Frills and ruffles are very popular embellishments in dressmaking. There are quite a few methods to gather fabric, but double basting method is the universal one. Its main advantage is that it can be used with any fabric,be it knitted or woven and it is essentially the same done by hand or sewing machine. The beauty of this method is the neatness of the result, it produces even and tidy ruffles and works equally well on straight or circular pieces.
Depending on the design fabric can be cut on straight, cross-grain or on bias. Bias method is favoured when the ruffle will be finished with the lettuce edge, and requires a fair bit of stretching.
There are three main types of puffed sleeves that are very simple to draft from the basic sleeve pattern. The idea is to create enough extra fabric for gathering, which means to "stretch" the pattern in places were the ruffling will accrue. The "stretching" can be done along the head and hem of a sleeve, but never in the underarm area.
The process itself is not complicated. Start with a paper pattern of a sleeve. Mark the middle third of your pattern with parallel lines 3-4cm apart, cut and open out the pieces. The fuller the sleeve you are after the further you spread the parts. Traditionally it cannot be made more then 5cm. For fuller sleeve cut the strips narrower. In some old pattern making books you can find the pictures of a puffed sleeve draft looking like a fan with the strips cut as narrow as 1cm.
Difference between flounces and ruffles comes from the way the folds are formed. With ruffles it is gathering of the fabric that gives the frills. Secret of flounces lay in the cut - the seam edge of the flounce is much shorter then the hem line. It can be achieved by various means, most common ways to cut the flounce is :
shape based method
developing a flounce detail from the pattern piece
Circle skirt is loved by little girls, it is perfect for twirling. Lucky for busy mums they are dead easy to make and don't require pattern. Here I put together a measurement guide for making one.
Decide how the waistline will be finished. The design may call for tie-up sash, elastic or zipper. Let your skill level be your guide.
Know how are you going to deal with the hemline, remember it's curved and should be finished accordingly. Hemming techniques.
Note: If you are going to make an elastic waist band make sure that the waistline of your skirt is big enough to put on comfortably. As a general rule it should be equal the circumference of the hips + 10 -12cm.