This machine foot is by far the most intimidating machine accessory I’ve ever used! But, once I became comfortable I loved how easy it is to make beautiful ruffles for multiple projects.
There are several moving parts and multiple ways to adjust the size, depth, and frequency of the pleats. We give you one example to add ruffle to the Robert shorts and make them frilly and girlie. See that article here.
Before putting the foot on the machine, check to see how easily the parts slide back and forth to form the pleats. If it seems stiff, put very small drops of machine oil on the parts that rub together. You will want to test the foot with scrap fabric to be sure the oil dissipates.
Let’s start with the basics, because getting the foot on your machine is a little tricky. Remove your regular presser foot. With the front of the foot facing you, tilt the foot so that the large C-shaped clamp fits around the needle bar. Depending on your machine, you will then snap or screw on at the shank.
Test with a scrap piece of fabric. To get started, look at the left hand side of the foot and find a thin dark metal piece with “teeth” at the end. Slide your fabric under this metal piece. These teeth grab your fabric and push it forward to form the pleat. The numerical settings correspond to the number of stitches between each pleat. As an example, setting 12 will stitch 12 stitches between each pleat. Your foot may have a * setting. This is a straight stitch without pleats.
To change the depth of the pleats, look for a knob near the front of the foot. It is likely orange or black. Loosen the knob for deeper pleats, and tighten it for more shallow pleats.
Another use for this “fancy foot” is sewing a ruffle onto a flat piece of fabric at the same time it is pleating the ruffle! Crazy! Right? Make sure to determine how full and deep you want your pleats prior to sewing and remember that the ruffle fabric will need to be much longer than the flat fabric. Place the flat fabric, right side up completely under the foot. Place the ruffle fabric face down and slide it under the metal piece. You will need to guide the fabrics separately - one in each hand.
Have fun, the uses for this machine foot are endless!