Pleated schoolgirl skirts have stood the test of time both as uniforms and as classic fashion statements. Making a pleated skirt can be a daunting task, but by utilizing an elastic waist style, the creation of a pleated skirt becomes much simpler. Break out your iron and prepare for a lot of ironing; pleats need to be crisp and sharp before being sewn into the waistband. This skirt can be modified to fit an adult.
Things You'll Need
- Tape measure
- Straight pins
- Ironing board
- Sewing machine
- Elastic, 1 inch wide
- 2 safety pins
Measure the girl's hips. Multiply the measurement by three. This is the skirt width. Measure from waist to mid-thigh, adding 2 inches to the measurement. This is the skirt length. Cut a rectangle according to the width by length. This is the skirt rectangle.
Measure the waist, adding 2 inches to the measurement. This is the modified waist measurement. Cut a fabric rectangle 4 inches wide by the modified waist measurement length. This is the waistband.
Measure and cut an elastic piece ¾ of the actual waist measurement.
Place the skirt rectangle on a table with the wrong side of the fabric facing you. Fold the bottom edge over ½ inch against the wrong side. Fold over ½ inch again, forming a ½-inch hem. Pin. Sew, using a straight stitch and ½-inch seam allowance, the pinned hem. Remove the pins.
Place the hemmed skirt rectangle, right side of fabric facing you, on a table. Starting at the left top corner, fold the fabric over 2 inches as if making a paper fan. Pin along the fold from the top skirt edge to the bottom skirt hem. Repeat folding every 2 inches, pinning, until the rectangle is pleated and pinned.
Iron the folds, vertically, with an iron set to the appropriate fabric setting.
Align the side edges, right sides of the fabric touching. Pin. The skirt is inside-out. Sew, using a straight stitch and 1-inch seam allowance, vertically, creating a side seam. Iron the seam flat and open.
Thread the needle. Gather the top edge of the pleated skirt to the waistband measurement. Gather by inserting the needle in and out of the fabric, creating a running stitch. Pull the thread to gather the pleated edge to the waistband measurement.
Turn the skirt right-side out. Place the waistband, with the wrong side of the fabric facing you, aligning one waistband edge with the gathered/pleated edge. Pin the waistband around the skirt opening. Sew, using a straight stitch and ½-inch seam allowance, along the pinned waistband. Remove the pins. Turn the skirt inside out.
Fold the waistband over the skirt top to form a 2-inch band. Turn the raw edge of the waistband under, enclosing the pleated skirt top. Pin against the wrong side of the fabric. Sew, using a 2-inch seam allowance and straight stitch, the waistband to the skirt, forming a casing (where elastic feeds). Leave a 1-inch opening at the side seam. Remove the pins.
Connect a safety pin to one elastic end. Connect another safety pin to the other elastic end and the 1-inch opening. Feed elastic through the casing until it emerges from other side. Sew the elastic together. Sew the 1-inch opening closed.
- Photo Credit fashion flair image by Brenda Carson from Fotolia.com
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- The Types of Pleated Skirts