Steampunk Style DIYs: A Ruff Idea

The swish-swish of petticoats, the oily gleam of top hats, the hungry teeth of cogs — steampunk style seduced me the minute I first saw it well over a year ago at The Great Handcar Regatta. Buoyed by this inspiration, which has stuck with me as though epoxied onto my mind, I’ve set out on a three-day DIY adventure (to be unveiled today, Wednesday, and Friday). Care to join? Good! Well, let’s start by tackling DIY ruffs.

A Rough Guide to Ruff-Making

Fabric of choice (I used upholstery fabric for its stiffness)
Matching thread
Lace of choice
A pretty button
Measuring tape
Sewing machine (or a needle and thread if you’re blessed with patience!)

1. Measure your neck. Add 2.5 inches to this measurement. This is your fabric length!

2. Cut a strip of fabric that’s 2 inches by the length you measured in Step. 1

3. Using a ¼-inch seam allowance, fold over the edges of this strip of fabric and sew in place.

4. Now, measure out two lengths of lace that are each double the length of your fabric.

5. Gather the lace. If you’re thinking, “But how?” just keep on reading:

  • Crank your sewing machine to the longest stitch length and carefully sew along the bottom of the lace. Don’t backstictch the thread in place; leave it loose!
  • At one end, knot the threads together.
  • Gently pull on one of the two threads at the non-knotted end, and shift the fabric along the thread to help it gather.
  • Gathered the lace until it puckers down to the length of your fabric; then, tie off the loose end.

6. Pin the lace to the edge of your fabric and sew in place.

7. Sew a buttonhole (your machine should have a setting for this) on one end of the ruff-to-be.

8. Measure the ruff around your neck to see where the button should comfortable sit.

9. Sew the button on.

That’s it! It’s a pretty quick and just plain pretty project. Any guesses as to the two remaining projects in this DIY series?


About Hannah

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  1. Avatar
    Christen (ModCloth) 12/05/2011 at 10:58 am #

    This is awesome, Hannah!

  2. Avatar
    livinginsong 12/05/2011 at 4:09 pm #

    Oh! I absolutely adore the steampunk style! I can’t wait to see what else you come share with us. <3

  3. Avatar
    BrennasFashionBeat 12/05/2011 at 5:28 pm #

    Ah-mazing! Need to do this now! Thanks for sharing! xx

  4. Avatar
    Katja Irina 12/07/2011 at 11:33 am #

    Fab! And very easy too. Thanks for this great idea!

  5. Avatar
    Blythe 12/10/2011 at 10:55 am #

    Perfect Christmas present for a friend of mine! She’d better get back to me with her neck measurements soon…


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