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Now that Halloween is over, I have had a few minutes to get back to this project. When I left off, I thought I had 4 widths of embroidered ruffles completes, and was working on the 5th. But alas, I had only just finished 3 widths and was working on the 4th. I may be sewing this embroidery for months at this rate. I will never scoff at a simple hem again. But to continue the story...
I want to do my ruffles rather scant, because the fabric is so stiff, so I am planning on needing 4 widths of ruffle to fit onto 3 widths of skirt. I was trying to figure out exactly how much I need to get done for each ruffle: too little, and I would fall short, too much and I would waste lot of time and thread. But, as I slaved for a couple days to get more embroidery done, the answer was suddenly handed to me. I had finished almost exactly the 4th width, when I come back to the machine to find it had eaten up the fabric in a huge jam. In trying to extract it from the machine, the section I was working on was ruined beyond repair. I figure, no worries, I will continue a few more sections on the opposite ruffle to be sure to have enough. If needed I can piece the first ruffle. I come back a few minutes later, and the machine had done it again, bunching up the fabric. But this time not so bad, and I was able to rescue it and continue. Only half way through, I realize the alignment had be thrown off, and this meant the end of the second ruffle strip too. To have ruined both strips in exactly the same place, after almost 6 yards can only mean divine intervention. I took it as a sign that I needed to end the strips and the 4 widths would be enough.
I am planning to use my automatic ruffler to make the ruffles, so that should be nice and quick when I get there. But with very little wriggle room on the length of the strips, I really need to find the correct settings to make a 4:3 ruffle. I spent an hour trying to hone in on a gather setting, but I just can't get it to behave consistently. So I decide to use the pleat every 6 stitches setting instead. In a few minutes, I find the setting that makes a 40" length of fabric into a 30" long pleated strip. Very cool! I think this will be perfect, just the right amount of fullness I want. Here is a my test strip. And I set the ruffles aside for now.