clothing tutorials Uncategorized

diy: Ribbon Pleated Skirt

This week’s DIY inspiration is all about pleats! On skirts, of course. Now that summer is wrapping up and autumn is well on it’s way, I figured one last skirt project was more than necessary. 
As usual, this DIY looks a little more complicated than it actually is. It’s a no sew project, unless you decide to add bias tape to the bottom or sew down the ribbon edges. Otherwise, no sewing is needed – all you need is fusible webbing tape and some ironing to create a similar skirt. 
I adore this project because of how eye catching it is. The ribbon makes a statement on it’s own (I used vintage jacquard ribbon, which is available so many gorgeous patterns)…but when paired with the cream pleated skirt, it really pops.
Keep reading to see how I made the skirt, below! 

– Wide pleated skirt
(This was a Goodwill find! It used to be extremely long, but I cut a good 2/3 off. You can either leave a raw edge, or finish it off with bias tape when you’re done. Or, you might be lucky and find a skirt that is in your desired length.)
– Iron
– Wide jacquard ribbon
(I purchased 12 yards of vintage jacquard ribbon from Etsy seller trimgoddess. The width of my ribbon is 1.5″ – yours may need to be thinner/thicker depending on how wide the ‘gaps’ between pleats are. Mine were a bit wider than 1.5 inches, so I specifically searched for 1.5″ wide ribbon)
– Fusible webbing tape, about 1-2 full rolls!
(I had multiple half finished rolls on hand)
– Jersey or cotton remnants
(to protect your skirt while ironing)
– Ironing board (not shown)
– Liquid seam sealant such as Fray Check, or bias tape/thread/sewing machine
 (not shown, optional)
Note: I’d recommend using a ribbon that is somewhat thick. Jacquard ribbon is pretty bulky, so it won’t warp too much (or at all) when the fusible webbing tape melts. It can also be found in so many gorgeous vintage patterns. If you’re not into the jacquard, grosgrain is another good choice. It’s available in a ton of different designs and colors. Velvet ribbon would also probably work pretty well since it’s fairly thick. Silk, satin and organza would be three types of ribbon that would not be ideal for this project.
Before starting, cut your skirt to your desired length (if you need to!)
1) Measure out a length of fusible webbing tape that will reach the top of each “gap” to the bottom of the skirt.
Don’t forget: Just like ribbon, fusible webbing tape is available in various widths. Choose the one that fits snugly into the gaps of your skirt. It also shouldn’t be any wider than your ribbon!

2) Lay a length of ribbon on top of the fusible webbing tape.

3) Just like with every other project, I’d recommend leaving some extra on the end. You can always trim this down later.

4) “Close up” the pleats and folds (since you probably opened them up to lay the fusible webbing tape and ribbon), then lay the jersey remnant on top. Iron, being quick but firm. 
Make sure that the folds are in place while you are ironing. You don’t want to accidentally straighten out a pleats by ironing over them!
5) Continue all around the skirt, adding ribbon to the areas under the folds.

When you’re done, you can either leave the bottom unhemmed, or sew bias tape all along the edge.  Liquid seam sealant such as Fray Check can help the fabric and ribbon from unwraveling too much; I added some to select areas that I felt that needed it the most.
If you do decide to sew bias tape – again, make sure the folds are still in place, in order to keep the pleated look. Your bias tape can either be in the same color as your skirt, or coordinating with your ribbon’s design. I personally like the look of the raw, fraying edge; it creates a nice contrast with the sharp pleats of the skirt. But of course, it all depends on your personal preference, and if your skirt needed to be cut in the first place.

The end result has a very eye catching and graphic look to it. I love how the ribbon peeks out between the folds, making it really stand out. (PS – I love the ribbon on it’s own to begin with. My two favorite colors!)
Here’s another suggestion that I’m planning to do to mine soon: sew a simple horizontal stitch along each strand of ribbon, at the bottom of the skirt. This will keep the ribbon in place, especially since it can be tricky to properly iron fusible webbing tape at the edges.

Xo, Kirsten