Tuesday, May 3, 2011

A good day to Ruche

Today it is cold and rainy so I have a fire in the fire place to chase away the damp and drearies.
This is my buddy, Ky, who is hoping that I will hurry up and sit down for a minute so that she can relax a bit. Today is a good day to play with a new technique (new to me!) that I learned at Workt By Hand. Ruching! Ruche (roosh) is an ancient french technique which means to plait or gather. I am going to give you a little tutorial on this fantastic embellishment.
No sewing machine required!
Basically, you take a strip of ribbon or fabric, place a running stitch through it in a triangular pattern, and pull the thread to gather the stitches. This forms little scallops or petals. Really really simple and so sweet. Ready to try? Here we go!
Click on the pictures if you would like a closer look.

For demo purposes I will use a length of ribbon

1.   Thread a needle with regular thread (color of thread does not matter) and knot the end.
2. Beginning at the top corner, bring the needle up through the back of the strip and sew a basting stitch diagonally to the bottom of the strip. The width diagonally can be wider or narrower depending on how large you want the scallop to be. Note here that I ended my stitch on the back side of the ribbon. I am now going to bring the thread from the back and over the top to begin my next set of basting stitches diagonally back up to the top.
3. See how the stitches form a triangular pattern? Note that here, I have ended my stitch on the front side of the ribbon. Now, I will take my thread from the front of the ribbon under to the backside and begin my next set of stitches. It doesn't matter a bit where you end stitches--either the front or the back--just remember the appropriate starting point for your next stitch set.
4. Every 2-3 triangles you will want to pull your thread to gather the strip. You have just ruched! Continue ruching until you have gathered your strip to a desired length.
Rouching Fabric Strips
If you do not want frayed edges you will need to press and fold your fabric strip to encase the raw edges.

Use the same method of stitching and gathering.
So sweet!

I am using my ruched fabric strips to create little blossoms on my Workt by Hand project.
Here, I have ruched ribbon and couched it with bullion stitches. It is going to be a little tree on another project I am working on. I think the bullion stitches look like little pink and purple blossoms!

I love to ruche. It sounds ever so fancy too.
"What are you doing there, Lisa?"
"Oh, I'm just sipping tea and doing a touch of rouching."
 Thoroughly sophisticated, right?
I just think the possibilities are endless----what have you ruched? I would love to see your ideas!


  1. Thanks! I think I'll ruche on the plane!

  2. Hi Lisa!! Your Ruching is beautiful!!! Miss you!