Tips and Tricks: Re-discovering circular ruffles

'A Ruffle Overview Extravaganza' by Burda gives a good basic overview of various ruffles and their properties. However for the longest time, I'm pretty sure I've clean forgotton about the very existence of circular ruffles. That is, until I started work on Rin's Synchronicity dress which required a ruffle that sat flat at it's origin before flaring out - a job perfect for a circular ruffle.

By the Burda article's explanation, circular ruffles are created by making an annulus/donut shape, with the inner circumference being the length of where the ruffle needs to go, and the distance between this circumference and the outer one being the width, or how long, the ruffle has to be (don't forget seam allowance!).

As mentioned before, they're great to use when the origin of the ruffle needs to lay flat, and are most convenient when the width of the ruffle isn't too great. If you need a really wide ruffle, you'll end up using quite a lot of material with drawing circles all over it - especially if you're hemming them by using a facing. For my ruffles, I've used the rolled hem stitch on my overlocker and pressed that into place. But I've also seen binding give a very neat and effective finish. Regular hemming on circles (or any other largely curved edge) can result in puckering if not first measured and pressed into place, and can get quite fiddly.

The bodice of Rin's dress where my ruffle's been made up of 1 1/2 circles and placed on a relatively straight edge. For a fuller ruffle you can sew several circles, with a smaller inner circumference, together.

As per any ruffle, the section of the circle on the bias will have more body to it. I've marked in where the ruffle is on the grain and bias, respectively, here to demonstrate that. For this reason, I've learnt to cut open the circle on an area of bias so that the seam is more disguised in the fuller shape. But it does really depend on your taste and personnal preference.

I've also used circular ruffles on the collar of my blouse for Day 1, Costume 2, of Manifest. This collar mockup has two circles in it and is sitting on a curved edge. It gives a nice wave, but I was wanting something a bit more over the top.

For the finished collar, I used somewhere between 2 1/2 - 3 circles. It's really lovely and flouncy and a lot of fun!

If having multiple-circles in a ruffle isn't enough, there's also the options of adding on a few more circles and then lightly gathering, or even pleating, them. For another tutorial and more images and uses of circular ruffles, I'd recommend having a read through of 'THE CIRCULAR RUFFLE'.


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Wahh~ Siera-senpai *A* Rin looks amazing~ I can't wait to see your Synchro!Rin >3<//
This was very useful too<3 *bookmarks the ruffles* Thanks for sharing~

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Aaw, Aly-bit! I don't have any set convention dates to wear her too, so I think I'll just be doing a photoshoot with Len!Aly whenever both suits us.

I'm glad it helped! I really giving back and being able to assist people where possible, so I think I'd really like to keep doing little 'tips and tricks' entries like this.


Just another cosplayer with stage fright who's chronically chained to their sewing machine.

20's, Melbourne - Australia

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