Monday, April 16, 2012

Aubrey Pleated Skirt Tutorial

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I have a thing for intentional imperfection.  Now, I realize that there's a fine line between intentional imperfection and sloppiness.  It's kind of like making something that's of a subpar quality then calling it "shabby chic." :)  But I promise that I went into this skirt, TRYING to make it like this.  In fact, I pinky-promise.  Mmm-hmm.

And I think it paid off.  It's a little different than a normal pleated skirt, but it's not just crazy-pants.  Oh, and the even better part?  It's kind of like a spruced up simple skirt.  That means that it's not all that hard.  Yay!

3/4-1 yard of fabric, depending on sizing
2-inch elastic
sewing gear

Decide how long you want your skirt and add 1 inch.  Using that length, cut two panels, all the way across the width of the fabric.

Sew the short ends together and finish with a zig-zag stitch.

Hem the bottom by turning 1/4-inch and pressing, then another 1/4-inch and pressing.  Sew.

Now, like I said, I wanted my pleats to be uneven.  I wanted them to start off tiny and grow, then get tinier again.  I didn't measure but did it by eye.  This is the tricky part.  You may have to finagle them a little, redo-ing them every now and then to get your desired width.  What you want to end up with is your waist measurement plus six inches. My waist (for BOTH my two-year-old and my skinny four-year-old) is 21 inches.  So I wanted the total to be 27 inches, meaning each side should measure 13.5 inches.  Here's my front side when I finished pleating.  You can kind of see those side seams if you look close.

Press each pleat in place and pin to make 'em stay put.

**NOTE: your skirt doesnt't have to be exactly 6 inches bigger than your waist measurement, but make sure you have some wiggle room... I'd say at least 4 inches larger than the waist measurement.

Once you have your pleats to the desired width, run a basting stitch across the top of the fabric, to keep them in place.

Here's my back.  I wanted these pleats to be uniform, but the concept is the same.  In other words, just repeat what you did on the front, making the pleats whatever size you want.  Just make sure that the end result is that the front is the same width as the back.

 Once you have that done, zig-zag stitch the top of the skirt. 

Using pins, divide your skirt into 8 parts.  
 Cut a length of 2-inch elastic into your desired waist size.  Stitch it together and mark it into 8 parts, too.  (Sorry!  No pic!)

Now line up the pins on the skirt and elastic.  Pin together, placing the skirt under the elastic, so right sides of both are facing out.  Use a straight stitch to sew together, stretching the elastic from pin to pin.  This is the same thing that's done when making Dana's circle skirt if you need a little more info.

You're done, but I like to press my pleats one last time, to make them really pop!

It's cute, AND it's easy on-and-off with the elastic waist.  My girls LOVE elastic waistbands like this... mostly because they really love changing outfits... as long as they get to choose them... and Mommy doesn't insist on snapping dozens of pictures. :)  

High contrast goodness!

Or pair with Addie Flared Bloomers for additional fun! :)


  1. What a cute skirt! Very 50's-chic on your little one!

  2. WHt a pretty skirt,who wouldn't love it!


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