Monday, May 14, 2012

Ruffled Ribbon Ric Rac Tutorial

Ruffled ric rac is popular for its use as an
adornment in applique and sewing.
You can purchase it already made, but I prefer to make my own.
It saves me money and I can use any ribbon of my choosing.

To make ruffled ribbon ric rac, all you need is ribbon, a sewing machine, thread, and a little bit of patience.

This is grosgrain ribbon ~ I prefer to use grosgrain because it holds up well when laundered
but you can experiment with other types of ribbon.
This is 7/8" ribbon I am using but other widths will work as well.
This is how you will start sewing your ribbon. Increase the stitch length on your sewing machine to as long as it will go (mine is 5.0) and start sewing from the top corner towards the opposite side. Do not back stitch at the beginning and make sure you do not stitch off the other side of the ribbon.
When you reach the opposite side (without stitching off of the ribbon) stop your machine, raise the presser foot, and turn your ribbon (with the needle still down in the ribbon) so that the ribbon is angled in the opposite direction. Lower the presser foot and start stitching again. In this manner, you will stitch the length of your ribbon, making a zig zag pattern.
This is what your ribbon should look like when you are finished. Note the zig zag pattern the length of the ribbon - this is what will make our ribbon gather in the desired manner when we start pulling the thread.

Find your top thread at the end of your ribbon. Holding the top thread, you will gently pull the ribbon towards the opposite end (where you originally started sewing), causing the ribbon to start gathering (in the same way you gather fabric when making ruffles) ~ work your way the length of the ribbon, gently sliding the ribbon along the thread. It may take a little trial and error until you have the gathering to your liking.
The finished product! I sewed mine using white thread so it would be visible for this tutorial, however you can use matching thread if you don't want the thread to be as visible.