I have wanted a sensible navy pleated skirt for a long time. It took some organisation. First, I found the fabric – heavy cotton in Murphy Sheehy’s. Then, I found the pattern – a straight-forward vintage pattern on Etsy. It has four versions: a mix-and-match of long or short, with box-pleats or pleats folded to one side. I went with a short skirt with pleats folded to one side.
I had never made a skirt with this many pleats before. It’s pleated the whole way around. To accommodate fabric width, it’s cut in two or three sections (three for me). These seams, along with the lapped zipper, are hidden amongst the pleats. The instructions were clear and easy to follow, so really, this wasn’t a difficult project, just time-consuming.
You join the three pieces first, then put in the pleats. I pinned them all down, then pressed them, finally basting them in. This was tedious but necessary for a uniform look.
As you can see, there is a fair amount of volume in the skirt but the stiffness of the cotton means it has a pleasing (to me, anyway) A-line shape. I followed the pleat lines to set my pleats by pressing. However, I think I will go back and re-press them so that more fabric is taken in by the pleat, thus making it a little less A-line. It’s a bit Sound of Music at the moment.
This was my first time making a lapped zipper. It is simple and clever the way it is incorporated into the pleats. I had a bit of a wobble but I don’t think you’d notice. The hook and bar are perhaps a bit big but I had them in the drawer so it saved me a trip. All zipped up, it looks just like another pleat.
The fabric was quite narrow so I bought too much – 2.5m but I only used 1.5m at the most. My leftovers include the 1m full width and about 50cm of the width for the rest, if that makes any sense. Anyway, I’m confident that I have enough to make a light matching jacket, like this. I could wear it with a lot of different things, too.