No one wants to be non-pleated. (Did I get ‘Beat It’ stuck in your head? Mission accomplished.) They’re absolutely everywhere this season, from Tadashi Shoji to Sea to Vionnet to—I could go on and on. I’ve loved the pleat trend for a while now, but I never quite knew how to accomplish it. There was no way I’d be slaving over an iron for hours to get a look that would come out after one wash, and probably look incredibly wonky anyway. Luckily, Mood saved the day: accordion pleated chiffon in 13 colors. Obsessed.
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Step 1: Materials
Step 2: Cutting Your Fabric
Rather than using a regular pant pattern, which typically features 4 panels sewn together, these pants just take two panels. Measure your waist, divide it in half, and that’s width of each panel you need to cut out. Be sure that you measure your chiffon with the pleats tight. This will give you the width you need for the pleats to fall open around your hips. (I know Mood counts a yard of this chiffon with the pleats naturally relaxed, not pulled flat or pleated tightly, so be sure to order a little more than you think you need.)
Step 3: Assembling Your Garment
Next, you’ll need to measure the rise of your pants. This is the measurement from your crotch, up to your waist. Typically, your rise in the back is longer than the front (in order to go over your butt). Fold your pant panel in half, like you see above, and sew from the bottom to the pant rise measurement. Do this with both panels, and then combine both at the rise, like you would with a normal pant pattern.
Your pants should be starting to look like some actual pants! All it needs is a waistband and a zipper. I chose to use the pleats in my waistband. This can be a bit tricky, and definitely called for some interfacing to keep the pleats in place.
Step 4: Finishing Your Garment
Lastly, you can hem the pants a few different ways. If you have a serger, I strongly recommend pulling it out for this project. If not (like me), you still have options. You can go for a thinly rolled hem, although this might mess with the pleating a little bit. Personally, I chose to simply baste along the bottom with a zig-zag stitch. It pulled the pleats apart slightly, but they still drape nicely!
Step 5: Optional Lining
The chiffon can be rather sheer, so I chose to make a quick pair of shorts out of some poplin I had lying around. They were sewn in along with the waistband, but they’re optional – especially if you’re looking to layer these with a swim suit for a chic resort look! What color are you going to make yours in?