I had a friend try a shirt on and with a tape measure (I always carry one with me!) I measured the pleat placement. In looking over various styles, the pleats seemed to be pretty much in the same spot on the different garments, and had the same height and width. In addition, the shirts all had a similar look, what was once a square ‘boxy’ style now had a nipped in area…front and back, but was not tight to the body, just a hint of shape at the waist area.
The bottom of all the pleats started at the waistline and were about 4-inches high and 4-inches away from the center front. The shirt circumference determines how many pleats you can stitch on both the front and back of the shirt. in the various styles I studied, I counted as few as 4 pleats to as many as 8 pleats on each front side and from 3 to 6 on each side of the back. The space at the center back between the pleats was about 6 to 8-inches. Every shirt had pleats on both the front and back to balance the style.
You can start with a ‘boyfriend’ style square cut shirt from ready-to-wear (one that might be hanging in your closet for a while) or an oversized shirt pattern would be perfect for the pleat addition. To start the pleats in the proper location you have to measure ‘you’ first.
Measure from your shoulder (right below your ear) over your bust point and down to your waist in a straight line. The point where this line crosses at your waist, will be the bottom of the pleat. On the pattern, measure from the stitching line at the shoulder/neckline straight down the front of the pattern, parallel to center front and mark the bottom…
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