It’s hard to tell in the pictures, but the fabric has a little hint of shimmer to it. I’m not a fan of shiny fabrics, I think a lot of times they can end up looking cheep, but this fabric is thick and has just the right amount of golden glow to it.
The instructions aren’t too complicated. Just lots of pleating.
If you don’t know how to sew, or know the basics but are interested in learning more, Merrick and I have created The Modern Girl’s Guide to Sewing, online sewing courses that teach you everything you need to know about clothing construction. You can take our Beginner Course or our Intermediate Course, and learn how to follow tutorials like this one! Make sure to check out moderngirlsewing.com!
Click through below for the tutorial…
– 1 1/2 – 2 yards of fabric
– coordinating thread
– zipper (I used an invisible zipper)
Cut out your pieces. I wanted my waistband to be 2″ thick, so with the seam allowances, my pieces were 3″ thick. Measure around your waist, divide that by 2 to get your front and back pieces, however, add an extra inch to the length of your back waistband. You will be cutting this in half and will need the extra s.a. for your zipper. Don’t forget to add on 1/2″ on each side for the s.a. as well. I always like to make the bottom of my waistband 1″ longer than the top. That way it fits me a little more snug at the top of my waist. I doubled up on the waistband because I like it to be a little thicker and more sturdy.
You will need to do a little math before you cut out your skirt pieces. I wanted a lot of thick knife pleats, so I ended up using fabric for the front of my skirt that measured 45″ wide and 24″ long (I knew this would be plenty long and I wanted a 2″ hem). When all the pleats were created, the front skirt portion ended up being 16″ wide
My back skirt sections measured 17 1/2″ by 24″ each. I just did an inverted pleat on either side of the zipper. Basically I just used what fabric I had left over.
Create the pleats for the front of the skirt. Make sure that the folds of the left 2 pleats and the folds of the right 2 pleats all point to the center of the front of the skirt. I used pins in coordinating colors to remind me which pins to match up to create the knife pleats. The pins for my knife pleats were about 7″ apart. You don’t have to follow my measurements exactly, just go with what looks good, but make sure they are symmetrical. Leave at least 1/2″ extra on each side for s.a. Once you have created the pleats with your pins, serge or sew the pleats in place 1/4″ away from the edge.
Create the inverted pleats on each back skirt section. Again, you can eyeball this until it looks good. Keep in mind that you need at least 1/2″ on either side of each back skirt section to allow for the seam allowance and zipper seam allowance.
Once you have created the pleats with your pins, serge or sew the pleats in place 1/4″ away from the edge.
With right sides together, attach the front skirt section to the 2 back skirt sections. Press seam allowances open.
Sew 1/2″ from the top along the width of your front and back waistbands. Cut your back waistband in half and attach to the front waistband so it creates one long waistband. Attach it to the top of your skirt, making sure to match up your side seams. For more detailed instructions on attaching the waistband, follow the waistband instructions on my pinwheel skirt tutorial.
In the past when I have attached my waistbands, I usually do a top-stitch at the very top and bottom of my waistband. This time I tested out “stitching in the ditch” (don’t ask me how I remembered this from clear back in my BYU sewing class days). I did this along the bottom of my waistband and I love the clean look of it. Basically this just means that I stitch very carefully and very slowly along the bottom of my waistband, right inside the little groove that was created when I attached the waistband to my skirt. Pull each side of your fabric taught so that you can see the existing stitches, and stitch right on top of those.
Take a deep breath….. and insert your zipper. I stepped even further out of my comfort zone this time and used an invisible zipper. I actually bought the little plastic invisible zipper foot (they are about $2 and are usually located right above the zippers). It was tricky, so watch this tutorial a few times before taking the plunge. The instructions printed on the invisible zipper package might as well have been written in Hebrew. I need to physically see the zipper being put in to understand it, so written out instructions don’t work for me. I swear, I have watched this tutorial at least 20 times. It is simple and clear and works for me so I’m going to stick with it.
Take a break from ripping your hair out and pat yourself on the back because you inserted a zipper.
Either that or get in the car and head back to Joanns for another zipper because you got so frustrated that you ripped your first zipper right in half. I’m not ashamed to admit that I have done this. It was a while ago and it was my first invisible zipper. It just felt really good to break that stupid zipper.