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Monday, May 03, 2010

Tutorial: Knife Pleat Toddler Skirt Pattern

A year ago, I made this skirt for Aubriana. I still love it and she sometimes wears it still. I never made up a pattern to share though, so I made it again recently, so I could share the pattern. I love the jean version just as much as the pink polka dots.

Here's a few shots of the finished skirt. The bottom is knife pleats, which are the simpliest kinds of pleats. The back is elastic and there's a little belt built into the front. It's a pretty easy pattern, although the pleats are a little time consuming. Still, it's a project you could do in a day.

Not sure I'm crazy about this shirt with it, but hey, I was running out of light, so I went with it. I love this shirt, but it might be a tad bit busy with the skirt.

Ok, first off, supplies (may vary depending on the size you're making, my yardage is based on size 3T):
1/3 yard main fabric (I used denim, but you can easily use a lighter cotton)
1/3 yard accent fabric
1 yard 1/4" elastic
A little fusible interfacing (a piece about 13X4" is all you will need)
1.5 yards bias binding tape

Step 1:
Measure your subject. This pattern should work for sizes up to 5T. You need the waist measurement. Once you have this, divide by two, then add 1 inch. The guide line on your pattern should be this long when you print it. I made size 3T, with a guide measurement of 11".

Step 2:
Download the pattern, then print to size. Cut out pattern pieces as indicated.

Step 3:
Iron the belt pieces in half, with right sides together.

Stitch around the curve, then down the open side. Turn. Press flat. Top stitch all around the edges. Set aside.

Step 4:
Next, prep the belt loops. Iron in half, then fold the outsides to meet the fold in the center. It will look something like this.

Fold in half, encasing the rough edges along the length, then topstitch the sides. I probably didn't get quite as close to edge as I would normally want.

Set aside.

Step 5:
Ok, now the real stuff begins. Adhere the interfacing to the wrong side of the front facing. I didn't want to hem it, so I just zig zag stitched along the bottom edge since it will be on the inside, but I didn't want any fraying to happen.

Put right sides together with front piece, and stitch along top, with about a 1/2" seam allowance. Iron open.

Step 6:
Iron back band in half lengthwise, wrong sides together. Stitch 1/2" from bottom, then 1/2" below that, then 1/2" below that.

Cut 3 pieces of elastic the same length as the guide. Using a safety pin, feed the elastic through. I usually tack it down once it gets close to the end, then I finish pulling it through, then tack that side down (see photos). You want it to be just a tiny bit (like within 1/2") shorter than the front piece.

Trim elastics and pull taut to evenly distribute gathers.

Pin together the right side of the back piece and band (doesn't have right or wrong sides yet), evenly distributing the gathers.

Sew, with 3/8" seam allowance. Press.

Step 7:
Pin the belt to the sides of the skirt, about 1/4" from the top. Baste in place, leaving the facing free.

Pin the ends of the belt to the center and out of the way. You might want to use safety pins, because I kept poking my fingers with the straight pins.

Step 8:
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