Do You Own a Ruffler And Don’t Know How To Use It?

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Ruffle Joy skirt pattern 3

Ruffle Joy Skirt Pattern by Bridget & Lucy


This amazing attachment looks like a torture contraption, but it works like a dream! I always tell my students, “Who ever invented the ruffler attachment way back when, did it right! It still looks like the same attachment you might find in old sewing machine boxes loaded with old sewing machine feet.”

Master Your Ruffler Class

Friday, February 26
10 – 12pm*
*If the morning session fills up, we will open an afternoon class from 2 – 4pm.

Click here to read more about this class and see the supply list!

Since a ruffler only needs a straight stitch, this was a precious embellishment option back in the day when sewing machines only sewed straight stitches and only sewed in one direction (forward). The sewing of Victorian era looking garments was a cinch even way back in the day once the ruffler was invented. Fast forward to the 21st century and we are still using the same technique to ruffle or pleat fabric.

Sometimes called a “Pleater” or a “Ruffler,” both names reference the same item.

bernina rufler #86

Thanks to its variable setting options, both pleating and gathering can be achieved on both heavy and light weight fabrics. A ruffler can set a pleat at every stitch, every 6th stitch, or every 12th stitch. A special blade pushes fabric toward the needle. Adjustments can change the size of the pleats and the distance between the pleats. The result is a neat, even gathering and pleats on home furnishings or garments.

Ruffles can be included on home decor pillows, dust ruffles, show curtains, garments and even quilts. If a raw-edge ruffle is planned, just cut the ruffle strips on the bias so the edges don’t fray out. These are a few of the projects available to choose to make during our upcoming “Mastering Your Ruffler” class. Students are encouraged to bring both fabric for testing as well as a project to really get the full understanding of how to decide ruffle amounts and settings.

ruffler class samples

Below is a pleated inset in between a pillowcase header and body.

ruffler class samples 2

This is a ruffled quilt. A hemmer foot was used to hem the edges of the ruffle strip before it was ruffled.

ruffler class samples 3

This is a Ruffle Joy skirt Sara made for her daughter when she was 3 years old.

ruffler class samples 4

Want to learn more about ALL your extra presser feet including the Ruffler? Click here:

The Sewer's Toolbox Craftsy class presser feet & Needles


A few years ago we produced two Ruffler videos. One for the Bernina brand of sewing machines and one for the Husqvarna Viking brand of sewing machines. The Bernina Ruffler video is now our 8th most popular video on our YouTube channel.


You have probably also heard of a Gathering foot. People always ask, “What is the difference between a Gathering foot and a Ruffler?”

A gathering foot is limited to light weight and medium weight fabric such as satins, tulle, cottons and even up to some linen fabric. Once you want expand past the medium weight fabrics to heavier fabrics such as home dec fabrics, denims and corduroys, a ruffler is a must for the heavier fabrics. Since a ruffler can handle both heavy and light weight fabrics, if you can only purchase one foot, purchase a ruffler.

Here are link to videos we made for the Gathering feet on both the Bernina and Husqvarna Viking sewing machines.

If you own a ruffler, it is time to get it out and give it a try.