Ruching is a very popular design feature. Although it looks complex, it’s actually very easy to do. I added it to Diana’s dress. Here is how I did it.
I made a copy of the pattern piece to which I will add the ruching. I determined the direction of the ruching lines and drew lines from the “start” seam to the “end” seam. I only wanted gathers on one seam, so I cut off the seam allowance on the “end” seam because the shape of that seam will change during this process.
I placed another sheet of paper underneath the pattern piece. Starting with the first line, I cut on the ruching line from the “start” seam almost to the “end” seam and spread apart the cut pieces. I taped the pieces in place and repeated with the next line and continued until I had done all the lines.
As you see the piece started to curve. Don’t panic if your piece does the same; that will happen if you are only adding gathers to one side. I drew in the new seam allowances. Now I have two pieces, the original piece which will act as a stay to which I will overlay the new ruched piece.
I now need a center front seam because the gathers are along the center front.
I staystitched the “end” seam of the overlay because I will have to clip it when attaching it to the stay. Then I gathered along the “start”seam.
The bias grain comes into play a lot with ruching which means there will be points with a lot of stretch. Stretch the piece out is needed. If you don’t, you will wind up with a puffy look. It hard to describe in detail, but you will know what I mean when you see it. After basting the ruched overlay to the stay, I stitched the seam, adding an attractive design feature to this garment.
Give it a try!
Keep in mind: the lighter the fabric’s weight, the more gathers you will need to get a nice look. The more spread you add to the pattern piece, the more gathers you will have.
If you have any questions, I am here for you.