Emery Dress Sew-Along: How To Make The Skirt Pleated


Welcome to part 13 of the Emery Dress Sew-Along! Today we're going to learn how to make an optional pleated skirt for your Emery Dress, instead of the gathered one in the pattern.

I love a pleated skirt and the Emery Dress looks just as great with a pleated skirt as it does with a gathered skirt. So if you'd like to do it this way instead, here are some tips! It's pretty simple and almost seems silly do to a whole post on this basic of a tutorial, but perhaps someone will find it useful! This is the same technique many other seamstresses use for creating dirndl skirts, like in the Sew L.A. 1950's dress class, in both of the adorable Pauline Alice patterns, and in one of my favorite Burda patterns. I've also seen this technique in many vintage patterns in my stash, so you've probably seen this around too, but in case you needed a clear explanation, here it is!

I prefer to cut a dirndl skirt to use for the pleating, but you can simply use the skirt that is supplied in the pattern if you'd prefer. To learn how to make it with a dirndl skirt, follow straight ahead!

Cut yourself a piece of fabric the length of the skirt you want, plus the 5/8" seam allowance and the 2" hem allowance. The width of the fabric is from selvage to selvage. 

Repeat the previous step so you have two pieces of identical size. 

Trim off the selvages on both pieces. 

Cut one of the two pieces in half, creating a pair of identical pieces that will be for the back of the skirt. 

Place the skirt back pieces on the skirt front piece, right sides together, and pin along the side seams. Sew on a 5/8" seam allowance. Finish the seams and press. Note - if you wanted to include the pockets, follow along as written in the instructions and sew to the skirt front and back pieces before sewing up the side seams. 

Once your skirt pieces are together, it's time to pleat the skirt! I like doing knife pleats around the skirt in one direction, but you can do any type of pleat you like! Make sure the side seams still match, as well as the center front and center back, and that's it!

This is a great moment to get out your fancy seam gauge and do a little math to get the size of the pleats to work with the skirt and bodice. Good luck and let me know if I can be of help! We'll pick up the sew-along on Monday, when I will guide you through inserting your invisible zipper! Woohoo!

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