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I was on a real skirt making kick this summer and this skirt with the most amazing border print I’ve ever encountered has fast become a wardrobe favourite. In this post I also have some cool tips on sewing a skirt with pockets and pleats, using garment industry techniques that can be done our home sewing machines.
But first. can we just take a minute to fawn over this amazing print! Up-close it looks almost like painting since the flowers are printed in layers, so you can see the petals from the lower layers peeking through the upper layers. I just love that sort of subtle details.
The cotton sateen fabric is from Italy, probably a designer leftover, and I bought it here locally at Italienska Modetyger. The owner travels to Italy several times a year and sources the most amazing designer fabrics from her contacts over there. I buy so many of my fabrics from her, and it’s such a joy to work with these high-end fabrics. Once you get used to good quality, there is no turning back!
It’s a skirt pattern that I drafted myself, and the skirt has four kick pleats in the front, and four in the back. For more stable skirt fabrics, I love working with kick pleats as it really shapes the garment in a beautiful way.
My first tip is to always topstitch around the seam of the kick pleats. This will ensure that the seams and the fabric stay together. These kind of pleats are under a lot of stress, and when I first began making kick pleat skirts I foolishly skipped this step. Not a good idea!
This is how the stitching looks on the inside. By the way, do you notice the small vertical lines on the facing? This is how I keep the facing in place. I just stitch in the ditch of the seam (in this case the pleat seam) and this eliminates the problem with floppy facings, which is a pet peeve of mine and something not all sewing pattern instructions address properly. On the outside, this stitch is pretty much invisible.
By the way, have you checked out my tutorial on how to mark pleats super fast using an awl and a pair of scissors? I have not used a tracing pen or paper in over ten years now, this method has been such a game-changer for me.
Every skirt needs pockets if you ask me! While sewing this skirt, I added simple side seam pockets, and to make it easier, I have actually created a pattern template in a stiffer paper for the pocket that I use on all my skirts. Saves me some time for sure.
Do you notice the stitching on the inside of the pocket? This is a brilliant technique that I got from the amazing book Sewing Secrets from the Fashion Industry (Amazon affiliate link). You stitch down the seam allowance as you would with a facing, and this prevents the pocket pouch from flipping in and out, plus it makes the pocket more durable too. And it’s super easy to do, which is a nice bonus.
My last tip is to always use the blind hemstitching on your sewing machine. Look how neat it looks! If you have serger you can first overcast the edges with a 3-thread overlock or a 2-thread flatlock seam, which will make it look even neater.
Of course, when sewing a flared skirt, there will sometimes be some excess fabric in the hem that needs to be eased in. Luckily I have a tutorial for how to ease in a flared hem using the blind hem stitch and finger easing. Works like a charm!
So here it is, the full inside scoop on how I did this skirt. Of course, a lot of credit goes out to the fabric itself. But using the right techniques are super important too. I’ve been wearing this skirt all summer and will still keep on wearing it now in fall since the fabric is sturdy enough