How to Sew a Basic Kick Pleat - Threads

Get Threads magazine!

Subscribe Renew Give a Gift

How to Sew a Basic Kick Pleat

Draft your own kick pleat.

In this excerpt from Threads #164 (December 2012/January 2013) contributor Pamela Leggett demonstrates how to sew an essential garment detail: the kick pleat.

A few years ago, I was teaching a sewing class in which the students drafted and sewed their own pencil skirts. I wrote most of the class instructions, but there was one aspect of the class I thought would be easy to find and relate from another source: the directions for a simple kick pleat.

I checked pattern instruction sheets, my sewing books, and DVDs. Surprisingly, I found that in its basic form, this construction detail is overlooked. So I created my own step-by-step tutorial for sewing a kick pleat.

My technique is simple. I mark and stabilize key areas, then sew and press for crisp corners. This kick pleat is a detail you can add to a selfmade or commercial pattern. If a kick pleat is included in the pattern you are making, you may want to follow these simple steps for sewing it.

Draft your own
A kick pleat is an opening in a seam backed by a fabric fold or extensions from the seam allowances that form a pleat backing. If it is without a pleat backing, it is called a vent. If your pattern doesn't already include the necessary extensions, it is easy to add them.

1. Add the kickpleat extensions to both vertical seam allowances. The extensions' vertical edges are parallel to the seam allowances, with the lower horizontal edges continuing to the hem edge. Make the upper extension edges at a 45-degree angle to the seam.

2. Vary the extensions' size for your garment and style. Kickpleat extensions are typically 1-1⁄2 inches wide and long enough to reach from the hem to just above the knee.

3. Copy the garment pattern, adding the planned kick-pleat extensions to both seam allowances. Or, cut two extensions from paper strips and tape them to the pattern edge.



1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 > View all
ThreadsMagazine

Comments (7)

Sew2pro Sew2pro writes:
If you wish to add lining to you skirt but still need that pleat, you may wish to look at my tute
http://www.sew2pro.com/back-pleat-with-lining/

I'm not sure if this is the best method, but this is how it's been done on an RTW dress of mine.


Posted: 8:35 am on March 30th

Sewer2012 Sewer2012 writes: Thank you very much for this detailed tutorial.
Posted: 4:19 pm on November 29th

JoFray JoFray writes: I am only an intermediate sewer, and I found these instructions challenging. It was hard for me to visualize how each step was going to work. I photocopied the illustrations and then wrote out each step separately - there are actually 24!

Then I put the number of each instruction on my copy of the illustration and proceeded to make a sample. The result is truly elegant and worth the effort. Thank you.
Posted: 6:39 pm on November 13th

diannamc diannamc writes: This is an excellent article and an improvement over other instructions I have seen. However, I usually line my pencil skirts and I am not sure how to add lining given the instructions. Do I complete the kick pleat as shown and then add the lining, hand stitching the edges or is there a more elegant solution?

Please add information on how to sew the lining for a kick pleat or produce a future article on an elegant kick pleat for a lined skirt.
Thank you.
Posted: 11:43 am on November 13th

Cyd88 Cyd88 writes: These are the kind of posts that keep me re-checking myself and picking up new tips, so Thanks! The only thing I would suggest is in step #5 where you hem 1/4 inch with a zig-zag, cut some Stitch Witchery tape down to 1/4 inch and press that in the fold, instead. It adds weight, won't curl, the raw edge blends right in like it was lined and it stops any fraying.
Posted: 3:35 pm on November 1st

sarahcolvin sarahcolvin writes: Good stuff. Does this work with your lining instructions given in issue 150??
Posted: 3:58 am on November 1st

aidala aidala writes: I have been waiting for this information to appear in Threads for some time now. As soon as I can I'll incorporate it to my next skirt. Instructions make a lot of sense. Thank you, Threads..
Posted: 4:21 pm on October 31st

You must be logged in to post comments. Log in.