Ruffles, Ruffles Everywhere!

I am finally finishing my high-waisted Butterfly Sonnet skirt.  Which I didn’t finish for so long because I made a major derp and cut out the skirt with the butterflies flying downwards :P.  And even after consciously telling myself over and over again, I also accidentally sewed on the ruffle with the butterflies upside down.  Therefore, I am renaming this skirt

The Derp Skirt.

Despite that, I present the promised tutorial for Applied Ruffles.  This is the kind of ruffle that is placed onto the garment, not seamed to it, so that you have both the ruffle and a header (the top of the ruffle).


  1. First, you need to cut you ruffles.  This is the first MATH thing ruffles require: how much rufflage?  Measure the total circumference of your skirt and then multiply that number by 2, 3 or more to get your ruffle measurement.  My skirt is only 104″ around and my ruffle is 210″, which is double.  The width is determined by how wide you want your ruffles to be in proportion to your skirt and include seam allowance for finished the edges.
  2. Stitch the ruffles all together, end to end, in a continuous circle and press the seams open.
  3. Next, you need to finish BOTH ends of the ruffle.  Turn-turn finished work best, so that when the ruffle curves in and out, any glimpse of the underside is a cleaner finish, rather than a serge.  You can draw a line to turn your edges to and even pin it if you’d like.  I used my sewing foot and the ruler on my machine to guide my edges.
    IMG_2923 IMG_2924
  4. Now add gathering stitches to your ruffles.  They need to be placed right where you are going to stitch them.  For me, that was 1″ down from the top edge of my ruffle.  You may either do two rows of gathering stitches or zig-zag over high-mark/heavy thread.  I show how to do the second method in this tutorial and I would highly suggest it.  It is much stronger than generic size 5 stitches.
  5. Quarter your ruffle and skirt to prepare for application.  The most accurate way to do this, of course, is with math.  Measure the circumference and divide by four.  But if you are lazy or in a hurry, you can simply fold the pieces in half.
  6. Pin the quarters of the ruffle to the quarters of the skirt.  Make sure it is even all the way around.  You may want to measure up from the hem at every point it your ruffle is not even with the hem, like mine is.  Then, quarter each of those sections and pin them together as well.  This will allow your ruffle to be evenly gathered.
  7. Gather the sections of the ruffle down and pin to the skirt.  Be sure that you are keep it even.  Again, measure up from the hem if you need to.
  8. Last, sew on that ruffle!  I am applying a ribbon over the gathering stitches to hide them.  To save time and a couple steps, I am doing this at the same time I sew on my ruffle.
  9. Da-da-da-Done!

Here are other tutorials from the Derp Skirt!  Many of them apply to high-waisted skirts:
Patterns!  High-Waisted Skirts
Seamed Together
Boning Butterflies
The Simple Zipper


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