I have a lovely little suit that I made myself when I started my first teaching job at age 23. I am now 34, and there were two problems with that suit.
1) The pants are tapered, pleated, high waisted and soooo unflattering (but that’s how all pant patterns were back in the day)
2) The skirt is waaaay too short. Apparently I thought it was OK to wear min-skirt suits back in my 20s.
Now that I am a more dignified (ha!) and stylish (haha!) woman in my thirties, I thought it was time to redo the suit. I needed to add about 3 inches to the length, and that meant a ruffle or a pleat. Since pleats are more mathematical and formal in my opinion, I decided to sacrifice the horrid pants to make pleated trim to lengthen the skirt.
Here is what I started with:
As a sidenote, at this point in my redo I decided to reuse the pants pockets in the skirt. I’m not going to cover that part of my project (if you really want to know how to sew in pockets, See Kate Sew has a tutorial here), but it meant that this took much longer than I intended, though it turned out even more awesome than I originally thought.
Next, I made a chalk mark every 2 inches on my strip. I eyeballed the width of the pleats, pinning and ironing as I went (be careful of hot pins!). Here’s what I ended up with:
Sew across the raw edge, about 1/4 inch in from the edge. Go slow, this can get bulky and give your machine trouble depending on the thickness of your fabric.
After I sewed the pleats down, I also serged the raw edge. I disengaged my knife when I did this, again out of concern about the bulk of the pleats I was making.
Then, I serged two short ends together, making sure to catch the serger tail in my stitching. Now I had one long piece of trim with this in the middle: