It’s time for another BurdaStyle project and for my September make I have something a little different from my usual style. A pleated midi skirt.
(Note: I was gifted the PDF pattern free of charge. All opinions are my own. Please see my disclosure policy here for more information)
So, a while back my mum sorted through her fabrics and she offered me length of off-white slubby linen-look Poly-blend fabric to add to my stash. At the time I hadn’t a clue whether or not I would even use it. But then a germ of an idea formed (isn’t that always the way?) and I started to think about a possible skirt.
If you read my post of a couple of weeks ago that highlighted the new Autumn season trends, then you’ll know that pleated midi skirts are one of the trends that I mentioned and also off-white is one of the Pantone’s
Now, to be honest trying a midi pleated skirt is totally new to me and a little bit of a style trial. But if we don’t try new things once in a while we never learn or grow eh? Nothing ventured and all that…Anyway, I felt compelled to try out the style and although I don’t have the Victoria Beckham physique (she rocks a pleated midi) I thought why not?
Once I had set my heart on the midi style, I thought that it would be great to sew it as my September BurdaStyle project so I searched the website and found a couple of suitable candidates. I actually did a little vote on IG stories and the more popular one was number 120 07/2016 which coincidentally was shown on the model at the longer length in white so it already looked the part 🙂 The yoke on this skirt design is actually a bit more forgiving for my low waist to hip ratio because it reduces bulk around my midsection (hello full tummy and flattened backside).
There are only 3 pattern pieces for the skirt…2 yoke sections and 1 skirt piece. I cut a size 38 and had to grade out at the waist even further. It’s worth pointing out though, that the pleated skirt pattern pieces are cut cross-grain with selvedges going across the skirt width. They are very wide pieces! Read on for a few pointers about cutting and marking:
Pleats 101: Tips For Preparation:
- True your fabric grain as accurately as possible. I was lucky with my fabric and I could visibly see the grainline really well due to the
- Meticulously mark all of the pleat matching lines with long basting stitches in a contrasting thread colour.
- Before doing any sewing, take the cut and basted pieces to the ironing board and slowly fold and match the basting lines for each pleat…press well and pin in place. Work along the back and front skirt pieces until every pleat is pressed and pinned.
- Lay the pressed and pinned fabric pieces on a work table and baste horizontally across all of the pleats in about four stitching lines, spacing them evenly and starting just above hem level. You can now remove the pins because all of your pleats are held nicely in place while you get on with skirt construction.
Ok, so after I’d finished with all of the pleat preparation I set about sewing the skirt together. A quick pin fit of the yoke meant I needed a bit more wiggle room so I stitched smaller seams. I basted the skirt sides together and temporarily attached the yoke, but on trying it on, I discovered that the pleats looked like they might open up a bit too much when the basting was all unpicked and they wouldn’t have hung nicely, so again, a bit more room was needed in the width.
Now at this point I went off a bit in my own direction…
You see, the pattern is designed with quite a blank pleat-free area at each side, which of course makes it easy to let out or take in. I needed to let out…except I didn’t have enough in my seams (maybe I should have sized up)…so, my solution was to use some of my leftover fabric to cut an extra couple of widths of
Doing this extra couple of pleats meant that I had a pleat almost against the concealed zip, but thankfully it wasn’t close enough to interfere with insertion.
The skirt yoke is meant to be self-lined, but I cut down on bulk a little and used a fine cotton lawn lining instead, which I also used to line the main skirt. To stabilise the waist edge I stitched a narrow cotton tape into the seam.
The final making stage is the hem…Read on for tips on the hemming process that I used and an extra really useful pleat tip.
Hemming And More Pleat Tips:
- Remove all of the horizontal basting lines to free the pleats, but leave the vertical ones. Try on and mark the length.
- Cut a not-too-deep hem allowance. Overlock to neaten
- Fold up the hem and baste close to the folded edge…DO NOT PRESS IT YET.
- Stitch the hem up either by hand or machine
- Get the skirt onto the ironing board and line up all of the pressed folds, matching the basting lines,thoroughly press the pleats through the hem in sections as you go all around the skirt.
- The 6th and final tip is one which will really help with the worry of pressing the pleats back in after the skirt is laundered….What you can do is stitch close to the edge of each inner pleat fold on the inside of the skirt right through the hem and up to within a couple of inches of the yoke. You won’t be able to see this stitching in the outside. It takes a while to do, but is so worth it and when you wash the skirt you already have instant folds to help with the pressing process. It’ll be a doddle trust me!
This photo shows the stitching in detail:
When I was thinking of styling for this skirt I was considering
I’m wearing my leopard print sweater here because I can vaguely recollect seeing Victoria Beckham in a soft, slouchy ‘V’ necked sweater with a pleated midi…and if it’s good enough for her… 😉 I won’t deny though, I had to think a bit harder for styling ideas, but I’m sure I’ll get there. If this skirt turns out to be one that I don’t reach for much, at least I can say I stepped out of my usual style zone and gave it a go.
So that’s it from me for this week, See you soon and keep sewing xx
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