Thursday, January 13, 2011

'Seamless' Ruffle Garland Tutorial

One of my favorite elements from the Tea party last month was the ruffle garland I made by hand.  I have been crushing on the Hank and Hunt garlands for a while now (Etsy shop, Blog), but being the kind of person I am, I just had to try to DIY a variation of it for myself. I just knew that the burlap would work well, and it really was perfect!

(Clarification:  I didn't have time to take pictures as I was making the actual garland for the party, so I used fabric scraps I have lying around the house to make a mini version for this tutorial)

Here's how you do it:

1) Get yourself some awesome fabric.   (I used a soft natural burlap that I bucket-dyed to match the color scheme of the party.  The pink was RIT Petal Pink, and the red was a combination of RIT Scarlet and Wine.) Please excuse the scrap fabric used for the tutorial.  The burlap was much softer and the natural fraying of the edges made it perfect for this project.
Shown: Two coordinating fabrics, heavy duty thread & needle, six inch wide clear ruler & a pair of really good scissors!
 2)  Measure out the length of your garland.  Because I used such a generous stitch, I found that I needed about 60% more length than the finished product needed to be.  Seriously, these things take a lot of fabric!  Fabric saving tip: Get your fabric half the total length and sew the two pieces together once ruffled.  (Can you tell that the garland above the buffet is actually 6 pieces sewn together, and the garland on the hutch is actually 4 separate pieces?)

3) Cut your strips.  Don't worry about making perfect cuts.  In order to keep the width fairly consistent, I found it good to have a ruler lined up to help keep things somewhat straight.  I aimed for the wide strip to be about 6 inches wide and the layered strip to be about 2 inches wide.
Cutting the fabric
Finished cuts - notice the jagged edges!

4: Layer and sew.  Layer the narrow fabric strip on top of the wide fabric strip; aligning one of the short ends together.  Sewing by hand, sew a single stitch all the way down the center of the fabric.  Keep the stitches small on the top side and wide on the bottom side.  Again, don't worry about keeping things perfect.  Some of the uneven stitches will help create more character and dimension.  Also, don't be surprised if the top layer ends up being shorter than the bottom layer.  It will naturally bunch a little higher, so make sure you have quite a bit extra length.

Line up the fabric pieces
Start sewing.
Close-up of the stitches from the top.

5)  Scrunch and finish.  Gently push your fabric down the thread line until you get your desired ruffle effect.  Now you can go back and tie off your thread at the end of the ruffle.
Fabric scrunched down the thread.

Finished garland

And now you have your own 'seamless' ruffle garland!


  1. That seems pretty simple yet made a huge impact!! Thanks for sharing how you did that...I'm impressed you bucket died them! OMG I can't remember the last time I used RID, they turned out great though.


  2. Love it! It lends such a festive touch, too!

  3. Note to self: make this as soon as possible!

  4. I really like this idea, it could be used in so many ways! Great job

  5. OOOo Never thought of this! Great idea!

  6. Thanks so much for the tutorial, I've wanted to try these for while! Looks great

  7. This is great! THe garland turned out beautiful!

  8. This is so pretty! I am the same way. Everytime I see something I like instead of thinking I want to buy that I think I have to make that! I would love for you to link up to my Sew Crafty Party & Giveaway!

  9. Very cute!! It looks so easy but has such a great look! I can't wait to give it a try.


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