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Looking for help with ruffled dress

christi021 | Posted in General Discussion on

I would LOVE to make this dress but I can’t find a pattern for anything similar.  I’m comfortable making a the bodice myself but have no idea how to create the ruffles.  I think they appear to be bias cut strips? But I’m not really sure how to attach them.  Could anyone offer any advice?







  1. jatman | | #1

    Hi Christi021!  I actually have a dress with similar ruffles on it (that I didn't make).  The ruffles are a bunch of individual squares of chiffon that are lined up and sewn diagonally.  The squares have unfinished edges.  It's kind of cool - when I walk the skirt sort of flutters. 




  2. meg | | #2

    That's a cute dress. I've not had more than a few sips of coffee, but I seem to recall an older Threads magazine article about attaching many squares of fluffy fabric to a skirt, as mentioned already. Perhaps one of our more search-savvy readers could find it... Good luck!

  3. kbalinski | | #3

    I'm also familiar with that threads article. it was a "Little Black Dress" Contest, wasn't it?  Anyhow, I was going to say that if you wanted a more finished appearance, my guess is that ruffles need to be circular in shape for the edge to wave up and down.  I would find a pattern that shows those ruffles, and adopt those pattern pieces, altering as needed.

    Good luck!


    1. christi021 | | #4

      I'm going to try to search for the "little black dress" article.  I was thinking of cutting bias strips of organza & finishing with a rolled hem & then sewing them on diagonally around the skirt part of the dress.  But I'm not sure if that is the right way to go.  The circles and squares seem like a better idea. 

       I was up till 2 AM last night searching for a similar pattern & could not find anything that looks like it. I even searched vintage patterns.  I vaguely recall seeing a red dress that won a contest in Threads that had lots of ruffles -- I just don't remember which way the ruffles went & what issue I saw it in. 

      1. DesignandSew | | #5

        The suggestions of using squares is great for soft fabrics such as chiffon or georgette.  The couture gown I saw with them was in a museum in Florence (Italty) in which the edges were finished with a rolled hem and one corner of the square was attached to the skirt.  I can't begin to comprehend how many of those squares covered the dress. The photos show flounces used in a verticle manner which will be significantly easier than ruffles.  (Who wants to do all of that gathering?)  The fullness of the flounce depends upon the degree of curve in your pattern.  The more curve the fuller the flounce.  I'm a fan of full flounces.  I did horizontal flounces on a 1930's reproduction dress in georgette and they moved beautifully.  If you want more curl to your flounce and enough body for them to stand out more, add heavy weight fishing line to the finished edge of your flounce, it will really make the flounce stand out.  I added fishing line to tulle for a bridal veil using the rolled hem feature on my serger.  Remember, the heavier the fishing line the curlier the flounce.  I hope this helps.  I'm sure you will be able to get the results you want.  As in all good projects...try a sample first:)

        1. cat42 | | #6

          I once made a flapper-style dress with flounces, but used circles rather than squares. I cut large circles, about 10 inches in diameter, and then cut out another circle from the center, about 4 inches in diameter. Then I cut a slash along the grain from the outside to the inside. I then sewed enough circles together (along the opened slash edges) so that the length of the cumulative inner curves was enough to go around the garment. I made several of these strips of circles, enough for about 8 rows of flounces. Then sewed each flounce to the main garment so that one was sewn to the bottom, and another above it so that the bottom of the upper flounce slightly overlapped the top of the bottom flounce. And so on.It was really cute and the flounces had wonderful motion.I can see that the same thing could be done with a squares (with a smaller square or circle cut out of the center). The points of the squares would add interest to the flounce. One could experiment with running the strips on a diagonal (spiral) as each goes around the garment, or in a wave pattern around the garment.

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