Gertie’s Giveaway Dress – Part 4 (the skirt)

I left off earlier this week with a skirt conundrum. Thanks to Beth @ After Dark Sewing for her advice. It was really helpful! I did decide, though, to go with a pleated skirt instead of circle one.  I’m still a bit conflicted, but I’ve thought a lot about it. Here’s my pros-cons list:

Pros of a circle skirt:

  1. It avoids the awkward stripes curve. You know how stripes form an upside-down U-shape in circle skirts because of how the fabric hangs? It’s a little thing, but one that happens to be on my list of pet peeves. I don’t know why it bothers me so much, but it really does.
  2. It uses my fabric more efficiently. I’m already running out of fabric and getting a circle skirt cut out was going to be a nightmare and leave me with really awkward (useless) scraps.
  3. No ugly un-matched seams. As I discussed in my second post about this project, the plaid doesn’t match itself when right-sides-together, making matching the pattern impossible to do correctly and difficult to fake. (And I’m not sure if I would even have enough fabric to try to match the seams, let alone succeed).
  4. I love a good pleated skirt. Simple as that.

Cons of a circle skirt:

  1. It’s the same silhouette as my striped dress. That’s a really petty reason, but one of my new year’s sewing resolutions was to try out new silhouettes, so it’s a big one for me. I like originality.
  2. It goes away from the pattern’s circle skirt. The rules for Gertie’s Grand Giveaway don’t specify how much manipulation is or isn’t allowed, but I feel like less is probably better.

For me, these two reasons both seem stupid. I mean, I have legitimate reasons for both, but I feel like I should care more about making a dress I’m proud of than one that follows rules that may or may not exist or that involves a new silhouette purely for that purpose. So, I decided to make the dress I like artistically because screw resolutions and maybe-existing rules. 

The Sewing

I used the plaid pattern to mark out the pleat depth, starting in the center of my fabric and working outward from the center. (This is the same technique I used for the striped dress’s skirt and it works really well. It’s so much nicer than measuring out pleats.) I got ridiculously lucky and the amount of fabric I had ended up being the exact amount I needed 🙂


a peek under the fold so you can see how I used the pattern repeat to pleat


And then I put it on my dress form.

pleated skirt

I liked how the skirt was hanging, so I decided to pin the bodice on, pinning the piping at the seam too. This was my make-or-break moment.


There aren’t even words to describe how much I love it. A few of  my friends arrived right as I was pinning it and we all gasped. Seriously. I’m going to have to make this dress a few more times because my friends all want one 🙂

The belt is a bit too wide, but that’s not a problem because I didn’t pin under the seam allowances so they’ll get smaller.

plaid dress

Though badly pinned, I still really like how the back looks.

So basically: skirt is done, dress is almost done, and it looks amazing. I’m totally excited 🙂

What do you guys think?




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