How to Sew a Flounce

Written by lexie zirkle
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How to Sew a Flounce
Flounces have been used for centuries as ornaments on garments. (George Marks/Retrofile/Getty Images)

To flounce means to bounce, prance and swish. This is where the term flounce as used in fashion and design comes from; a flounce is a piece of fabric sewn onto the hem of a dress or skirt that creates a subtle ruffle that waves and bounces when one walks. You might want to sew your own flounce to touch up a plain skirt or if you're designing a dress. You can sew flounces long, short, tightly ruffled or loose and baggy to create different looks.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Lace, chiffon or silk fabric
  • Scissors
  • Pins
  • Sewing machine
  • Tape measure

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  1. 1

    Lay your skirt or dress flat on the floor and measure its width where you want the flounce to be. Add 3 to 5 inches to make room for pleating or folding fabric to create ruffles. It's better to use more than what you expect to need, since you can always trim it later to your desired look. Then add at least 1/4 inch to make room for sewing the seam. Write this measurement down.

  2. 2

    Fold in half the fabric you want to use for the flounce and mark the dimensions of it in pencil. It should be a rectangle. Make the long side the measurement you wrote down in the previous step, and the short side the height you want your flounce to be.

  3. 3

    Cut out the rectangle you marked with pencil, and unfold it.

  4. 4

    Pin the flounce around the skirt or dress where you want it, gathering the fabric at even intervals as you pin. Allow for at least 1/4 inch to hang out for the seam.

  5. 5

    Hand baste the flounce; this is a basic, loose over-under stitch to temporarily hold the fabric together. Before making a knot to seal your stitch, gently tug the thread out of the fabric to make it pleat and pucker.

  6. 6

    Use your sewing machine to sew the flounce onto your dress or skirt, using the zigzag stitch.

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