Oct 02 2010

Ribbon Ruching Tutorial

Published by at 11:51 pm under Tutorials

Thank you all so much for the comments you left requesting a tutorial for ribbon ruching. 

There are many variations to ribbon ruching.  I’m sharing with you a tutorial for the technique I used on this card for the ssnotime#159 challenge on Friday.  It’s really quite simple and certainly not a technique I came up with.  I’ve been sewing for many years, since I was 12.  This is not my technique or a new one at that considering my age  .   .   .  LOL .   .   .   but I’m happy to share with you what I know, so here it is!   

For this tutorial I’m using one yard of olive green 1/8″ May Arts silk ribbon.  You’ll need ribbon, good cutting scissors, a straight pen, and a sewing board (optional).  My sewing board is an 8 x 10 piece of Gator board covered with cotton batting and jacquard fabric.

Tie a knot in one end of the ribbon and fasten it down with a straight pen.  If you don’t have a sewing board, an old chair covered in upholstery will work fine. If you don’t have anything to fasten your ribbon to, you can still do the technique.  

Unravel about 1/4″ at the opposite end of the ribbon.  Pull 1 or 2 threads/fibers from the center as shown.

Pull the ribbon taute (pinning helps to keep the ribbon from twisting, making it easier to pull the thread with one hand while gathering the ribbon with the other hand).  If you don’t have anything to pin your ribbon down to don’t worry. You can still do the technique, your ribbon may get a bit squiggly, but workable.  Pull the center threads while gently pushing the gathered ribbon toward the knot, continuing to gather as you go.  Sorry girls, I couldn’t pull the ribbon taught to illustrate in a photo and take the picture at the same time. The small green thread you see is the center fiber I’m pulling.

Push the gathering all the way to the pinned knot as shown.  Gather slowly and gently, don’t get in a hurry.  If you pull too hard on the center fiber/thread, it’ll break and you’ll have to start over with another piece of ribbon. 

Once you’ve finished gathering, tie a knot in the opposite end as shown. One yard of ribbon yields about 6″ of ruched trim.  I like mine bunched tight, however, you can adjust the thickness to your preference.

A close up to see how the ribbon should look.

Release ribbon from pins and it’s finished.  You can make your ribbon trim longer by using more ribbon. 

And that’s all there is to it, a bit of ribbon, scissors, a straight pen and voilá  .   .   .   .  a very pretty piece of ribbon trim.  Another variation is to sew a thread in the center of the ribbon and gather.  I find that takes a long time and is tedious.  The 1/8″ ribbon is narrow, it’s difficult to hold and sew a basting stitch.  The pulled fiber technique only takes a couple of minutes.  The technique will look different with wider thread, still very pretty, you  wouldn’t gather as tight.  I made the needle holder and sewing board this summer while taking time off from stamping.  Sewing is another love of mine.

I purchased this gorgeous silk ribbon from the Stamp Simply Ribbon Store.  Sharon has the entire collection of all May Arts Silk, 1/8″, 1/4″, and 1.25″.  Most other ribbons will work with this technique as well. 

Thank you so much for stopping by today.

Paper Hugs,


25 responses so far

25 Responses to “Ribbon Ruching Tutorial”

  1. Alyssa B says:

    the needle holder and sewing board are just too pretty for words!

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  3. This is just great, Jerri — SO easy!

  4. Kittie says:

    Really nice tutorial, Jerri!

  5. CherylQuilts says:

    Wonderful tutorial, Jerri! I have been sewing since I was a child too, and it’s a skill one never regrets. Thanks for bringing beauty into our world!

  6. Paula says:

    Thanks so much for a great tutorial which was really well written and easy to understand. the results you have are stunning. I you use a larger piece of ribbon and pull the threads from nearer to the edge – you would create a rosette effect which would be equally stunning too.

    Thank you so much – I hopped over here from Sharon’s blog.

    Paula, Derbyshire, England. x x x

  7. L. Brown says:

    Really appreciate the tutorial. All these little tricks add so much to projects. You’re so kind to take the time to share them with us. Your needle board and sewing holder are so pretty–really elegant.

  8. Heather says:

    This is so simple I don’t know why I didn’t think of it before. Thanks for sharing!
    Of course, now I’d love to know how you made your needle case with those oh so gorgeous ribbon flowers! I’m busy making needle cases (and more) out of felt to sell at our annual craft fair. I know those ribbon flower details would go over very well, too :)

  9. Diane says:

    This is beautiful thanks for sharing your technique. I would love to know what you used for the inside of the needle holder, that trim is gorgeous! Did you buy it or did you make it? ~Diane

  10. Thank you for this wonderful tutorial Jerri. Love your work girl.

  11. Cindy Lou says:

    Sweet and simple and very well illustrated. Thanks for taking time Jerri to do this tut for those of us who forget or don’t know. Love how your mind works bringing all you have to make the most stunning creations. Thanks again for sharing your tips and techniques. You are so very blessed, as are we to have you in our midst willing to share. Thanks again Jerri.

  12. Dottie Davis says:

    Who would have thought ribbon ruching would be so simple??? It is so great to be gaining a repetoire” of wonderful tips and tricks that add very stunning effects to cards thanks to all you learn and share.

  13. Nadine Papove says:

    Thanks for sharing this technique. I just love your needle holder and sewing board they are just beautiful! Maybe one day you could share how you made them? You are just so talented !

  14. Conniecrafter says:

    Thank you I have heard of this technique but never knew how to do it, your needle case is just gorgeous too! I am more of a quilter, never could get the hang of sewing clothes though. Thank you so much for sharing your talent with us!

  15. For goodness sake, even your “tools” are beautiful! {happy sigh}
    Thank you for another fabulous tutorial!

  16. Very interesting technique, and one I hadn’t heard of dispite my years LOL! I don’t sew much, so I wouldn’t know it from another venue either! Thanks for sharing…I love ribbon!

  17. Great tutorial Jerri! This really looks fantastic…and I love that it’s a narrow ribbon too, I think you get a more defined effect with it too!

  18. Jenny Gropp says:

    OK, you have made it look pretty easy…. so I’m gonna try my hand at this!!! Love the tiny ribbon you used!!!

  19. Charlene says:

    Hi Jeri,

    Great tutorial! I used the sewn technique on this card and didn’t have any trouble with the May Arts Satin ribbon. It took only minutes.


  20. Donna G says:

    Great tutorial, Jerri. I’ve got to try it! I agree with the other ladies… I love your needle case and board. Just beautiful! You do beautiful paper crafts, you sew,… is there anything you can’t do?!? (I’m only a little jealous!)LOL
    Thanks for sharing your talent with us

  21. Joan Ervin says:

    Thanks sooo much for the tutoiral, Jerri…I just love the look of the ruched ribbon and will try this out later today!!! BTW, your needle holder and sewing board are gorgeous…everything you touch turns to beautiful, gf!!!

  22. Beautiful background to work on!!..Thanks for the great tutorial. Love the effects of different ribbon and fibers. You always have great inspiration and great projects.

  23. Lila H says:

    OMG!!! I love this option for scrunching ribbon. Thanks a million for the tutorial.

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