Sewing Details: 8 Inspiring Ways With Ruffles And Flounces

8 inspiring Ways With Ruffles And Flounces

I love doing these kinds of posts. I always find that I end up feeling so inspired and it gets my creative juices flowing, so I want to pass on this feeling to you 🙂

This is actually one of the occasional series that I started last year highlighting different techniques and details used in sewing clothes. In previous posts, I wrote about colour blocking here and tucks here.

So today’s featured technique/detail is ruffles(or frills, or flounces). It’s actually a trend that’s been knocking around for a while and for the new season it looks like a trend that ain’t going away anytime soon. If you want a round-up of the Spring 2019 trends I wrote one here.

Now granted, I don’t suppose ruffles are everyone’s cuppa, but there are many ways and ideas to use this style feature and they don’t always have to be full-on frilly and pretty if that’s not your jam, so keep reading to find out more…

Before I get onto the inspo section, I think it’s a good idea to quickly look at how to make a ruffle or a flounce. It’s really not that tricky and basically, there are two main ways…

First off is the basic frill and this is a long piece of on-grain fabric that is simply gathered. You could either gather along one of the edges and attach the gathered edge within a seam or along a hemline…or you could gather down the middle of the fabric and stitch the piece on to the surface of a garment by stitching along the middle where the gathering thread runs.

Secondly is the ruffle that’s more flounce-like and the pattern pieces for these features are based on circles, curves and spirals. The more exaggerated and extreme the curves, the more fullness is created.

These are the typical kinds of shapes used:

8 inspiring Ways With Ruffles And Flounces:

By the way, I have some blog posts where I’ve used different kinds of ruffles that you might want to take a look at. Here is my ballgown…here is a sweater with double layered georgette hem and here’s a date night top with a subtle neck ruffle. But there are lots more ways to incorporate this type of detail so get the kettle on, grab a beverage and let’s take a look at the inspiration that I’ve gathered together:

8 Inspiring Ways With Ruffles And Flounces

1. This Marc Jacobs dress features delicate layers edged with a contrast colour to emphasise the ruffleyness (that’s a word right? Right 😉 ) You could use sheer chiffon or georgette and do a rolled hem using your overlocker threaded in a contrast colour.

Marc Jacobs: 8 inspiring Ways With Ruffles And Flounces

2. If you’re small busted and narrow of shoulder this top by Zimmerman would be great to balance proportions. This is a straightforward long piece of gathered fabric inserted into seams

Zimmerman: 8 inspiring Ways With Ruffles And Flounces

3. How about toughening up the idea of ruffles and doing them on a denim jacket? I really like this by JW Anderson

JW Anderson: 8 inspiring Ways With Ruffles And Flounces

4. For full-on pretty what about lots of delicate small ruffles like on this dress by Elie Saab? These are very narrow lengths of gathered lace:

Elie Saab: 8 inspiring Ways With Ruffles And Flounces

5. This next look by MSGM really appeals to me. I like the simplicity of it and also the way it’s been styled. Just a simple verticle ruffle on a skirt.

MSGM 2: 8 inspiring Ways With Ruffles And Flounces

6. This blouse by Ted Baker has just one bold ruffle down the centre. You could also do it down the front of a skirt and it would have an elongating effect on proportions. Note how the fabric is shiny on one side and matt on the other…love how you get to see both sides as it cascades down. This pattern shape would be a spiral or full circle.

Ted Baker Ruffle blouse: 8 inspiring Ways With Ruffles And Flounces

7. I’m loving this side on a Zara sweater using the ribbed knit. What a great way to elevate a simple sweater!

Zara Sweater: 8 inspiring Ways With Ruffles And Flounces

8. Finally, these ruffles on this skirt by Valentino have all been inserted in the many seams that it has. It also looks as though the fabric has pleats in it behind the ruffles. What a beautiful effect! And a whole lot of work!

Valentino: 8 inspiring Ways With Ruffles And Flounces

You can adapt pretty much any pattern you fancy and add some kind of ruffle or flounce. Don’t be afraid to add seams across plain garments. Just mark a seam line, slash your pattern and add seam allowances. You could even do them at an angle on the bias…just be sure to stabilise the seams with iron on tape. Don’t forget cuffs and necklines…even trousers. Most of all have fun and experiment.

I hope you feel inspired to create. Which are your favourite types of ruffles? Are you a ‘go big or go home’ kind of person or do you prefer small and delicate…let me know in the comments.

Thanks for reading, see you soon!

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8 inspiring Ways With Ruffles And Flounces

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  1. February 20, 2019 / 11:14 am

    Love, love, love this post and I am feeling very inspired. That denim jacket is just amazing and I want it!

    • diane
      February 20, 2019 / 2:34 pm

      Ahh, that’s fantastic, thanks, Sue! So glad you enjoyed it. And I’ll fight you for the jacket 😉

  2. PatB
    February 20, 2019 / 1:40 pm

    Fantastic post. I really appreciate your well researched, referenced and written post. So inspirational and I am now planning to upstyle some items in my wardrobe. Thank you.

    • diane
      February 20, 2019 / 2:38 pm

      Thank you, Pat. your lovely comment has made my day 🙂 xx

  3. Jenny
    March 3, 2019 / 9:38 am

    Great post Diane
    I love how you show photos of what can be achieved, and then tell us how to do it.

    I think I will have to give it a go.
    I am making sun suits and rompers so will perfect my technique on them.
    Cheers Jenny

    • diane
      March 3, 2019 / 10:45 am

      Thanks so much, Jenny! I’m glad to hear that you find my post helpful. Love your idea to practice first on the rompers and sun suits…they will be so cute!

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