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want to add knife pleats ruffle to pencil skirt
1313lincoln
1313lincoln
ND USA
Member since 11/22/04
Posts: 8
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Date: 1/26/12 12:34 PM

I have a long pencil skirt made from Pendelton plaid wool. It is a 20 year old unfinished project.

A few years ago, I saw Kelly Ripa wear a similiar looking plaid skirt with a knife pleat ruffle on Regis and Kelly. It was adorable! I want to redesign my skirt to look similiar. However, I can't find a pattern like it so I am going to self draft.

I need help deciding where cut off the skirt to start the knife pleat ruffle. Am I right to think around the knee would be both flatering and practicle? Or above the knee? Fortunately, have enough leftover fabric to make the pleated ruffle.

I would appreciate input on making knife pleats nice and crisp too. Again, using pendelton plaid wool.

1313lincoln
1313lincoln
ND USA
Member since 11/22/04
Posts: 8
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Date: 1/26/12 3:47 PM

Just to clarify, the ruffle will be made from a piece of material with knife pleats. The skirt is straight.

stirwatersblue
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stirwatersblue
Intermediate
KS USA
Member since 12/13/08
Posts: 3216
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Date: 1/26/12 5:28 PM

I have a RTW skirt like that, and it hits me just below the knee, so a little longer than a typical pencil skirt (I'm 5'4"). I don't think the ruffle is more than 2" deep. (Let me know if you want me to go measure it.)

The first thing you need to check is whether your wool will take nice crisp pleats. Typically you'd cut a strip of fabric twice as wide (deep) as you want the ruffle, fold it in half, and sew the raw edge to the edge of the skirt (fold edge at the hem).

I know there's at least one other thread on these boards addressing this topic--you might try searching for "pleated ruffle."

------
~Gem in the prairie

KBT Sewer
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KBT Sewer
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UNITED KINGDOM
Member since 1/4/09
Posts: 76
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In reply to 1313lincoln


Date: 2/13/12 10:03 AM

Basic pleating----in basic pleating the length of the pleat fold is the same as the pleat distance--you will need three times as much fabric as the length of the skirt hem where you're adding the knife pleats. Look at your plaid fabric and choose which colour band you want to show when the fabric is pleated. This may determine how wide your pleats need to be since each pleat should show the same pattern. Pin,baste and press (damp cotton cloth/dry iron/brown paper strips under each pleat to save imprints underneath) the pleated length to fit round your skirt. You might have to join fabric strips to keep the pattern going.It's much easier to pleat fabric on the flat--you can always cheat a bit with each fold to get the pleats to fit your skirt. Don't make the width of the pleated strip too narrow or it might not sit well when attached. A finished width of 5"/6" would work. It all depends on the thickness of your fabric. I have seen skirts with a narrow (2") pleated hem attached, but the fabric was a really fine wool. To save adding a hem to your pleats you could use the selvedge edge as the hem bottom--this saves on bulk. Traditional kilts are made this way.
A pencil skirt looks fine at, or just below, the knee.Again it depends on what you usually wear. Remember you have to walk in this. Finally, don't forget to add seam allowances, and the hem if you need to, when measuring the strips. Hope this helps.
-- Edited on 2/13/12 10:05 AM --

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