Peplums. They add the perfect amount of feminine flare. They’re clean and simple and less bulky than ruffles. A little black dress can sometimes be stoic… that’s why we add those girly, Audrey Hepburn details such as pearls, diamond earrings, or a pair of darling flats. And peplums, also called a flounce, are super easy to make!
Technically speaking, a flounce is made by drafting a circle with a circle cutout in the middle, which when cut out, straightened, and sewn to another piece of fabric along it’s inner edge, its outer edge hangs in flares, folds, and waves. That’s it, Super cinch, right?
Here are some more helpful tips on working with peplums and flounces…
The amount of flare is determined by its radius – the smaller the radius (i.e. 1 ½ inches), the more flare; the bigger the radius (i.e. 4 ½”) the less flare. Also a determinant of a ruffle’s flare is the length of the flounce – the bigger the diameter of the circle, the more flare (i.e. a circle-cut skirt that is 30 inches long will have more flare that a circle-cut skirt that is 15 inches).
The grainline of a flounce is constantly changing so try to place any seamline on the straight grain.
Since the inner edge of the circle is a curve, stay stitch and clip this edge before sewing it to another piece of fabric to prevent it from stretching and to ensure smooth sewing.
Let fabric that has already been cut to the pattern shape hang for 24 hours and then recut it as it will stretch in some places and not others, producing an uneven hem.
P.S. Did you know this is how Christian Dior made his New Look skirt (click here to see). It used 20 plus yards of fabric and outraged many for using so much fabric during a time of rationing (World War II had just ended).