Design Variation : Faced Pleats
This skirt has tailored elegance, but the peek-a-boo option of contrasting pleat facings makes it suitable for much more than business. Faced pleats require an extra pattern piece for the interior of each pleat. The extra piece adds more flare when the skirt is in motion, but typically falls behind the pleat folds when the wearer is standing still. This detail also works as a beautiful substitution for a kick pleat in a straight skirt.
Draft the Pattern
1). Trace your basic flared front and back skirt patterns onto drafting paper. Do not add any seam or hem allowances yet, but do trace any darts. Lower the waistline and lengthen or shorten the skirt (page 70) as desired.
2). Draft a traditional, one-piece waistband pattern with a separate facing and a left side seam extension, following the instructions. Add ½” seam allowance around the edges.
3). Add gores to your skirt following the instructions, turning the skirt into a six-gore design. Trace the four gore pattern pieces without any seam allowance. The center front and center back will be cut on the fabric fold and the zipper will be in the left side seam.
4). Plan the pleats.
a) Decide how deep you would like each pleat to be.
b) Draft a pleat extension on the seamlines that join the front and side front gore pieces. Each pleat extension should be as wide as half the desired pleat depth and as long as the desired length of the pleat opening. The pleats in this skirt are 5″ deep and 13¾” long. Add ½” seam allowance to all the gore pieces and add 1″ hem allowance. Add a registration dot at the top of each extension.
5). Draft the pleat facing to be as wide as the desired pleat depth and as long as the desired pleat length. Add a registration dot at the top center. Add ½” seam allowance around the side and top edges and 1″ hem allowance along the bottom edge.
6). Complete the pattern. Add grainlines to the patterns indicating to cut the center front and center back on the fabric fold. Add ½” seam allowances to all of the gore pieces. Add 1″ hem allowance. Plan for an invisible (or regular) zipper at the left side seam.
PATTERN DRAFTING NOTE : Make the pleat(s) as deep as you like, by drafting the pleat facing or extension to the desired depth. This skirt does not have pleats in the back, but you can add them if you would like.
›› 2 yards of 44/45″ fabric
›› ¼ yard of fusible interfacing
›› 7″ invisible zipper
›› Invisible zipper presser foot
›› Hook and eye
›› Matching thread
Sew the Skirt
1). Cut out the fabric. Use the newly drafted pattern pieces to cut the following:
- From fabric : one skirt center front and one skirt center back on the fabric fold, two side fronts and two side backs, two waistbands, and two pleat facings (one for each pleat).
- From interfacing : one waistband.
2). Apply interfacing. Following the manufacturer’s instructions, fuse the interfacing to the wrong side of one waistband.
3). Assemble the skirt front.
b) Press open the skirt seam allowance above the pleat opening. Pin a facing to the seam allowances of the pleat opening with the right sides together, matching the dots and aligning the raw edges. Stitch one long edge of the facing, from the hem up, and then pivot to stitch across the top edge to the seam, ending the stitching at the dot; backstitch. Repeat to stitch the other side of the facing. Repeat for the remaining pleat.
4). Assemble the skirt back. With the right sides together and raw edges aligned, stitch the side back panels to the center-back panel.
5). Sew the side seams. Stitch the front to the back at the right side seam. Install the invisible zipper in the left side seam.
6). Assemble and attach the waistband, per the one-piece waistband pattern with a separate facing and a side seam extension.
7). Hem the skirt. Carefully press under a ½” double-fold hem. Handstitch close to the inner folded edge, or sew the hem as desired.
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