how to iron your pleated skirts so your pleats are sharp and stay that way
i know, i know, another pleated skirt tutorial. there’s so many out there i contemplated not writing this, but i’ve made a lot of pleated skirts. too many. more than i care to admit. and despite the amount of tutorials i’ve read, how to really make my pleats nice is something i had to figure out myself through trial and error. i want yours to be perfect on the first try.
note: this is not a tutorial on the construction of a pleated skirt. as i said before, there are plenty. i like this one. this is just the finishing touch, nice sharp pleats.
I really wanted to do a video version of my DIY circle skirt tutorial, so here it is!
When I can’t be bothered to add a zip to a circle skirt - it can add up to an hour to a project - I use this no-zip method with some stretchy fabric instead. Stretchy fabrics include lycra, jersey knits and spandex if you’re on the lookout for some in a fabric store.
I will also upload a version on non-stretchy materials and adding zips soon.
So ruffles! They’re really simple and basic, but the way I learned to make them is so exhausting. What way is that? Well stitching with the longest stitch setting on my machine and pulling at the bottom thread to gather the fabric and pray the thread doesn’t break. But working in the costume shop has taught me a great and painless way to gather fabric for ruffles and I just have to share the revelation.
So supplies you’ll need:
Thread color of your fabric
Button and cord thread, easier if a different color (VERY IMPORTANT CANNOT SKIMP OUT AND USE NORMAL THREAD BECAUSE YOU RUN THE RISK OF IT BREAKING)
Every few days for the next five years I saw him. Randomly he’d turn up while I was doing something and slowly I became his friend—but more importantly, he became mine. Every time he came my family claimed they couldn’t see him. Loki would wink at me and put a finger to his lips. I’d obediently not talk to him around them except to greet him that one time when I was five and he popped in during family dinner.
I wanted to make a simple skirt with a zip at the back and was looking for a nice simple tutorial, but couldn’t seem to find one. So in the end I just sort of made it up and it worked out well. This will be how I make all my skirts from now on (if they are not made with elastic that is, which I have also done before).
So for the tutorial:
You will need:
Fabric (only 1 metre)
A short zip (about 6 inches)
How to make it:
Cut out the waistband section and two squares as pictured below.
Measure your waist where you want the skirt to sit and then add a few centimetres for seam allowance at each end. Then decide how wide you want it, double that measurement and add enough for a seam allowance. (this will be folded in half and sewn to the top of the skirt).
The skirt can be as wide as you like really. I made this one 56 inches all the way round, but you can measure a skirt/ dress you are happy with and make it that size.
Whatever size you choose divide the measurement in half for the front piece and in quarters for the size of the back pieces. i.e. my front piece was 28", back pieces were 14" each.
The length again can be whatever you want it to be.
Once you have done that you will have your pieces ready, this picture below was just before I cut my back piece in half.
Then sew the back pieces to the front, leaving the back seam where you will have a zip.
Now get pinning and measuring, I wanted three pleats at each side folded inwards, so folded my waistband piece in half (wrong sides inwards) and pinned the fabric at the side seams and middle of front and back and then got pinning my pleats, making sure I measured each the same and the same distance from the seams so that they were all even).
Bare in mind that your fabric will look something like this, the waistband much shorter than the skirt fabric.
Then I got sewing all the pleats, then sewed the zip at the back and lastly did the hem.
Could you do the "Next ten cosplays" thing that is going around? But for costumes?
I feel like it’s bad luck to talk about costumes before i’ve started on them, but I guess I can do this!
A 18th century inspired ensemble which includes an off white summer dress and a riding coat. Based off the portrait of Sophie Marie Gradin Voss by Antoine Pesne (In progress)
A Cinderella inspired party dress based off the ball gown from the live action film (also in progress)
A floral dress from cotton sateen with a wing tip bodice. I’ll be doing a video on how to draft and sew a circle skirt and this dress will be the project I film as an example.
A fairy like dress using fake moss and spring greenery, plus a matching headpiece.
Maybe a natural chemise-ish dress to be worn with the moss headpiece. I want to do something that is more like what would actually be worn if a girl got lost in the woods than what comes to mind when you hear “Forest Fairy”
A red dress inspired by the painting “The Body of Saint Catherine of Alexandria Borne to Heaven by Angels" by Mucke Heinrich, I think this might be the next thing I made because it would be a perfect procrastination project and I could use the break…
A 15th century damask dress and headpiece, with sleeves trimmed with fur. Eleanor of Portugal’s gold dress has been my main motivation for this. (I might make this before #3 depending on video scheduling..)
A 1640s taffeta dress.
Another tudor piece, this time entirely from velvet with gold trim and beading. Based off of a Sofonisba Anguissola painting.
A modern full length gown made from gold and pink brocade.
The last three are kind of wishy washy. It’s ALL kind of wishy washy. I have my “big” projects planned out and fabric for everything, but I’d also like to make a few fashion things in-between and squeeze more menswear inspired stuff in there somewhere. I have to make a dress for a wedding i’m going to, too, I forgot about that…
do you happen to have a pattern or anything for your lapis cosplay? i pretty much know how to sew the skirt, but the top is a bit confusing and yours looks lovely
Thanks so much, and yes I do! I altered Simplicity’s 2827 princess dress pattern to make Lapis’ outfit, using the skirt part for the skirt, and the bodice for the halter top. My alterations to the pattern went something like this:
The whole thing was doubled up for better support (since I don’t wear a bra with it). Plus the fabric I used has a bit of stretch to it which not only helps with snugness and support, but also makes getting into it a lot easier. The top part where the bow is clasps shut, and I made the bow as a separate piece so that it would look as crisp and neat as hers does in the show.
I really hope this helps! I actually found her top to be the easiest part of this cosplay to sew, even though it seemed really daunting at first. If I can answer any further questions, please let me know! <3