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.