Sunday, 22 March 2015

Madly? Pleated? Trading Places?

I enjoy reading Stephanie's blog. Her rambles through Canadian history remind me of things I learned as a child or send me off down the most interesting rabbit holes of topics I need to research further. I also find projects I need to try -a good thing since I have several projects on the go, and none finished.

One of her more recent posts (or it was when I started this post a few weeks ago) featuring a pleated skirt inspired me to finish a skirt in my 're-work' pile.

Way back in 2010 I made a gathered skirt from a multi-coloured plaid. I liked the colours, but the design was less than optimal -I don't suit gathers, the waistband was too narrow, and it was too long. I decided to use that skirt to test how I look in pleats. I didn't have a pattern to go to, so I just pleated the fabric to fit my waist measurment, shortened the skirt by about 3 inches, and used the bottom cut off to widen the waistband.

I'm not sure it's a total success -I may need to stitch down the pleats -but I wore it to work anyway.
My co-workers liked in, no doubt in part to the bright colours. We have not had a cold winter, and most of our snow melted last week, but it has been very dull and gloomy. Usually we have cold sunny winters and people are feeling the effects of so little sun.

So, emboldened by my 'success' I decided to try the same on a piece of orange fine-waled corduroy I had been meaning to work on for several months.

I simply cut the fabric into two equal lengths, plus a piece for the waistband, inserted a zipper and pleated the skirt to fit the waistband.

I stitched the pleats down with two vertical seams in each pleat, the inside seam being one inch longer than the outside seam.
 I then lined up the seam lines to make the pleat, attached the waistband and stitched through all the layers.
This might have worked better if I had been using a 45 inch/115 cm wide piece of fabric like the plaid skirt, but the corduroy is 54 inches/140 cm wide. That is a lot of fabric to try to compress down.
Then, after stitching a lovely five inch deep hem, I realized I had made it too long. I would like to tell you I removed the stitches, cut off the excess three inches and re-hemmed it. But I try not to lie. No, I just turned it up and hemmed it in place as well telling myself it would make a nice, weighty hem for spring and wouldn't blow up when I was on my bike. I should just stop being so lazy, but I just wanted to finish something.
It's rather poofy and could benefit from a wider waistband; history does repeat itself.

I'll be regretting my laziness when I'm ripping out the double hem, if I decide to leave it as a skirt. I just hope it doesn't trade places with the plaid skirt in my re-work pile


  1. The check pleats work brilliantly. I had to laugh at your corduroy adventures though - I always end up altering things I'm not happy with in the end, so I have concluded I am better to do the work in the first place ;)

    1. Well, I've altered this skirt out of existence so I will (likely) be making another Hollyburn this weekend from the corduroy.I guess I am a flat-front-garment kind of person.
      The tearing apart was somewhat therapeutic tho'. Kind of like shredding paper.

  2. So sorry I missed this! I'm terribly absent-minded and miss posts. I don't seem to be successful at getting updates of posts...otherwise I would have commented immediately! I love the first pleated skirt accompanied by the green top and actually I like the poufy corduroy version, too! I especially like the way that you constructed the pleats, which to my eye works very well on the pretty plaid. I see though that you've cut up the corduroy version. I just tried on an old Hollyburn skirt and realized that I like it better than I thought. Do show the Hollyburn if you've finished it!

    To be honest, I always end up with limited hems because I forget that I need a longer skirt to cover my quads. Skirts that finish above the knee look odd on me.

  3. Please don't apologize for missing posts. I'm flattered if anyone reads them at all.
    I'm hoping to work on the Hollyburn tomorrow (I've been fussing around trying to find a trouser pattern that works) if it rains. If not, I'll go and play outside or try to be a good girl and do yard work.
    I like my skirts to hit just at the bottom of my knee cap. Any longer intersects the widest part of my calf and makes me look dowdy and any shorter reveals my horribly scarred, mushy knees, the negative result of flesh meeting concrete or gravel when I fly off my bike.