This technique is super simple and can be used so many ways!
What is ruching? Well, it’s a fancy word for a fancy way of gathering fabric.
You’ll need some elastic- 3/8″ wide or less is best, and a scrap of fabric (let’s just practice for now!).
Here are the two basic rules of ruching: Your elastic should be the length you’d like the finished product to be. The fabric you are going to ruche should be significantly longer than your desired finished length.
For this example, our desired length is 7″, so we’ve cut a piece of elastic that is 7″ long. The fabric has been cut to 12″.
NOTE: Make sure your elastic can stretch the entire length of the fabric you are ruching. Duh, I know.
Secure the end of the elastic to the edge of the fabric with some stitches.
Set the machine to a zig-zag stitch. The longer you set the stitch, the more fabric will be gathered with each stitch.
I like to keep things pretty long, myself.
Sew on down that piece of elastic, stretching on each end of the elastic as you sew.
It takes some practice to be able to stretch the elastic and guide the fabric at the same time, but you’ll get the hang of it eventually. Pin the crap out of it, if you want. I don’t, because I’m a rebel.
When you get to the other edge of the fabric, secure the end of the elastic with backstitching.
If you turn the fabric over, it should look like this now, all ruffly and excellent. Ppretty easy huh?
And guess what? Now it should be just about 7 inches long!
You can stretch it out to its original length and see all of your pretty zig-zag stitches!