DIY pleated skirt

Skirts don't feature heavily in my summer wardrobe - I strongly tend towards dresses (in case you hadn't noticed). However, I was thinking that it would be quite handy to have a skirt that you can pair with a few different tops and vests, given the changeability of the weather here in the UK. On my Pinterest board, quite a few of the looks I've been into featured pleated skirts, so I decided to have a go at making one without a pattern.


I bought this polka dot fabric at the Knitting and Stitching Show at The Textile Centre's stall. It is slightly see through, like a thicker georgette or a very lightweight crepe. It was £5 a metre and I had been searching for years for a tiny dot like this, so I didn't ask too many questions! It is very drapey and is lovely to wear in the summer. It wasn't very easy to sew with at times because it doesn't like being pressed into shape and tends to fray a little too. It went through the machine okay and did stand up to the wrangling I put it through when I was altering for fit.
I also used a standard 8" dress zip and button at the back for the closure.

Pattern and Instructions

I'm sure if I had looked for a printed pattern for a pleated skirt I would have found one. However, I really didn't think that it would be worth paying for because a very simple construction was all I needed. Instead I used a tutorial from By Hand London which had everything I needed in it. I pleated a rectangle for the front and two for the back, with seams at the side and centre back. Somehow I always make things too big at the waist so I needed to do a bit of unpicking and repleating in order to get it to fit with pleats that looked even at the seams, but I got there in the end. The waistband was also based on a rectangle, interfaced and attached as per another of by Hand London's tutorials. I chose to overlap the waistband at the back so that I could move the button in the waist band if I need to at a later date, depending on how it feels wearing it.

A printed pattern may have been quicker, but now that I've done one, I think that another would be faster, and I have to say, it's certainly easy to wear. If you need a quick wardrobe staple, you wouldn't go far wrong with one of these.


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Welcome to Sewing and Other Stories; my journeys with sewing and knitting; pattern reviews, tips and guides for beginners. I'm also the designer behind West Beach Knits knitting patterns and I host a Knitting and Sewing channel on YouTube where you can see all of this in person. Come have a look!

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