It's one of my most hated tasks ever. I shy away from garments with ruffles/gathers because I simply can't stand sewing them. I have a ruffler foot for my machine but can't stand it even more then I can't stand gathering. I put together a quick little tute for a friend (and my mom, Hi mom!) so that it's easier to understand a method that I found works great for getting your gathers spaced a little more evenly and keep them from getting caught in the seam like mine use to.
Lengthen your stitch to the longest length and set your tension to 0 (it's very important to make sure you set your tension to 0 otherwise you won't be able to pull the bobbin thread). Stitch two parallel lines down the length of your gather/ruffle being sure your seam allowance falls between the two sets of stitches.
Pull your bobbin thread up gathering your fabric as tightly as you need it.
Pin, pin, pin. Those that know me know how much I hate using pins but they are a necessary evil when gathering. I also wrap my bobbin threads around the pins on the end to keep it from unraveling and losing the tension in my gathers.
Stitch using your seam allowance and then remove your bobbin threads and the top thread will come right off. Also, when I stitch any ruffles/gathers I stitch it so that the flat side of the fabric is on top by the pressure foot and the gathers are next to the feed dogs.
Now, there's a second type of ruffle... One that sits on top of your garment and has a cute perky ruffle at the top and a longer ruffle on the bottom. It looks really cute on the bottom of skirts.
First step is to finish all of your raw edges. Either turn and topstitch, roll hem, or serge. Then run double basting stitches at least 3/4" apart.
Then, gather it to fit your fabric or garment.
Make sure the edge of the fabric/garment you are attaching it to is finished as well.
Pin it to the fabric making sure that your basting stitches line up along the bottom edge of your fabric/garment.
Stitch two parallel lines making sure they fall between your basting stitches. Pull your basting stitches and and here's how it should look when it's done.
The biggest thing is to make sure that your seam allowance falls between your basting stitches. That's what will give you the nice even ruffles. I hope this is helpful for someone.