DIY RUCHING Part 2: Sewing a Ruched Garment

The Sewing Retreat has a great selection of elastic lace trims. So gorgeous!

I don’t get many opportunities to go shopping for clothes for myself so I love adding little timeless fashion trends to my wardrobe whenever I can, which means I can wear the same garment each year and still look stylish! The ruching sewing  technique has been around for hundreds of years and is still so dominant today, from wedding dresses to t-shirts and leggings. Another thing I love is the elastic lace trim ribbon which has a feminine and vintage-y feel to it. Combine the two and you have a classic and stylish wardrobe staple to enjoy for many many years!

In this 2nd part of the tutorial, we will sew a ruched garment from the ruching pattern that we drafted in Part 1. If you haven’t seen the first part of the tutorial, check it out here

For this project, I’m using an organic bamboo jersey fabric in natural and an organic cotton elastic lace trim, both from The Sewing Retreat. If you’ve been following my blog, you probably already know that I’m really keen on organic materials because of my eczema and aggressive Rheumatoid Arthritis – anything to help me feel as comfortable as possible during bad flareups.

If you want to make some ecofriendly fashion too, visit The Sewing Retreat and check out their gorgeous selection of organic fabrics and trims. Use code HAPPYSEWING to get a 5% off!

Now, let’s get sewing!


  • Your new drafted ruched pattern – If you haven’t done so, go here.
  • Fabric of Choice
  • Binding – Cut crossgrain (straight across from selvage) for knits, Cut on Bias (diagonally from selvage) for woven
  • Elastic Lace or 1/4” elastic
  • Matching thread
  • Twin Stretch Needle – optional, for knits

STEP 1 – CUT 2 pieces from the new ruched pattern you had drafted in Part 1 from your fabric. Cut all other pattern pieces as normal.

STEP 2 – RIGHT SIDES TOGETHER, sew down the ruching line. I used a regular straight stitch. Press seam open.

STEP 3 – If you’re using a regular elastic, place it on the INSIDE of the garment. No need to see that boring elastic! Haha. However, if you’re using a cute elastic lace like moi, by all means, attach it on the RIGHT side and show it off!

STEP 4 – Cut your ELASTIC the same length as the original line before the slash and spread, plus the seam allowance (SA) amounts on your garment. My original line was 16” so I added the 1/4” SA from the neckline and 1/2” hem allowance so my total elastic length came out to be 16 3/4”.  

STEP 5 – Pin one end of the elastic to the top of the ruching seam and the other to the bottom. Then, PIN the ELASTIC along the RUCHING SEAM in sections – it is easier to sew the 2 together in sections.

STEP 6 – SEW the ends of the elastic within the seam allowance without stretching it. Otherwise, the elastic will tug on the fabric and alter the shape of the neckline and the hemline. STRETCH and SEW down the CENTER OF THE ELASTIC to the RUCHING SEAM LINE on the garment with a matching thread, as if you were stitching in the ditch. Don’t worry if your stitches aren’t falling exactly in the seam line, just get as close as you can.                                                                                       

The ruching step is all done! 

STEP 7 – FINISH the rest of the garment as usual. SEW the SIDE SEAMS and SHOULDERS. 

STEP 8 – BINDING: a. Sew into a loop. b. Fold wrong sides together lengthwise. c. Sew folded binding on right side of armhole.

This is how it will look once done.

FOLD binding under to wrong side of garment and EDGESTITCH.

STEP 9 – FOLD up the HEM and SEW using twin stretch needles or a small zig zag stitch. 

You may also like

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *