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Forum > Pattern Modifications, Design Changes & Pattern Drafting > hemming a pleated skirt

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hemming a pleated skirt
blessedtosew
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blessedtosew
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Date: 10/15/12 1:42 PM

I bought a pleated chiffon skirt at a thrift store. It looks something like this, but is much longer.

It is too long. I would like to cut off a couple of inches and hem it shorter. Because I am afraid of messing up the pleating at the bottom of the skirt, I carried to a tailor. However, the tailor told me she could shorten it, but did not have the equipment to put the pleats back in. I know I have seen a blogger shorten a skirt like this with seemingly no problem, but I just can't find the post I am thinking of. Can anyone give me some direction? If I am very careful cutting it off and machine hem it, do you think I can just iron the pleats back in at the bottom if I mess them up too much?
-- Edited on 10/15/12 1:42 PM --

Miss Fairchild
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Miss Fairchild
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In reply to blessedtosew <<


Date: 10/15/12 6:57 PM

I do alterations for a (sort of) living and if it were me, I'd take up the hem and then take the skirt to a dry cleaners and let them deal with the pressing. There are many tools and products that they use to keep the pleats in shape. I wouldn't attempt to iron the pleats back in because my ironing board is a different shape than a dry cleaners board, and on top of that, they have a gigantic "iron" above the board to where they can press several pleats at once. I'm sure you've seen what I'm talking about: A gigantic arm lifts up, the person moves the fabric, steps on an invisible foot pedal and the arm goes down.
-- Edited on 10/15/12 6:59 PM --

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NhiHuynh
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NhiHuynh
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Date: 10/15/12 9:12 PM

I've shortened a skirt similar to that one. I actually took the length from the waistband. It's made everything bigger so I then took in the side seams. Mine slipped on so I didn't have a zipper to deal with. Just an idea. I'd hate to mess up those pretty pleats. And I don't wear my shirt tucked in so if it came out badly, who will see?

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a7yrstitch
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a7yrstitch  Friend of PR
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In reply to blessedtosew <<
thumbsup 1 member likes this.


Date: 10/15/12 10:21 PM

I've taken up at the waist also. Good quality painter's tape comes in different colors with variable tackiness. Test some on the inside of the skirt to see if it leaves residue.

You can use the painter's tape or post it's on a roll to help tame the fabric while you baste it.

Try this or something similar. Make a waist template that is longer than the amount you will be removing. Mark your Cf and CB and where you want the side seams. Your skilled, so you know that sometimes the back of the waist is longer than the front and vice versa.

Besides taming pleats, painter's tape is great for marking off how much you want to remove. I'd be inclined to only use it above the alteration.

Lay your template into the skirt. Presuming the back waist is the longer length, bring your sides to the markings on the front of the template. Match up the CB to the markings on he template. Manipulate the fabric from side mark around to the BC and affix and baste. Repeat on the other side back. Repeat on each side front.

Try working with smaller pieces of painter's tape ( or even removable labels).

Baste at the desired stitching line. It is ideal to also baste below the desired stitching line, into the body of the skirt, if it will not leave marks in the fabric when you remove the stitching.

Support the balance of the skirt fabric while you are working. If an ironing board is the only available work surface, an open tube of fabric, slid over and down the skirt a bit, will support the weight of the skirt while you work on it.

My apologies for the detail. I don't think that you need it, but a beginner might.

And....cautioned about testing the tape on the inside of the garment on the area to be cut off as that is the fabric I would use to remake the waistband.

Another approach would be to use the template to make a tube simulating your waist. Stuff the tube with pillow/towel. This will make it easy to use pins also. (Again. Above the alteration so the pin holes don't show in the finished skirt.)

Try altering with a smidge extra, 1/2 inch front and back, in case you pull to tight against your template. Ease any excess when applying the waistband.

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CRUST
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Date: 10/15/12 10:25 PM

Might look pretty with a raw hem. I don't think this sort of material would fray to death. Just look sort of deconstructed and pretty.

If you know your way around you could draft a sort of lining to pull the hem up into a bubble shape.

sings2high
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Date: 10/15/12 10:41 PM

How is this skirt cleaned? If it's dry-clean-only, just use a narrow hemmer foot to make a tiny hem and take it to the dry-cleaner for pressing. (Make sure you ask the dry-cleaner if they do pleats.) If it is expected to go into the washer and out of the dryer with those pleats still there, I would still use the narrow hemmer foot, maybe touch it up with a warm (not hot) iron, or just let it go as-is. The stitching of the narrow hem will tend to hold the hem outward a little but that should look quite graceful. One thing I would NOT do - press the hem flat after using the hemming foot. That will flatten out your pleats for sure and you want to avoid that.

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