This skirt is a relatively quick and simple sew for beginners/intermediates, with its pleating detail and concealed zip fastening.
The cutting out stage is a breeze; you need to cut a front piece, back piece and waistband from your main fabric, and if you wish to line it (like I have) you’ll need a back and front piece from your lining fabric too.
Make sure you cut the notches as these are really important! They show you where to fold your pleats. Also mark the little cross on to the wrong side of each of the main fabric pieces. You might find it useful to rule the whole line up to the top of the fabric if you don’t trust your straight sewing.
I am using this lovely paisley printed cotton from FC Fabrics for my main fabric.
When your pieces are cut and ready, your first step is to sew the centre piece on both the front and back pieces (which are actually identical). If you drew the line, you will simply sew right on top of that line from the top edge of the fabric at the notch, to the cross (or end of your drawn line). Backstitch to secure your stitching. You’ll then have a large flap of fabric at the back; I opened this out and stitched it down to keep it secure (within the seam allowance). Repeat with the other piece.
Next you’re going to make a few inverted pleats on either side of that large pleat. Fold the fabric so that the notches join up together. It’s hard to describe and show you in a photo! The diagram in the instructions is good. Again sew along each little section of pleats, within the seam allowance, to keep everything in place. You’ll now do a similar thing with the lining’s pleats, but there aren’t as many.
Once you have all your pleats in place, you need to sew the back and front of the main fabric together (and also the back and front of the lining fabric together). You must hold the pieces up and determine which will be the right-hand side when you’re wearing it. Sew that seam together with a 5/8” seam allowance, and finish the seam. Repeat for the lining, making sure you’re sewing the same side seam.
Now it’s time to add your waistband. Firstly take your main fabric piece and lie it down right side up. Lay your waistband piece on top, right side down. Raw edges should meet all along the top. Sew along that edge.
Flip up the waistband and then place your lining piece on top, right side to right side. Again, the raw edges should meet; the other long edge of the waistband and the top of the lining. Sew along this edge. The photo shows what you should see after you flip up that lining piece; lining, waistband, main fabric. All raw edges on the other side.
Next it’s time for the zip! To insert a concealed zip well, it’s a good idea to first gently iron the teeth, rolling them outwards away from the tape. Once you’ve done that, measure down half an inch, from the top of the waistband (towards the main fabric). Sew one side of the zip down one side, then repeat on the other side.
Fold the lining and other little bit of the waistband over and on top of the zip, so right sides of fabrics are touching and you’re totally covering up the zip. The seams of the waistband should be right on top of each other. You’ll now sew the zip again in the same place you just did, but on top of the lining too. Excuse all my frayed lining fabric, I had it sat waiting to be sewn for too long! Open that out and you should have a nicely enclosed zip, with the top of the zip at the top of the skirt. Repeat with the other side of the zip and skirt lining.
Finish sewing the seams from the end of the zip to the hem, individually. Give the whole skirt a good press, especially that waistband.
Take the skirt back to your sewing machine and stitch in the ditch, just under the waistband – to keep everything lying nice and flat. I used my fancy new stitch in the ditch foot – if you don’t have one, I thoroughly recommend buying one. It’s only a few pounds and it’ll change your life! I used to despise stitching in the ditch but now it’s actually rather enjoyable.
Last step! Hem the skirt and lining separately; fold and fold again 1cm each time.
That’s it! A beautiful pleated skirt, with an attractive lining to boot.
Beth blogs at https://afterdarksewing.wordpress.com/