Ruffling Foot versus a Gathering Foot

I owe my obsession with ruffling/gathering on my sewing machine to two lovely ladies, Melissa Blackburn who introduced me to the "gathering foot" and Lori Gardner who introduced me to a "ruffling foot."  And also to my mother for teaching me how to sew at the ripe old age of 12 (she was 10 when she learned).  ;)

Here's most of what I've learned so far.
The Gathering Foot:
 Here is what my gathering foot looks like, and yes folks that .01 (plus shipping) Amazon price tag is for real!  I had two friends order it last week!  I set my stitch length to 5 - or the longest it will go, for the tightest gather.  And then I run my fabric or crepe paper or whatever right underneath the very bottom of the foot. 

I've also occasionally used it to gather something as I sew it to another piece of fabric.  It's a little bit tricky, and definitely requires some practice, but you can do it if you place the fabric to be ruffled under the bottom of the foot, and the other fabric in the little slot that you see that opens to the left.  You have to be very careful not to pull on the "ruffle" fabric as you sew though or else it won't gather consistently. 
The Ruffler Foot: 
And here's the ruffler.  But mine is not gold, and I bought it from a local quilt store for $50.  Not $34 on Amazon.  Be sure to shop around!  It's a lot scarier looking, but itt's amazing to watch it work.  My ruffling foot says it can be adjusted to make repeating tucks, narrow pleats, smocking and shirring.  But since the instructions are teensy tiny, I haven't taken the time to figure out all the cool things that it can do yet.  It has a little lever/switch that you can use to change up the pleats to varying sizes. 

The Recap:
So basically, one pleats, and one gathers.  The gathering foot is super fast for me to put on, so I do have a tendency to favor it.  I'm always in a hurry to ruffle something.  And I get impatient.  But I do have big plans for some pillows or pretty garlands smothered in yards and yards of pleated ribbon.  Be sure to let me know if you end up getting one and using it on projects!  I'd love to see photos or links!


angela said...

Wow! Thanks for the tip!! I just ordered a gathering foot! I'm so excited to try it!

Yolanda Sebresos (a.k.a. Yoli) said...

Natalie! I love your small world piece! I have a question about the gathering foot. Do you think it will work with my Singer "Simple" machine? Looks pretty standard, just wondering. Miss you guys! We live in Utah now! I'd love to see your beautiful home and how you've decorated it.

natalie malan said...

Yoli! hey, check out this link and see if the numbers on your machine match up with the singers listed: http://www.sewingmachinesplus.com/singer-gathering-foot-006917008-p.php

We'd love to have you guys over sometime! Facebook me and we'll figure out a day! You could always bring your machine and see if my foot fits too.

Yolanda Sebresos (a.k.a. Yoli) said...

Thanks for the info, Natalie. Mine is a model 3116, which is not on the list. Shoot. Maybe when we get together, I'll bring my machine just in case. Seems like a pretty standard machine.


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