The School of Making Swatch of the Month Ruffle Inspiration


“Pleated Ruffle”, 2012 from Alabama Studio Sewing + Design by Natalie Chanin (pages 108–109); The Ruffle Swing Skirt Kit in Black from The School of Making; “Galloon, Silk and metal thread”, 17th–18th century from the Metropolitan Museum of Art; “Riverside Museum”, 2011 by Zaha Hadid Architects via dezeen; The Ruffle Swing Skirt Kit in Black from The School of Making; Left: “Balenciaga’s gathered sleeve”; Right: “Balenciaga harem dress and cape”, 1950 by Irving Penn from On the Edge: Images from 100 Years of Vogue, 1992 by Vogue Editors. 

Today, we release two new DIY Kits featuring Pleated Ruffle, which is March’s Swatch of the Month technique. The Ruffle Scarf Kit and The Ruffle Swing Skirt Kit showcase the eye-catching technique along the hem. Pair the kits with Alabama Studio Sewing + Design for construction and technique instruction.  

When developing our March swatch, Natalie and The School of Making team looked to centuries-old passementerie and modern architecture to inspire the ornamental fabric application. 

From top left: The Ruffle Scarf Kit in Black from The School of Making; “Passementerie, Silk and metal thread”, 18th century from the Metropolitan Museum of ArtThe Ruffle Scarf Kit in Black from The School of Making; Beaded Pleated Ruffle Fabric Detail from Swatch of the Month; Satin Grey Bugle Beads from The School of Making; “Cathedral Fold – Axis Mundi’s proposal for a new cathedral in Strasbourg, France”, Architect: John Beckmann; Design Team: John Beckmann, Masaru Ogasawara and Viviane Liao; Visualizations and Diagrams: Viviane Liao and Masaru Ogasawara. 

As with every Swatch of the Month, this month’s subscription includes the fabric and notions to make your own swatch along with an exclusive newsletter featuring more inspiration, instructions, and surprises along the way. We’ve also partnered with Purl Soho, a fiber shop and valuable resource for fiber arts, crafts, and embroidery. In this month’s subscription box, they provide a tape measure and glass head pins to use as you create your swatch. 

Left: “Pleated Single-Edged Ruffle”; Right: “Pleated Double-Edged Ruffle” from The Art of Manipulating Fabric, 1996 by Colette Wolff, edited by Robbie Fanning (pages 64–65).

“A ruffle is a strip of fabric reduced in length by gathering or pleating which releases folds that configure its floating edge. Attached to another piece of fabric, ruffles add the dimensionality of multiple folds and fluttering edges to the surface they adorn.”  

Colette Wolff, The Art of Manipulating Fabric


Subscribe to March’s Swatch of the Month—or subscribe for the entire year.   

While not required, Alabama Studio Sewing + Design and The Geometry of Hand-Sewing make great companion books for the work completed with March’s Swatch of the Month.  

Find our new Pleated Ruffle kits on our DIY Sewing Kit page among more kits and inspiration. 

Visit or find the shop and resource for fiber arts and embroidery on Facebook and Instagram.


This post contains some affiliate links. If you purchase a product through one of these links, we will get a small commission. Thanks for supporting the Alabama Chanin Journal.  


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *