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bias ruffles

sewphaedra | Posted in General Sewing Info on

I want to copy a child’s skirt from a catalog. It’s straight and below the knee, with three rows of bias ruffle at the edge. I will probably only put one row. The thing is I don’t know how to make bias ruffle–is that where you cut circles and sew them together to make a strip? If so then I might have to spring for a pattern, I’m not sure I can wing that. Or maybe I can–where do you put the grain line in relation to cutting the opening on the circle? And do you just end up with a jillion tiny seamlines on the ruffle from sewing those circles together? Or maybe you cut one giant circle. Help!


  1. rjf | | #1

    If the ruffle is gathered, it's probably a straight piece of fabric cut on the bias, folded in half and gathered.  If it's not gathered, then figure out how long the sewn edge should be. Divide that number by 7.25; that's the inside radius of one big circle.  Figure out how deep the ruffle should be.  You need a circle with radius equal to the inside radius plus the depth of the ruffle.  Unfortunately, it's probably bigger than your piece of cloth so you can try some smaller circles.  Measure the diameter, divide by 2, subtract the depth of the ruffle and that's the inside radius.  You can figure out how many of the circles you need by multiplying the small inside radius by 7.25.  Then divide the length of the sewn edge by that number.  That's how many circles you need.  All the circles have to be the same size; otherwise you'll have more ruffle effect on the smaller ones than the larger ones.  it's sounds frightfully complicated but if you try it on paper, I think it will work.    rjf

    1. sewphaedra | | #3

      Thank you! I think I can do that. One question: when you say "radius" do you mean "circumference?" Circumference would be the entire measurement (in length) of that circle inner or outer edge. Radius is half the diameter, which is a straight line through the center of the circle, from edge to edge.

      1. rjf | | #4

        I really mean radius.  If a pin is placed at the center of the circle with a string attached to draw the circle, then the length of the string is the radius.  It gives you a way to draw a pattern piece to try on your fabric.      rjf

    2. yoyo | | #5

      Could you make it simple ?  Or draw a "picture" of the technique you described ?



      1. rjf | | #6

        I'll give it try but first, do you mean a circular ruffle, not a straight gathered ruffle?  After I first wrote to you, I thought that you could probably do some half circles and save a little fabric.  But I'll have to do it in another program and send it as an attachment.         rjf

        1. yoyo | | #7

          A circular ruffle that is.


  2. rjf | | #2

    I forgot to say maybe cut the circles open on the straight of the goods.  That should make it easier to sew together.    rjf

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