How to make a clown neck ruffle

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Make a neck ruffle for a clown costume for a fancy dress party. The simple design makes it a great accessory to make for a group of children, and a ruffle can even be worn by the family pet. Have a clown party where each child makes his own ruffle. Add some clown make-up, and set up a photo shoot with hilarious results as you introduce water-pistol flowers and buckets of fake snow or water.

Select your fabric. Plain colours work best. Cut an 20 cm (8 inch) wide strip about 1 m (1 yard) long. Use pinking shears so you won't have to hem the edges.

Decorate your strip of material with ribbon or braid or a row of sequins. Choose bright, bold colours. Glue the decorations lengthways along the fabric. Let the glue dry.

Sew a running seam along one long edge of the fabric, using elastic thread. Use big stitches about 2.5 cm (1 inch) wide, and leave a long loose strand at each end. Repeat this so that you have four long seams about 4 cm (1 1/2 inch) apart along the length of the material.

Stick two Velcro strips at each end of the fabric. Stick two on the decorated side and two on the opposite end of the undecorated side. Check that when you fold the material into a circle the Velcro will attach and stick before your final gluing.

Tie the elastic threads together at one end. Tie the top two and the bottom two strands into secure knots. Pull the threads at the other end to ruffle the material. Try the ruffle on so that it fits comfortably around the neck of the wearer and tie off the threads in two secure knots, the top two threads and the bottom two threads.

Secure the Velcro fastening.

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