Skip to content

Gathering (Ruffling) Part 2

June 11, 2010

How to attach a previously gathered sleeve to the body of a baby romper.

NOTE: The threads that I pull out are the first basting threads that we pulled on to gather. Your seam stays put while the gathers remain.


Sorry for the delay!

June 10, 2010

I’m a mama and wife first, and I completely forgot that the Mr. had an eye appointment yesterday. So…. I’m sorry that I’m a day late in announcing the winner of the rainbow wipes. I listed everyone and gave each a number. Using a random number generator, the winner is:


Laura Z! Please send me your address and I will get your wipes out to you. Thank you so much to everyone who joined. I plan on another giveaway soon (sooner than you may think ;))

Ruffling (Gathering) Part 1

June 7, 2010

This is how to ruffle using a machine, such as making a ruffled sleeve on a baby romper.

First, set your tension down low but not at 0- I use a 1. Set your stitch length to the longest it will get; mine is a 4.


Now stitch at 1/8″ or 1/4″ and again at 1/2″. DO NOT BACKSTITCH at the beginning and end. These are basting stitches- meant to be removed when they are done serving their purpose.


When you are done, look at the end of your stitching. Separate your top thread and your bobbin thread. The arrows are pointing to my bobbin thread on the bottom of my fabric.


Now, pull on your bobbin thread. Don’t touch your top thread, only the bottom thread. Gather the fabric while pulling gently on your bobbin thread.


Gather it as much or as little as you need. You can always ungather it by gently pulling the fabric straight.


Your fabric is ruffled (gathered)!

Want to win something?

June 4, 2010

Although you can now sew your own, everybody likes free- right?! Enter to win this set of 5 flannel rainbow wipes. Earn one entry for:

-Leave a comment on one (or more) of the posts
-Leave a comment with suggestions on what content you’d like to see
-Become a Facebook fan
-Sign up to receive blog updates and then leave me a comment stating you’ve signed up (sign up is at the top on the righthand side)
-Blog about Sew extraOrdinary- leave me a comment with the address to your post
-Make a Facebook post with a link to Sew extraOrdinary

No limit on entries (reasonably of course- please don’t comment 20 times to the same post just for entries)

Please link to:

Thanks for helping me promote the blog, and good luck!

This is a completely free drawing. You will, of course, have to provide me with your address if you win. I will draw a random winner from all the entries on Wednesday, June 9, 2010. The more entries you have, the better your luck!

Turning and Topstitching

June 4, 2010

I remember trying to follow a pattern and it told me to “turn and topstitch”. Sure, I’d love to turn and topstitch. But what is it?

Turning and topstitching means that you sew the fabric together (wrong sides together) leaving an opening. Then you pull the fabric through the opening (thus, “turning it”) and then you sew all the way around the project again, sewing the opening shut.


-Backstitch at the beginning and end of all of your stitching so it stays put

-Press your project flat to keep your edges nice

-Be sure to figure in seam allowance when cutting- ie if you want your project to be 8″ x 8″ and you are sewing with a 1/4″ seam allowance, cut your fabric 8.5″ x 8.5″

-If you have two different types of pins, now is the time to use them. Use a different type of pin to mark your opening- you can see in my pictures (specifically, the picture with all the arrows) that I use butterfly pins but use two round headed pins to mark my opening. I start at the first round pin and then when I get to the other round pin, I know that is my ending point so that I don’t accidentally sew my opening shut.

(click the thumbnail to view the slideshow)

Turn & Topstitch

Pressing seams

June 3, 2010

So your pattern says to press your seams. But that involves lugging out your iron, your ironing board, keeping the iron out of reach from little hands, etc. etc. etc. Is it really that important? Do you really need to do it?

In a word- yes. It really does make a difference in your finished project. When doing things like sewing two pieces together, it can make the difference between a professional looking sleeve and a sleeve that has a great big lump in the armpit. It’s so much easier to sew two pressed seams together than it is to run over unpressed seams and hope the fabric goes where you need it to.

While it may seem like an extra unnecessary step, it’s worth the little bit of time it takes. Just do it. You’ll be glad you did.

In the video, I show how to press a seam flat (open). Some pattern directions will specify to press the fabric toward a side. To do this, you open up your fabric the same way (your main fabric) and then instead of separating your seam allowance apart like I do in the video, you’ll lay it to one side or the other (whichever your pattern calls for) and press it that way.

Backstitching- what is it, why should you do it, and how?

June 3, 2010

What is it?

Backstitching is done at the beginning and end of a length of stitching. Look at your machine- see a lever somewhere in the front? Mine is on the right side of my machine, though I have also seen them up near the top. By pressing this lever, it will make your machine sew backwards- this is backstitching. *note: some machines will automatically backstitch. If yours does, then you will have to read in your manual because my machine isn’t fancy like that;)*

Why do it?

Backstitching ensures that your seams are strong at the beginning and end of your work- the stress points. This keeps your work from coming undone.


(If you really need a visual, here’s a video for you. Sorry, I’m not an actress or a public speaker nor do I claim to be).