This post we'll be pleating up a storm and adding a rather fetching ribbon waistband.
And a few pictures from me working away in the sun, just for funsies.
So, have you made it this far unscarred, or are you huddled in a corner in a mass of tears and wonky stitches?
Loving this series? Find the other tutorials for this project here:
Week 1 / choosing fabric for a skirt
Week 2 / make your own skirt pattern
Week 3 // easy guide to cutting fabric for a skirt
Week 4 // the easiest pocket tutorial (ever)
Week 5 / sew a killer skirt with pockets
Week 6 / add a perfect zipper in 8 steps
Week 7 / adding a ribbon waistband
Week 8 / the easiest 3-step hem
Creating simple pleats
You will need:Your skirt
A little bit of patience (this bit is a bit fussy)
1. Spread your skirt out (and no, you didn't make a mistake the skirt's massive at this stage). To get this skirt down to size we're going to create pleats to gather in the excess material.
2. To make pleats gather a section of fabric by pinching the excess fabric between your fingers. Make sure you grab only one layer of fabric.
3. Fold this pinched section of fabric to one side. I find it's easier to make pleats bigger, so I usually start with smaller pleat sections at this stage.
4. Pin in place.
5. Now move over 1 - 2 inches. Gather roughly the same amount of fabric you did in step 2.
6. Fold this pinched section of fabric in the opposite direction from the folded fabric from before. Pin in place. Congratulations, you've just made a box pleat. Check you out.
7. Create pleats all the way around your skirt until you've gathered up all the fabric. ideally, your pleats should be roughly the same size and distance apart, but life is too short to get obsessive. After you've done pleating you'll want to try it on to check it fits. Adjust the pleats a few times to get the fit right.
8. Sew around the top, about 1/2 inch from the top of the waistband, to keep everything in place. Unpin, ready for the next step...
Adding a waistband
Your (now pleated) skirt
Petersham ribbon (you might want to iron it to take out any kinks)
1. Start at the back where the zipper opening is. Place your ribbon over the top of the waistband so that the top of the skirt and the top of the ribbon are roughly aligned (with the skirt top just a tad below the ribbon top). Leave 1 inch of fabric extra from the edge of the skirt (this will be folded to become a tab later). Pin.
2. Repeat this all along the waistband, matching the top of the ribbon to the top of the skirt and pinning in place, until you get to the other side of the zipper opening. When you get to the end you can either cut off your ribbon with 1 inch extra of overhang and go on to step 4, or:
3. If you have enough ribbon, it's quite nice to continue pinning the ribbon over on the other side of the skirt. This sandwiches your skirt between two sides of ribbon, hiding all the wonky stitches and the gathers, and generally finishes it all off rather nicely. When you get to the end leave 1 inch of extra ribbon and cut.
4. With your two extra 1 inch of ribbon, fold them under by 1/2 inch (so the fold faces the inside of your skirt) and pin in place. You should now have two tabs that overlap the zipper slightly.
5. Take your skirt to the sewing machine. Start in one corner of the ribbon and sew all around the top, sides, and bottom of the ribbon. Sew as close to the ends of the fabric as you can.
6. And bam! You're 90% of the way to a finished skirt! Well done you!