First we'll look at the different types of ruffles that you see in fashion throughout the years. We'll go from top to bottom, left to right. Top Left is a loose unkempt ruffle. It's created when a very tight short hem is made in a lightweight or sheer fabric. Top right is a right messy ruffle. It can be created in all sorts of fabric through a process called ruching. Ruching is when you make a loose stitch through a length of fabric then bunching up the fabric on the thread. Bottom left is a tight neat ruffle. It's made in stiffer fabrics that hold their shape, like tulle. It's created by making a stitch, folding the fabric over evenly and then making another stitch. Bottom right is a loose neat ruffle It's created in the same process, just with softer fabric like silk or cotton.
Now we'll practice our ruffles. We'll start out with the bases for clothing that you would normally find them on. We're going to to a ballerina's costume and a cute lolita dress.
Next we'll draw the basic shape of where we're going to put the ruffles. On the ballet costume, we're going to messy loose ruffles for sleeves and a tight neat ruffle for the skirt, aka, a tutu. For the sleeves, we'll just draw loose fitted t-shirt like sleeves for the base, and the skirt, a wide cone like shake with the top cut off. For the lolita dress we're going to give her a little ascot using a loose neat ruffle and we're going to give her a tight messy ruffle for her petty coat. For the ascot we'll just draw two lines coming out from the pendant. For the skirt, we'll just draw short lines as a guide for the direction that we want the ruffles going.
Next we'll sketch in the ruffles. For the messy ruffles you can go in any order you like, giving them an unkempt look. For the neat ruffles, alternate the direction they're going in, keeping them neat and even. Adding lines that go up towards the origin of the fabric gives the ruffles a much more realistic feel
Now you're ready to outline. And there you have it, quick, easy and simple ruffles. I hope it helps and I wish you luck!