” is the one I use the most for a nice ruffle ratio. “12” spreads them every 12 stitches if you want just a little gather.

I set the depth to 4 for these and did one at 1, 6, and 12:

The side has an orange knob and numbers. (you can see a little bit of orange in this photo) it moves that piece of metal around.

This knob adjusts how deep your pleat is. 8 is the highest setting. I think it means mm. But when you change the setting it changes the ruffle, which gives you even more options. I like a lower setting like 2 or 3, which makes it more of a “ruffle” than a series of pleats.

In this photo, the top has been ruffled a depth of 8, and the bottom a depth of 2, both with a frequency of 6.

I love you ruffle foot.

Don’t forget: Giveaway ends today at noon! Upload as many ruffled projects to the flickr group (with 1-2 photos each and a link to your post/tutorial) I’ll feature some soon.


  1. says

    Okay I have the same ruffle foot but I bought mine from ebay and it came from China with some strange directions on how to adjust the foot and that’s it. SO. I didn’t even know what the orange knob could do and I didn’t touch it. I was reading your post thinking ‘love my ruffle foot but I wish it wasn’t so much a pleater foot’ and now I’m like O: YAY I MUST GO SEW SOMETHING.
    Perfect timing because I was gonna make a girly ruffly sleep sac for my little bitty to celebrate this ruffle thing you have going on. :D

  2. says

    I have that exact same ruffle foot and I love it too although I don’t always love it for trying to gather a skirt to sew on to a dress … it seems that it often gathers too little or too much and I have a hard time finding the right balance. Definitely great for all the fun ruffle projects right now though!

  3. says

    I am just learning to sew.. and omgosh.. this does seem daunting to me.. maybe one day i will buy one and try it… love it!

  4. says

    I was pretty sure I wanted one of these, now I know I do! Thanks for sharing these great instructions!

  5. says

    “it has super powers” hahahahaha!
    i have to say…i’ve always (loudly) said “I LIKE PLEATS BETTER THAN RUFFLES”
    but if i’m being perfectly honest…it’s really because i hate the whole basting-gathering-thread breaking-starting over-trying to make it work thing. makes me CAH-RAZY.
    sooo…all this to say, i think i may have to invest in one of these things. because with 4 girls to sew for–ruffles are something i can’t avoid! :o)

  6. says

    Thanks for posting this! I never knew such a thing existed, and all your ruffle posts are pulling me on to the ruffle bandwagon.

  7. says

    I actually sent the same link for that ruffler foot to my husband last week and told him I wanted it for mother’s day! He thought I was a frek. I am so sending him this post! Thanks for sharing!

  8. says

    Thanks, Kate! I have one of these (got it for my birthday in January) and haven’t even used it yet because I am a little intimidated by it!! Thanks for the push–I’m ready to go figure it out!

  9. says

    Gotta buy me one of those! Great instructions. A video would be nice too.

  10. says

    i just bought it online…together with a teflon foot and walking foot :P i just hope they all fit my sewing machine and i know how to install/use them. i read from the reviews that the ruffler foot is a tricky one to use. i just wish i’ll have your results!! keep ruffling!!

  11. says

    After seeing this post I immediatly bought me this!
    I do have a question.. do we back-stich??

  12. says

    This is a great tool for a seemingly complicated tool~ you’ve explained it well! I,too, think it’s a great tool to have. It was a lifesaver for me a couple of years ago. :)
    I would love to share your tutorial on my website, Sew Much Talent(, with a link back to your page. You can email me at Thanks!

  13. says

    I got one of these from my mother’s stuff when she passed away, was wondering what it was. Asked a friend who sews and she didn’t know either! Thanks for sharing! It’s not exactly the kind of thing you can describe to google, right?!

  14. says

    You are fantastic! I have had my ruffler/pleater for a couple of years, but I never used it because 1) it didn’t come with any instructions and 2) it looked really scary. Now, after your excellent tutorial, I am ruffling and pleating with wild abandon. Thank you so much!!!!

  15. says

    This is great. When I bought my computerized sewing machine, the salesperson threw this ruffle foot in for free but it didn’t come with any instructions. Since the device looked so alien to me, I was afraid to attach it to my machine and attempt at using it. Now you’ve made it so simple. Thanks a bunch! Smiles!

  16. says

    I have mine now and a quick question….does the back of your ruffle always look like a giant mess? my ruffles look fantastic on the front -but dang! The back is a tangled MESS! Just wondering if that was normal.

  17. says

    I love this little foot; it is truly a major time saver. I have had mine for 20+ years! It did not come with instructions and you should have seen the pile of strips left over from me determined to figure out how to use the %^&* thing!!! Your instructions were right on! Wish I had had your blog back then!

  18. says

    I’m with request for a video. Specifically of where the thread goes and where the fabric goes in. The directions given with the thing are terrible. I can’t get mine to work!

  19. says

    You said you can make a ruffle and attach it to a flat fabric at the same time?? Could you possibly give more detail on this? I’m making some crazy pleated ruffled curtains and just bought a ruffler today to save time. If I can save even more time by ruffling and attaching at the same time that would be amazing!

    • kate says

      Hey Karina! I’m not sure about the drop in bobbin, but I do know it only works with low-shank sewing machines. You can google that for a photo. Good luck!