How to Add a Sheer Kick Pleat
In "Designer Details" from Threads #167, author Jacque Goldsmith shared four techniques for finishing and sewing high-fashion clothes. In this excerpt, she shows you how to add a sheer kick pleat.
This pleat, inspired by a Zac Posen design, is a pretty detail that gives you leg room and allows for a higher slit on a slim pencil skirt. It has a light and airy look, and you can create it in any coordinating sheer fabric or lace. I call it a hanging kick pleat because it is connected to the center-back zipper tape.
1. Begin with a skirt pattern with a center-back seam. The seam should have a 5⁄8-inch seam allowance to the hem edge. If you use a pattern with a back vent, remove the fold-back facing⁄extension. You determine the length of the kick pleat opening. It is usually 6 inches to 9 inches. Calculate the pleat's width, usually 1-1⁄2 inches to 2 inches. I like to use 1-3⁄4 inches for the pleat width.
2. On a large sheet of paper, trace the skirt's center-back seam. Mark the zipper end point.
3. Draw a rectangle to represent the pleat fabric. Draw a line 3-1⁄2 inches from and parallel to the center-back seam. Extend it from the hem edge to the desired pleat length. Draw a dotted line 1-3⁄4 inches from and parallel to the center-back seam. This is the foldline. Add 5⁄8-inch seam allowances to the kick pleat's side and top edges.
4. Draw the hanger. Above the pleat opening, draw a line 3⁄4 inch from and parallel to the center back. Add a 5⁄8-inch seam allowance to the top edge. Blend the foldline to the 3⁄4-inch line with a smooth curve.
5. Fold the paper in half along the center-back seamline. Trace the half to make a full pattern piece. Cut one pleat piece from a single layer of sheer fabric.