As subscribers to this blog know 2015 did not produce much personal creativity at this blog. I am happy to get back to a project that is coming to good expression even though other events in my personal life put it into the background for a while. The project is a 1950s style sheath skirt. What makes it different from other sheath skirts is the uncommon kick pleat at center back. Since this type of kick pleat uses an extra 3-3 1/2 inches on each side from Center Back to edge of the pleat it results in extra fabric usage. In manufacturing that would mean an added price for the customer.
This type of kickpleat stays securely in place because it is cut from waist to hem. Here you can see what it looks like when the zipper is opened.
View of the kickpleat from opening to hem. Since the kickpleat extension is about 3″ wide, there is minimal show of the leg when the wearer walks and the kick pleat opens.
View of back of the skirt after the zipper application is completed.
Many kick pleats start about 7-10″ up from the hemline. They are held in place by machine stitching along the right side of the skirt. This is effective but because these pleats are cut with less width they show more leg when the wearer is walking. In the 1950s the emphasis was on being able to walk but most women would not want to flash too much of a show of leg. The attitude of the time was that suggestion was a more powerful means of attracting the male attention than actually displaying all the charms of the female form. I’ve had a few people who adhere to standards of modest dressing tell me this kick pleat is exactly what they are looking for on a longer sheath skirt. For this reason I have created three postings to show how to sew the pleat and insert a hand sewn zipper using couture techniques.
As preparation, please see the following posting with links to the series of instructions for drafting the skirt and kick pleat. This skirt will be lined. I will prepare a tutorial on how to line and finish the Sheath Skirt with Modesty Kick Pleat in the near future. Posting #2 and #3 offer step by step instructions for the sewing of the kick pleat and zipper.