Thursday, September 17, 2009

Technique -- Cascading Ruffle



Rachel posted a question on the Stitcher's Guild forum, asking how to recreate the flounce (or a cascading ruffle) on this $158 Anthropologie skirt.

I am reposting the information here, in case anyone finds it useful.

This is really just a run-of-the-mill circular ruffle. You need to cut a fabric donut. The inside of the donut is stitched to the edge of the skirt pattern piece.

So, the question is, how big does the donut need to be? For the best effect, you want your donut to be the correct size. Too small and you run out of ruffle. Too large and you have extra ruffle and the ruffle you do use is less "ruffly" than it could be.

What you need to do is to calculate the circumference of your inner circle to get it just right (or close enough). To calculate the circumference of your inner circle, you need to use the formula c=2*pi*r. So, if the front of your skirt (where you want the flounce to go) is 20" long, the circumference of the inner circle should be 20". So:

20 = 2 * 3.14 * r
r = 3.18"

So, for the inner circle, you need a radius of 3.18" or a diameter of 6.36". Or, to round up, you need an inner circle of about 6.5 inches. (Of course, I am not calculating seam allowance here.) Correct me if I'm wrong, but a salad plate is about 6.5 inches, isn't it? It's close enough, I'd wager. :)

I made a little demo. In my case, I grabbed a dinner plate and it made a REALLY long flounce. If I had done the math first I would have grabbed a salad plate. The outer circle represents the width of your flounce. I cut mine 4", but for that Anthropologie skirt, you'd want to cut yours wider, maybe 6" or so. You can always cut it down later if it's too wide. Mine is actually only 3.5" wide, since half an inch went into the seam allowance.

So, cut out your donut, stay stitch the edge of the inner circle, and trim the seam. Then attach. Here is my quick and dirty demo, with the flounce sewn onto a pillowcase, and I think it pretty much shows the cascades you want to achieve. It just needs more refined workmanship with better fabric.

10 comments:

  1. This is a keeper post, because the technique is so well described, Shams. Great job. You should be a sewing teacher!

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  2. Oh.. can't thank you enough. I just made my first attempt at vertical flounce and wasn't quite pleased with the result. I am weak at maths, thanks for the formula to be used..... Thanks a ton. Your blog rocks

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  3. Thank you! I've been googling "vertical ruffle" ect. for days and just learned that it is called a FLOUNCE and now I know how to make one!

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  4. This is great, it's funny how those math formulas we avoided in school comes back to haunt us. You've simplified this technique and also answered other questions. Thanks for your time & sharing

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  5. I can't see the demo, what am I missing?

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    1. Hi Deana,

      Maybe you are looking for this post?
      http://communingwithfabric.blogspot.com/2009/09/self-drafted-anthropologie-skirt.html

      Good luck!

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  6. Thank you for this wonderful post but I am confused on wht stay stitching means, pls help

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    1. Hi Linda,
      You can google stay stitching and see info. I found this page here:
      http://www.denverfabrics.com/pages/sewinginfo/simplicity-sewing-hints/sewing-stay.htm

      Good luck!

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