Mpressive Threadz Studio Blog

Sharing my love of sewing

The Making of Diana’s Dress – Chapter III


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.

adding ruching lines

adding ruching lines

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.

cut and spread

cut and spread

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.


finished pattern pieces

finished pattern pieces

I now need a center front seam because the gathers are along the center front.


created center front seam

created center front seam

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 overlay

the overlay

combining the overlay and the stay

combining overlay and stay


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.

dealing with the bias

dealing with the bias




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.


Author: Mpressive Threadz

I started sewing when I was 11 years old, and had my own clients when I was 12. I graduated from the H.S. of Fashion Industries, majoring in fashion design. I expanded my technical background by attending evening classes at the Fashion Institute of Technology and working many years at a major pattern company. I have been creating custom wedding gowns and evening dresses for more years than I care to count. I LOVE WORKING WITH FABRICS. I love fine sewing techniques. I love creating beautiful dresses.

2 thoughts on “The Making of Diana’s Dress – Chapter III

  1. Well, all I can say is you are amazing!!! You are so gifted! To make a dress this difficult is something I wouldn’t attempt in a million years. I didn’t know you could sew chiffon on an industrial machine. The ruching looks great. I did make a pattern a few years ago for a junior bridesmaid and had never put ruching in before, let alone on one side only. I looked at many patterns to get the idea, but I don’t think my home drawn pattern piece looked like yours. In the end it was ok, but I’ll have to stay tuned to your blog to know how to really do things right! I can’t wait to see the finished dress.

    • Thanks Sewfordough. With the right needleplate and needle, you can tackle almost anything on an industrial machine. I can’t say I always do things right, but experiences are valuable for coming up with work arounds. Picture of the dress will be posted soon.

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