How to add a ruffle!

Ever wanted to sew a garment only to find out that you do not have enough of your chosen fabric left? 
Never fear! There’s always a solution.
Take this babydoll dress for example.
I had already made the bodice and was then about 10cm short on the sides to make the skirt. Crushed! My own fault for not measuring before hand, but sometimes that sewcitment just takes over! I already had a bodice that I didn't want to go to waste so decided to turn it into a top! 
The sleeves were a little bland and I needed something extra on the bottom for length - after 3 kids, this body cannot pull off a crop top!
So, how to add a ruffle to sleeve? It's really easy.
First. Take the pattern and measure the base. (I'm using the Nerida Hansen Babydoll pattern for this.) 
The base is 53cms. 
Times that by 2 gives you 106cms. Mark that down.
Now, decide on how long you want it. I live in Queensland so decided to go with a 12cm ruffle for some extra coverage. Add 1cm to the top for seam allowance and extra to the bottom for the style of hem you want or are comfortable sewing. I wanted a 1cm rolled hem so added 2cms to the bottom. Giving me a total of 15cms. Mark that down.
Now cut 2 pieces of fabric with your measurements. So for mine it's 106 x 15cms.
To make things easier down the track, pre-iron your hem in. Trust me, it makes sense later!
Sew your side seams together, my pattern calls for a 1 cm seam allowance, and I used the overlocker. Now take your ruffle hem and pin the hem in place for sewing. It makes it a lot easier to pre iron so when you sew the sides together, it helps line it all up and makes it neater. Especially when using a print like what I’ve used.
Sew your hems in place.
Then add your gathering stitches to the top. Set your machine to the highest stitch length setting, do not back stitch and leave long ends. I usually make things a bit easier by marking where the middle of the ruffle is with a pin about 5cm from the edge, and also the middle of the sleeve so there’s less guesswork later on.
At the end, you’ll have something that looks like this!
Now it’s time to attach the ruffle to the sleeve! Start with the lining the seams up, and then find the two middle markers on each piece and pin those in place. Then use the thread ends and pull the create the gathers, spread them out evenly and pin in place. Then sew a 1cm seam allowance.
Then, sew it in place with the machine and use an overlocker to neaten the edges, you can also do this by using a zigzag stitch around the edges as well if you do not have an overlocker.
Make sure to keep an eye on the seam line ups, they sometimes slip in-between the pins leaving a wonky seam!
And voila! You have now added a ruffle to the sleeve!
Finally, attach the sleeve to the bodice as per the patterns instructions.
I followed the same process (base measurements x 2 x 15cms) to the bottom of the bodice to turn it into a top. 
Encountered a similar problem? Just want to add a ruffle to something? Tag us at #frankielanefabrics to show us your hacks or creations for your chance to win a $20 store credit!

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