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Bridesmaid Revisited: Sophisticated Pleated Skirt

Source: Blueprint, July/August 2007


Always a bridesmaid -- and you have the bank account and clothes closet to show for it. Yes, they may be pretty dresses, but something keeps you from wearing them again. To that end, here is an easy alteration for after the altar. The silk-taffeta ensemble you wore only once need not sit in your closet till death do you part. Here's how to turn weddingwear into ready-to-wear.

Sophisticated Pleated Skirt
Subdued and straitlaced before, this icy-blue dress warms up a little bit with a pleated skirt. This salmon-colored silk satin isn't lined, which gives it a slightly crinkled, casual look that Katie likes.


  • Bateau-neck top and floor-length A-line skirt, minus the skirt

  • 2 yards silk satin (from Mood Fabrics; 212-730-5003)

  • Enameled shank buttons (from Mood Fabrics; 212-730-5003)

  • Extra-large snaps (available at fabric stores)


  1. Put on the top and measure around your lower rib cage. Cut a piece of silk that is double that length.

  2. Fold the silk in half lengthwise, and sew the ends together (so it resembles a large loop or sleeve).

  3. Along the top of the sleeve, use an iron and pins to fold the edge over half an inch, then another half inch; hem with the sewing machine.

  4. Step inside the loop, hold it at the height where you'll attach it to the top, and mark the length that you want. Repeat step 3 for the lower hem. Note: It's easier to get an even length when you hem it before you pleat it.

  5. Using the length of your hand as a standard width for the pleats, start pinning them in place. (The interior part of the pleat should be the length of your hand, then folded in half. Or folded back and then forward behind itself. Continue around the top of the skirt.

  6. Sew all but one pleat in place by anchoring with shank buttons. For the last pleat, which will go right at the side zipper, sew a TK snap. (This lets you get in and out of the dress.)

  7. Baste the skirt onto the top, and then stitch through the shank buttons once more, to make the attachment extra secure.

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