Tutorial: Sheer Pleat Skirt5:00 AM
I'm sharing the technique used on the champagne satin skirt from my Real McCoy look!
This was used to make a full circle skirt, but you could also apply it to straight garments like a pencil skirt, tote, scarf, pillow cover, etc. I used sheer organza for the tuck texture, but contrasting colors would look cool too.
1. Cut Fabric Strips
I started with a circle skirt. Fold your fabric in fourths, then calculate your radius by dividing your waist measurement by 2 pi or 6.28. Cut a quarter circle that measurement, mine was 3". Then you can just measure from your inside waist circle the length of the skirt and cut that curve, mine was 10". So start with your circle skirt and cut it half, then in fourths.
You can fold that stack in half to get eighths. From there I cut the eighths into thirds, yielding 24 wedge shaped satin strips roughly all the same size.
You could repeat with your contrasting fabric, but it was easier for me to just cut my organza into 23 strips 1.5" wide.
2. Sew Strips Together
Alternate satin and sheer, and sew your strips together. I used 1/4" seam allowance.
Because my organza strips weren't wedge shaped like my satin, I just started with a wider 1/2" seam allowance at the top of the wedge, and it tapered down to match the satin seam allowance half way. This allows the height of the finished tuck to gradually increase as it gets farther from the waist.
Here's the top view of strips sewn together as you work your way around. I cut my skirt a few inches longer than final length, so all the uneven strips will be evened out in the end back into a circle shape.
I also worked with the skirt in halves. I completed each halve, then joined them into the full skirt at the end.
3. Make Tucks/ Pleats
With right sides together, you go back through and join all your seams you just made.
You'll fold the organza strips on eachother and sew right on top of the previous two seams which are now stacked right on top of each other. Work your way around, and the sheer strips will now fold up and stand between your satin wedges.
To finish all these seams beneath the skirt, I chose to pink the seam allowances rather than serge. It's just a lot of thread and I thought it would be too thick, especially up at the waist.
4. Finish and Hem
My skirt had a wonky waist and edge due to the nature of piecing all the wedges together. I used a rotary blade to cut them back into nice, even, curves. My skirt was no longer a full circle at this point due to all the seam allowances taken out, but is more full flared shape.
I pressed all the pleats the same direction around the skirt.
To hem, I made my own bias tape using clover bias tape makers (found in quilting notions of craft stores less than $10). I used the 1/2" clover maker to have a final double fold hem 1/4" wide.
There's a lot of short seams to sew, but I loved the end result and the texture it provides.