Fleur Hack: Ruffle Strap

I know that this is a hack I have been promising since last April when the Fleur Pinafore was first released. I think we all collectively fell in love with my tester, Bena's (@bymsbena) ruffle strap Fleur! It was truly stunning and sharing how to achieve her hack has been on my mind ever since.

Today is finally the day I get to share that hack with you all! I feel like it takes me ages to get around to all the hack ideas I have / you all give me. I hope they are well worth the wait!

Anywho, are you ready to dive in?

Let's Get Started!

For this hack, you will need to cut out ALL of your pieces as normal. Be sure to cut out the button strap version as the tie strap doesn't work all that well with ruffles.

You will need to create an additional pattern piece for your ruffles. To do this, you need to know the finished measurement of your strap. If you have never made the Fleur for yourself and aren't sure that the button strap will fit you properly, head over to Fitting the Button Strap blog post and follow along with Option 1 to determine any alterations you might need for your straps. Be sure to use scrap fabrics for this portion and not your final fabric!

Once  you have your button strap fitted to your frame and the pattern pieces altered, it's time to measure and draft the ruffle for your strap!

Make a little mark (with a pencil) 1" (2,5 cm) from the top edge of where your buttonhole will end and another mark of the same measurement from the raw edge of the back of your strap.

Measure between these two points. Multiply that measurement by 2. For example, my measurement came out to be 13" (33 cm) multiplied by two gives me 26" (66 cm). This will be the total length of my ruffle piece.

On a scrap sheet of paper, mark a straight line that equals half the measurement you got above (i.e. 13 in [33 cm] for myself).

At one edge of your first line, draw a new line that intersects it at a 90° angle.

Now is the time to determine how large you want your ruffle to be. For me, I wanted my ruffle to be 2" (5 cm) wide. So, on my second line, I marked a point that was 2" (5 cm) away from where it intersected with the first line.

Finally, you will need to connect the two outer edge points of your first line to the mark you made on your second line. You can do this by using a French curve or if you don't own one (as I currently don't) you can just eyeball a curve.

Add seam allowance all around your ruffle edge. I added 1/2" (1,5 cm) to keep in line with the rest of the pattern.

To ensure that both sides of your ruffle are 100% mirrored, fold your pattern in half along the second line you drew and carefully cut out your pattern. This way, your two ruffle sides are mirrored.

Cut out 2 ruffle pieces in your final fabric.

Wonderful! We now have our ruffle pieces all cut out and ready to go along with the remainder of our pattern. Is your favorite music currently playing? Turn it up (if you can!) and take a few moments to dance around and get your energy up! I love mini dance breaks as it always excites me for the next stages of my projects!

Once you've hit your groove, grab your button ties and bring them over to the ironing board. Iron all of the long edges towards the wrong side of your fabric by 1/2" (1,5 cm).

Now, with right sides together (RST), pin the short end of your tie together that will eventually have your button hole on it. Sew this end shut using a 1/2" (1,5 cm) seam allowance.

Trim your corner and turn it right side out. Make sure you poke out your corner a bit with a chopstick or back end of a paintbrush, then press.

Set your straps aside for a second and grab your ruffle pieces. The first thing you need to do is hem your ruffle's curved edge! Hemming curved edges can be oh-so-fun (she said sarcastically), so be sure to use your favorite method of sewing this edge to reduce the amount of stress curved hems can cause. For me, that means doing a rolled hem. To achieve a rolled hem (without the use of a rolled hem foot, which I personally could never get to work anyways), start by pressing your fabric back along the curve at 1/4" (0,5 cm).

Sew a line of stitches very close to the pressed edge. Like, as close as you can possibly get.

Using a pair of appliques scissors (or tiny snips), cut off the raw edge of the hem as close to your stitching line as possible. Just be careful not to snip through the stitches themselves!

Finally, press your teeny-tiny hem towards the wrong side and sew along the original stitches as best you can.

Voila! You have achieved a rolled hem without needed a rolled hem foot!

Now it is time to create the actual ruffle bit. Set your stitch to the longest length setting and sew a line of stitches (without back stitching!) 1/4" (0,5 cm) from the raw edge, and then a second line of stitches 5/8" (1,5 cm) from the raw edge.

Gently pull the bobbin threads to create gathers in your ruffle.

Finally, to complete your ruffle strap, open up your strap so that you can see the bottom edge. Place your ruffle in between those two marks we made wayyyy at the beginning of this tutorial. One of the marks was 1" (2,5 cm) from the top edge of where your buttonhole will end and the other was of the same measurement from the raw edge of the back of your strap.

Readjust your gathers until you are happy with how they look between these two points.

Fold the other edge of your strap over your ruffle so that your ruffle's raw edge is now sandwiched inside of your strap. 

Topstitch along the edge where your ruffle meets your strap, securing all three together.

Repeat with your other strap, making sure that the ruffled edges are mirror images of one another (and not both facing the same way!) Give your straps a little press.

Et Voila! That's it. That's all you had to do to create your very own ruffle strap Fleur! Well, I mean you have to go ahead and finish the rest of the pinafore as your normally would, but other than that, you are done with this hack!

When you do finish your entire Fleur, I would love to see it! Feel free to tag me on IG at @untitledthoughts or #UTFleurHack . I love seeing how you hack my designs to make them all your own! Until next time - Bonne Couture!

Leave a comment