Hi friends! With Spring just around the corner, it’s time to brighten up our wardrobes! I’m Abby from Sew Much Ado, and today I have a fun tutorial to teach you how to add a POP of color to a basic pencil skirt with a pleated hem!
Pencil skirts are a wardrobe staple for so many women, and flatter almost every body type. They can be easily dressed up or down, and a pleated hem is a perfect way to take your basic pencil skirt up a notch!
Let’s get started!
● pencil skirt pattern of choice – there are some great pattern options here and here
● skirt fabric (add 1/2yd to fabric requirements for pleats)
● inverted pleat fabric – 3/4yd – pictured is a neon pink bottomweight sateen
● other supplies required per pattern instructions such as zipper, interfacing, etc
● measuring tape
● thread (one spool to match skirt fabric, and one spool to match inverted pleat fabric if contrast thread is desired at hem)
Cut Skirt Pieces:
To begin, we need to remove some length from the front and back skirt pieces to allow for the pleats. Shorten the front and back skirt pieces by 3.5” + the hem allowance included in the pattern. For example, if the pattern allows for a 1.5” hem allowance, you would shorten the skirt pieces by 5” (3.5”+1.5”).
Cut all other pieces required for skirt as directed in the pattern.
Cut Pleat Pieces:
Divide the finished bottom width (to do this, measure the bottom width of your shortened pattern pieces and subtract the seam allowances) of your skirt by 10 to get the width of each outer pleat. For example, the skirt shown has a finished bottom width of 38”, so each outer pleat is 3.8” when finished.
Add 1” to the finished pleat width for seam allowances, and cut 10 pieces of that measurement x 9” tall. In this example, each piece was cut 4.8”(3.8”+1”) x 9.”
For the inverted pleat, cut 10 pieces 2” wider than the width of the outer pleats x 9” tall. In this example, each piece was cut 6.8” (4.8”+2”) x 9.”
Assemble skirt as directed in pattern, with the exception of the hem – we’ll do that next! If there is a back slit in the pattern, stitch it closed when you sew the center back seam together.
Sew Pleated Hem:
Right sides together, pin and stitch one outer pleat piece to one inverted pleat piece along 9” side, matching raw edges.
Continue to stitch outer pleat pieces to inverted pleat pieces right sides together along 9” sides, alternating pieces. When all pieces are sewn together, sew the two ends together, forming one continuous loop.
Finish seam allowances with serger or zig zag stitch (if you are using a zig zag stitch, trim seam allowances ¼” before stitching to remove bulk). Press seam allowances toward outer pleats.
Press raw bottom edge of pleats ½” toward wrong side. Press another ½” toward wrong side and stitch close to inner pressed edge to secure hem.
Wrong sides together, press each seam flat where pleat pieces were joined together.
Pin each pressed edge of outer pleats to center of adjacent inverted pleats, creating a fold in inverted pleats.
Stitch along pinned edge to secure pleats in place, ½” from raw edges.
Right sides together, pin pleats to hem of skirt, matching raw edges. Stitch around pinned edge, securing pleats to skirt. Use serger or zig zag stitch to finish seam allowance and press seam allowance toward top of skirt.
There you have it! Have fun adding different pops of color and your wardrobe will be ready for spring!