DIY RUCHING Part 1: How To Ruche Your Pattern

If you’re an avid sewist like me you probably have a ton of patterns, and some you love so much that you’ve made many variations of it. Well, here’s another fun style to try – ruching!

I’ve divided this tutorial into 2 parts to keep it short and sweet. Part 1 is about adding ruching to any sewing pattern you already have – blouses, t-shirts, pants, dresses, and skirts. Part 2 covers the ruching sewing process using an elastic – I used an elastic lace trim ribbon. If you haven’t tried elastic lace yet, go treat yourself to some. It’s absolutely gorgeous! See Part 2 of Ruching here

Now, let’s talk about patterns. First, make a copy of whichever pattern piece you will be adding the ruching to – front, back, side, etc. I’m using a pattern that I copied from one of my tank tops. If you’d like to see how to make a pattern out of your existing garments too, check out this simple tutorial – you already know how your favorite garment fits so you know you will love it!

Let’s make a pattern!


  • Large sheet of paper – pattern paper, butcher paper, anything large enough for your pattern
  • Tape
  • Ruler
  • Curve ruler – optional, to smooth lines

STEP 1 – On your COPIED pattern piece, draw a straight line where you want the ruching to be, mine is the CF (center front). Measure that line and multiply it by 1.5 or 2. We will be slashing and spreading each slashed lined by 1/2”. See the chart below to help you calculate.

STEP 2 – Draw straight slash lines from the ruching line. My CF was approximately 16” and I needed to spread 8” evenly along my ruching line so I drew 16 lines straight across from the CF.

STEP 3 – Cut each line, leaving about 1/16” so that the cut pattern pieces are still “connected”. If you have a seam allowance, snip from the edge to the sew line.

STEP 4 – Place a large sheet under the slashed pattern. Tape/glue the first piece, measure out 1/2”, and then tape/glue the next piece. I find it easier and more accurate this way. After the slash and spread is finished, smooth out the new curved lines if necessary. Add 1/4” seam allowance to the new ruching line.

STEP 5 – The new ruched pattern will now look totally different from your original pattern. The original pattern was a Cut 1 On Fold, the new pattern need to be cut into 2 separate pieces out from your fabric.

Continue on to Part 2 of the tutorial to see how to sew the ruching.

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