Making More of Your Patterns: A Desdemona Mix ‘n’ Match

The beauty of making your own clothes is that you can mix ‘n’ match to get exactly what you want to wear. A pleated Desdemona would look fabulous with a button up front, and it’s easy to swap the gathers on Version 2 for the pleats of Version 1

Using the Pleats with the Button Up Front

You might notice that the skirt shapes on both Version 1 and 2 pattern pieces are slightly different. This is to cater for the button placket down the centre front on Version 2. The easiest way to combine the two is to use the pattern pieces for Version 2 but with the pleat marking from Version 1.

To transfer the markings line up the two front skirt pattern pieces at the side seams. Not the centre fronts as they will be different because of the button placket.

The trace through the pleat lines either with a pencil or a tracing wheel, so you have them on the Version 2 skirt front.

You can use a pencil or a tracing wheel.
Markings on both version of the skirt pattern.

You can sew the pleats into place following the instructions for version 1, then carry on making the skirt up as for Version 2.

Happy Sewing!

Making More of Your Patterns: Changing the Desdemona Pleats

Desdemona Version 1 with inverted box pleats

Sometimes we all fancy a bit of a change and it is very easy to alter the appearance of your Desdemona by simply changing the pleats. After all this is one of the reasons we make our own clothes – to wear what you want!

Changing the Inverted Box Pleats to Knife Pleats

Knife pleats are just pleats that all face in the same direction. So to change the inverted box pleats already part of the Version 1 Desdemona Skirt, to knife pleats is pretty straightforward.

First fold out the pleat lines on the pattern to create the inverted pleats.

Fold and crease the pattern along the pleat lines and fold into the centre line.

Crease along the pleat lines and fold them into the centre. When you unfold the pleats in the paper pattern you’ll notice that you have creases that go up – peak folds and creases that go down – valley folds.

Peak fold go up and Valley fold go down!

To make the knife pleats lead away from the centre front/back, (working from the centre front/back to the side seam) leave the first pair of peak/valley folds as they are. The next pair of valley/peak folds change – so the valley becomes a peak fold and the peak becomes a valley fold. This swaps direction of the pleat and turns both pleats into knife pleats. Repeat this for the second group of pleat lines.

If you wanted to change the direction of the knife pleats just fold them so they lay in the opposite direction. It really is that easy!

Knife pleats all facing the same direction.

If you have the paper pattern folded the way the pleats are going to sit it will make it much easier to transfer this onto your fabric to make knife pleats all around the Desdemona Skirt. And you can just double check the pleats are in the correct position before you sew them in place.

You can also topstitch a short section along the leading edge of each pleat to help them stay flat too.

Beautiful knife pleats all facing the same direction

Happy Sewing!