Finished Project · Sewing

The Secret Garden Pleated Skirt

I blame the cold. The mind-numbing, can’t-string-two-thoughts-together, can’t-even-breathe cold. I couldn’t lay down, couldn’t stand up, couldn’t do anything that required much thought. But, I found that I could cut and fold and stitch straight lines. As long as I was sitting. So, what’s a girl with a cold that can’t do much besides sit and sew to do? Well, sew, of course.  So, yes, I blame the cold for why I had a skirt Tuesday evening when I only had fabric mere moments earlier.

This skirt was supposed to be the Second Honeymoon Pleated Skirt. I ordered the fabulous fabric in time, but I just couldn’t squeeze the skirt in with all that was going on before my husband and I left.  Plus, unfinished projects drive me crazy, and I wanted to give the maxi dress its due before moving on.  There was going to be no dealing with the zipper on that dress this past weekend.  Not with a cold.  So, new skirt it was. Especially since this fabric had been singing to me since the day it arrived.

The subtle texture really makes this fabric special.

I love all of the little details in this fabric.  The flowers are made with such bold colors.  The striking blocks of white aren’t just plain white; there are secret gardens hidden within each.  And, there’s texture!  In the picture above I’ve tried to point out some of the texture, but it’s really hard to capture it all.  Those parallel rows are actually ladders, and in between each ladder is an alternating thick and thin design.  Maybe you can kind of see it if you squint your eyes and pretend really hard?

The idea behind making the pleated skirt was to have the pleats play with the blocks of color in the pattern.  I’m not sure I quite achieved what I had in mind – maybe a simple box pleated skirt would have accomplished my goal more effectively – but I’m extremely happy with the skirt none-the-less.  As in, a I-got-a-remarkable-number-of-compliments-while-wearing-the-skirt-today (while still sick!) kind of happy.

As I discussed in an earlier post, the pattern I chose was the skirt portion of Very Easy Vogue V8443. To make a skirt from the dress, I cut two of each waist band piece and used the extra as a facing. Two things to note if you ever consider doing the same. First, take care in picking the right size. Most dresses don’t need, or want, the waist band to be snug since they’re held up at the shoulders. I had to cut the waist down considerably in order to get it to sit properly on my waist. Second, some sort of interfacing might be nice in the waist band. I didn’t think to add any, but after a day of wear, I can see how some might add a bit of support (though not enough for me to take out the seam ripper and add any now!).

I tried my hand at the lapped zipper again, and while I get the concepts, I still haven’t mastered the perfect lapped zipper yet.  Maybe by the time I get around to making my Bombshell though?

Next up:  an invisible zipper foot to conquer the maxi dress.  I’m one step away from another garment I can wear during SSS’11.  I need every one I can get!

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19 thoughts on “The Secret Garden Pleated Skirt

  1. Your skirt turned out lovely. I think the pleats actually worked really well. I wasn’t sure about the fabric, but made up in the skirt I love it! But….no matter how hard I squint…I can’t see those ladders!! lol.

    P.S. Hope you are feeling better soon

  2. Amy, this skirt is so cute. I love the fact that it’s lovely from afar but up close you are hiding a secret garden – how cool is that? And the colours are warm and bright but not overly so. The perfect skirt to go with everything in your closet. Well done!

  3. I love this! That is the coolest fabric; it almost looks embroidered. I always get deathly sick after long holidays; it’s just sad and I can’t even sew… I just watch a lot of movies and eat junk food. It’s like one’s body releases after the rest of you does!

  4. I really like the fabric. Very pretty! Could you do some sort of aftermarket facing, cut a bit smaller and stitched inside the existing waistband for stability?

    And thanks for the comment on the running skirts – glad they inspired you to try again! I really really love mine and don’t run in anything else anymore. They get used daily and are holding up really well (though a note for myself, I like the hot pants just hemmed, not with elastic!)

    My hips measure 37 to 37 1/2 inches depending on the day (!) and I made the size “S”. The lycra I used is really stretchy. If you use something less stretchy you might want to go up a size.

  5. Your skirt turned out beautifully! I love that fabric. =)

    Thanks for offering to put up a link to my shop! I’m keeping the same link that I have now, but I’m trying to give my shop a sort of mini-makeover. Making and listing more items, improving my photography, and just trying to make everything coordinate more. =)

    ~Kristin

  6. Wow, I actually was in Fine Fabrics a while ago and saw this fabric, but I dismissed it – I clearly was wrong! It makes a beautiful skirt, well done!

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