This tutorial runs through the construction of a simple sheath and a modified skirt using the pleated skirt from the PDF patterns. I love the classic sheath with a slightly fuller skirt through the front adding the retro hourglass shape and I have a quick and easy way to get this look without the bulky look of gathers. I am working with silk dupioni and fully lining with a very fine but sturdy poly lining so you will want to double stitch your seams on the silk or main part of your sheath. Start with your Pleated Skirt pattern and recut the sides to skim down on the fullness at the hemline, edit out the top and bottom bands from your original pattern. Just use this as a guide to establish some fullness to work with across the top and cut both the main and lining the same, making your lining slightly shorter at the bottom edge to hide your hem seam.
Sew your side seams in both main and lining. Sew across the bottom hem, you can stay stitch your lining back on itself at this point.
You will use the back dart as it stands, I always add tabs either side for my back closure, a good habit to get into, you will of course cut the one side off, but this saves putting the wrong sections together when lining, as I have done a thousand times and ended up with the closure extension on the wrong side, or the side I don`t prefer. oy!
Instead of trying to make tiny fold across your front skirt this simple trick makes it easy to see the placement, adjust your fit as you go and can be used for multiple applications in miniature sewing. Mark your center, and start folding your fabric with right sides together and machine baste just along each fold, I have used eight fold to draw in my front into a nicely spaced pleated look, baste across the raw edge at the top to hold, remove the threads of the basted pleats after you have perfect the fit and spacing.
For the lining, simple gather across your front as per usual, the inside will have a full gather look instead.
Make up your bodice, sew from and back darts, sew shoulders, right sides together, sew neckline, armholes, double stitching each seam, pull back through to front, sew side seams, leave back edges open.
At this point you will fit to the model, and press.
Sew your top bodice main section to your skirt main section matching your side seams, I always have excess on my sides because of the added extension tabs, just make sure you keep your center fronts perfect and a close as you can side seam match.
Now you can add a belt easily, make a bias tube, add your buckle and attach to the main bodice, just above your waist seam, baste into place and check your fit on the model.
Sew the bodice lining to the skirt lining at the waist, matching center fronts and side seams.
Depending on now your close your back edges you would proceed to this step for snaps, sew down the right back edge and across at the dot about 1/4 inch, clip to the dot, double stitch this seam. Sew down the left back edge along the same line as the dot, eliminate the extension for this side, trim away your excess tabs. You have secured your side back edges and the belt is encased as well.
Sew the center back seam, bring your right sides together, main and lining to sew a back seam, leaving an inch or so for turning in the lining side by starting just down for you back extension, make sure your hem seams match, continue in one seam up the main and stopping at the dot, careful not to catch any of the main or lining and back stitch to secure. The trick here is to pin the hem seams and pin at the back dots, pin the fabric aside around this area so you don`t catch any in the back seam.
Turn inside, press the back seam toward the extension side and stitch closed by hand.
The outside should have the left back edge over lapping the right back edge slightly, press.
Fit to your model, making sure you have enough over lapping extension for snap closure.
At the front you have created a set of nicely placed pleats for fullness and kept a tapered skirt for the perfect hourglass figure.