Skirts & Dresses for First Time Sewers
Personally, I love a good pleat. It is a much more formal and polished way to create fullness in a garment, and when not in motion, the fabric hangs flat, unlike the pouf of a gather, making a smooth and flattering line.
Pleats are great because they look impressive, but they are incredibly easy to create by simply folding fabric. They offer a nice alternative to gathers and, for the most part, any spot that has gathers can usually become pleats and vice versa. I have made this version of a pleated skirt easier for the beginner sewer by including a simple elastic waistband.
The main element of this skirt are the folds of fabric that create the pleats. The waistband has elastic and from there the fullness of the folds fall down from the waist to the hem. This short version lands mid-thigh.
Who does it suit?
The pleats of the skirt will create volume for a larger hip, and the elastic waist will stretch to fit to either your natural waist or your hip, depending on where you would like to wear it. Keep in mind that this skirt is rather short, so be ready to bare some leg!
Because the pleats will be pressed, it’s easiest for a beginner to stick to natural fibres that will take to an iron easily, like cotton and linen. Also, due to the elastic waist, bulk is not a good idea, so I recommend looking for a quilt-weight cotton or similar fabric.
To downplay the sweetness of this skirt, try wearing it with a concert T-shirt, tights and boots to give it a bit of a rocker edge. Alternatively, if you want to work the youthful angle, a cardigan and flats will look fresh and timeless.
Opposite: Floral skirt by La Redoute. Above: Vintage sheer black mini skirt, styled by Kelly Stiles (t); Pleated vintage skirt, styled by Jean Dotts (b).
- Luna D. favorited The Pleated Skirt 24 Apr 16:43
- Daina S. favorited The Pleated Skirt 26 Oct 20:14
- Sidney S. favorited The Pleated Skirt 03 Sep 22:31
- RareJewel favorited The Pleated Skirt 05 Feb 09:40
- Melissa Beth added The Pleated Skirt to Zooey Deschanel DIY 19 Jan 10:28
- Melissa Beth favorited The Pleated Skirt 19 Jan 10:27
- Miss Captain Cosplay added The Pleated Skirt to Hedy Lamarr (In Progress) 20 Sep 05:10
- Jasmin F. favorited The Pleated Skirt 08 Aug 12:52
- Alecia B. favorited The Pleated Skirt 01 Jul 01:54
- Rebecca M. favorited The Pleated Skirt 13 Jun 19:45
Having a good iron is essential for all sewing, but especially for pressing pleats, so make sure yours is in working order before starting this project. Take your time with folding and pressing, being sure to press by lowering and lifting your iron, instead of moving the iron back and forth over the fabric. Simply press, lift, move and press again.
1101 = skirt centre front (cut 1 on fold)
1102 = skirt side front (cut 2)
1103 = skirt centre back (cut 1 on fold)
1104 = skirt side back (cut 2)
1105 = waistband (cut 2 on fold)
You will be pinning and pressing your pleats, so only use glass head pins or pins made entirely of metal so you do not accidently melt any plastic-headed pins to your iron and new skirt!
It is common practice to sew along the folds of pleats from the waist down to the point where you would like the fullness to begin. After Step 1, align your sewing machine needle just inside a pleat fold and topstitch it from the top of the skirt down about 7.5 cm (3 in) and backstitch. Repeat on all the pleats, then continue with the rest of the steps to finish the skirt.