What in the world is Ruching?

According to wiseGeek.com the definition of Ruching is:

Ruching is a French term which means to gather, ruffle, or pleat; the term is a sewing technique in which fabric or ribbon is gathered in a repeating pattern to form ruffles, scallops, or petals. The technique has been used for many years to decorate clothing, accessories, and quilts; since then, modern technology has allowed seamstresses to use multiple tools to create precise, even ruching that has kept the technique current. Today many items can be ruched for added visual detail, including wedding dresses, flower appliques, pillows, and blinds. The technique is a detailed technique that should be learned, but it basically consists of evenly folding, stitching, and gathering a length of material until reaching the desired result.

I recently learned how to do this technique and would like to show you how to do it.

You can use any size of fabric you like.  For this tutorial I used 1 strip from a Jelly Roll.  It measures 2 1/2″x44″.  Feel free to experiment with different sizes and widths to get the desired look you want.

Start by folding your strip in half lengthwise and press.

Fold each half in half again and press.

Mark a 45 degree alternating angle down the entire length of your fabric.  For demonstration purposes I used a much darker chalk than I normally would:

Stitch along your marked line.  Do not backstitch your ends. You want to have long ends hanging to gather your fabric.  Set your machine to the longest straight stitch that you can.  Take your time.  When you get to the edge of your angle, put your needle in the down position, pivot your fabric so you can follow your marked line:

Start pulling your bottom thread to gather the strip.  Don’t pull too hard or your string will break and you will have to start over:

Play with, how gathered you want your strip.  Different tensions will cause you to have different results.  I prefer a “looser” gather:

Now you have your finished strip and you can use it to decorate your project, however you like.

I hope you have found this tutorial to be helpful.  If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment. 

Let’s Go Sew!


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