Friday, April 22, 2011

Ruffle Bookmarks Tutorial

I like simple things.
Easy things.
Things that are quick to make.

Ruffle Bookmarks?

Are just such a thing.

They're great for giving as gifts.

Or keeping for yourself.

And since they're so fast and easy to make, 
you might as well do both.

All you need are some fabric scraps and basic sewing supplies.

Let's make some.

Terms of use: For personal use only.  Thanks!  :)
1. Choose your fabric scrap, cut it into a rectangle (whatever size you want), and iron it.
2. Cut the short ends with pinking shears.
3. Change the stitch length on your sewing machine to be as long as possible.
4. Making sure not to backstitch when you start or stop, sew two parallel rows of basting/gathering stitches on each side of the center line.  (I just eyeballed it.)

5. Insert a pin on one end like so.
6. Each row of stitching will have a top thread and a bottom thread sticking out on each end.  Grab both of the top threads on one end.
7. Wrap those top threads around your pin in a figure eight pattern.  This will keep everything in place while you create your gathers.
8. Repeat steps 5-7 on the opposite end of your bookmark.

9. Using one hand to hold on to one end of your bookmark, use your other hand to pull the loose bottom threads on that end.  Your bookmark will begin to scrunch up, creating ruffles.
10. Continue pulling the bottom threads from each end and smoothing things out until your have the desired amount of ruffles.  Once your ruffles make all your dreams come true, wrap those bottom threads around the same pins as the top threads in a figure eight pattern.
11.  Change the stitch length on your sewing machine so it's back to normal.
12. Making sure to backstitch as you begin and end, sew a straight line right down the middle of your bookmark.  This will keep all those lovely ruffles in place.
(Note: As much as possible, try not to stitch over your little figure eight threads.  They're a pain to get out if you sew over them.  I recommend just skipping over that part all together.)

13. Carefully pull out your rows of basting/gathering stitches (i.e. NOT the tidy little row of stitching down the center line).
14. Use those pinking shears to trim around the long edges of your bookmark as necessary.
15. Admire your pretty Ruffle Bookmark.
16. Put it to good use.  :)

As usual, the process takes way longer to explain than to actually do.  I'd say if you weren't interrupted by an 18 month old every two seconds you could finish one in about 5-10 minutes.


These little bookmarks would be perfect for slipping inside a book in an Easter basket!  Or for hiding inside an Easter egg.  :)
Looking for more? 

If you're a great lover of all things ruffled, be sure to check out the rest of the Ruffled Up projects over at See Kate Sew!
And a big hello to all of you coming over from there!

If you're looking for more fun Easter-related tutorials, be sure to check out my Easter Stuff Round-Up from earlier this week.  
There you'll find a bunch of fun tutorials and an awesome coupon code to THE SHOP!
And if you're just looking for more tutorials in general, just click on 
the "Tutorials" tab in the yellow bar at the top!



Kimberlee, The Spunky Diva said...

I love how you used the pin at the end to anchor your threads. Great idea! Happy/Hoppy Easter!

Jayna Rae said...

I am definitely utilizing that pin trick the next time that I ruffle up. Thanks for letting Kate share you with us. I think I am going to become a follower because it looks like you have some great tutorials that I can utilize for my boys.

collettakay said...

I have some scrap fabric that is the perfect size for some of these bookmarks. Would you mind if I make some and put them in my etsy shop?

I understand either way.


Katie Lewis said...

Hi Colletta,

Thanks so much for asking! I was in a hurry when I wrote the tutorial and I forgot to add, but this tutorial (as is the same with all my tutorials) is for personal use only. Sorry! I'll have to go back and add that. Thanks so much for the reminder! Best of luck with your shop though! :)

Happy Saturday!

kate said...

lovely tutorial! Thanks again Katie!