I’m on a skirt kick lately. It’s too hot to wear anything else. Soon, friends, soon there will be a fall clothing related post. Just hold your horses. For now, I can’t have fabric wrapped around my thighs. It’s just a bad situation.

While in Portland, I picked up this periwinkle pleated dress at a vintage store near my friend’s house. The racks at this store were packed with awesome vintage clothing and bright, graphic prints. And, get this, there were two whole clothing racks deemed “Burning Man Approved”. In that moment, eyeing those racks, I had a slight longing to embrace the hipster and skip off to Burning Man in nothing but a leather mini skirt and kitten printed jean vest. It’s a slippery slope folks. It could happen.

Then I remembered that I don’t really drink that much, definitely don’t do drugs, and really, really hate being hot. I’ll stick to sewing skirts. And messing up zippers.

Check out this before and after!

I really went out on a limb here and avoided the urge to sew an elastic waistband on this puppy. Mostly because my elastic stash is running low and some serious sewing supply rationing has begun. Instead, I sewed a fabric, non-stretch waistband with (gasp!) a zipper! It was hard. And there are no close-up pictures. End of story.

So, alas, here are some short steps to get you started sewing your own pleated skirts. Read the entire set of directions carefully and before you get started, because I was less than stellar at the photo documentation of this project.

1. Lay the dress out evenly on the ground, and cut at the waist. My dress had an elastic waist, so I cut just below that. Pin all of those perfect pleats in place!
2. Measure your waist where you want the skirt to sit. Make sure you wear a one-piece swimming suit while doing this.


3. Cut a piece of your waistband fabric that is your waist measurement + 2.5″ by 3.5″. Also, cut a piece of medium-weight interfacing that is your waist measurement + 2.5″ by 2.75″. See graphic below for my 28″ waistband.

4. Iron your interfacing to the wrong side of your waistband fabric, centering it.
5. Fold your waist band in half, length wise, and iron well. Then fold your seam allowances length wise, and iron in towards the center fold. See below.

6. Sew a zipper into the side of the skirt using this tutorial. Have wine on hand for this.
7. Sew on your ironed waistband using this tutorial.

And you’re done!

Now, I need to admit that I kind of left you hanging there with the last few steps (ie zipper). And I apologize. I still don’t feel comfortable with my zipper sewing skills and wouldn’t show you a close up of my zipper if my life depended on it. The beauty in a skirt like this is that your mistakes are more hidden than in a fitted piece of clothing.

Normally, I would tell you to hop to it! and go make your own pleated skirt with a fitted waistband. But let’s be real, just slap an elastic waistband on that puppy. You’ll thank me later.