The pegged skirt is finished, but….

posted in: Designing, Finished projects | 19

So I finally finished making the draped pegged skirt. I wrote about it here and here.

I struggled with this challenge; partly because I didn’t think this style would do anything for my curves, and partly because I made the skirt from one piece of fabric – with just one seam (at CB). This meant I had a multitude of issues to resolve.

Let’s hear from expert Mary Funt who kindly wrote to me about this issues I was having.

Any reason you are draping this from one length of fabric rather than drape the back and front separately?


You are right that combining the front and back of a pegged skirt will rotate the center back onto bias grain (or even further to the cross grain depending on your pleat depth). This assumes you place the center front on the lengthwise grain. The waistline pleats on a pegged skirt radiate from the side seams. If you eliminate the side seams it will be very difficult to get the pleats to hang correctly. The back pleats also misbehave because you are now trying to make the warp threads, which are woven under greater tension than the crosswise threads, fold softly. To see this better try pleating a length of fabric on the lengthwise grain and then on the crosswise grain. Your crosswise pleats will pouf out more. I’m also not sure how eliminating the side seams will allow you to peg the skirt. At best the back hem will be off grained and there would be some type of sharp angle where the side seam should fall.


Now this is priceless advice and I while I am not sure everyone will understand what we are talking about I have learned my lesson to some extent. I guess that is the point of trying something new – if you experiment with things you have not done before you are more likely to understand why something will not work so well.

Draped red pegged skirt
Peg skirt (with legs)

However my biggest suprise was that I love the shape! I really like this skirt and think it “has legs” as we say. I was introduced to an American phrase the other day – “this dog hunts”. I have no idea if these phrases are comparable, but what I am trying to say is that, with work, I think I can produce a very nice skirt.

This version, the prototype, has a number of shortcomings. On the plus side the hip level fullness isn’t really a problem, although my bum does, unfortunately, look pretty big in the skirt with its narrow hem. This effect could be corrected with a lighter colour of top, or by wearing a jacket, for example. I think I got the length about right and the 2″ waistband (about double what I would normally wear) is balanced.  On the negative side it is crying out for pockets (I did try to drape some but failed). The main weakness is the back where the darts are too “pokey” and the waist band should have been sewn at least half an inch lower – there is buldge of fabric under the belt which should have been eliminated. It was hard to get the symmetry and fit right as the position of the waist band seam was never on the straight grain.

So I will try this again. At our class we were encouraged to drape from the CB to CF creating two pieces joined at the centre lines. Mary’s suggestion is for a side opening, ensuring that both the CF and CB are on the straight grain. I also had some advice from my dear friend Marianna of Sew2Pro. She has a nice tutorial for a adapting your skirt block to a pegged skirt, which is more straightforward, but useful. Her hem retains the same circumference as before whereas this skirt  is significantly narrower at the hem – measuring 35″ all round (compared to the 60″ at the waist). I love this skirt partly because it is the opposite of a circular skirt, if you know what I mean.

My next version will be

  • cut in two pieces (not sure yet if I will do side seams or CB/CF seams).
  • similar dimensions (in terms of length, pleating and depth of waistband)
  • transferred to paper so I can get the fit spot on, and then replicate it.


19 Responses

  1. Elle

    A bit of a difference in meaning. “This dog hunts” is the right phrase for your pegged skirt, meaning it works. When something “has legs” it has staying power. In any case, I think you’re onto something with your skirt.

  2. Jane

    I think this shape really suits you Kate – as does the colour. Definitely an idea worth taking forward and pockets would be a perfect addition. I honestly don’t think it makes your bum look big – you look great!

  3. Anne

    I’d never heard the phrase ‘the dog hunts’ but seeing Elle’s explanation of its meaning, I agree it’s apt for your skirt. I like it. Good luck with your further explorations. We’ve been eliminating seams in class and it’s amazing the difference depending on which part is chosen to lie on grain.

  4. Mary Funt

    I’m happy that you found my suggestions useful and hopefully my explanations made sense. I think you skirt looks quite nice and doesn’t make your bum look too large. The back drapes well. I’m not sure about doing it with CF and CB seams. The fullness which radiates from the sides would be transferred to CF and CB and might look odd. Try it in muslin first. I sometimes do a muslin drape several times before getting it right, especially if I’m trying a new shape. Understanding the cause of the problem is 90% if the solution. I might try and extend the zip through the waistband; it would give a smoother look. This one is very wearable. Great job.

    • fabrickated

      Thank you so much Mary. I have consulted my class notes and the emphasis there is on avoiding a side seam in order to create a more dramatic look. I am therefore going to do what you suggest – making up three different muslins – one starting at the CF, one at the CB, and I will also try a side seam version – to see what effect the different treatments achieve. I also love the idea of extending the zip, so that’s a definate improvement. I really appreciate your long distance mentoring Mary – working through the design stage can be a bit lonesome!!

  5. Mary Funt

    Forgot to mention that you also might try altering the direction of the waistline pleats. You have them as box pleats now. Try folding the pleat extensions towards either the CF or sides. It might give the skirt a completely different look and control the fullness in a flattering direction.

  6. Jay

    I like this on you.Despite the unconventional cut for a pegged skirt, and the struggle with the draping, it’s a success. The colour is terrific too.

  7. Kim Hood

    I didn’t expect to but I like it. I agree that pockets would be useful – that would require a pattern change but I’m sure you would find a way of keeping the design essentials. Enjoy it!

  8. Lynn Mally

    I think this looks great–an interesting shape, a fabulous color, wearable. And I so admire your adventurous spirit! Sewing, experimenting, building, traveling…how do you get it all done?

  9. Cherie

    Kate, I think this shape is lovely on you! And your butt looks wonderful, showing off your tiny waist and great legs. Don’t diss the butt! (Know any men who don’t like them?) I’m sure your next make will fix the issues. Oh, I love red on you!

  10. Sew2pro

    I also think this suits you (and the colour is great and suitably ‘tulip’). The next version will be even better: I just hope I manage to keep up with what’s going on, grainlines-wise!

  11. Stephanie

    Thanks for sharing your design process. It’s so useful for others and encourages great comments. It’s giving me lots to chew on. Marianna’s post and tutorial are also great. So many capable people! This is a fun look in a great colour. Success!!

  12. AnnIe

    Well done, you took a risk and it paid off, I sometimes wish I could be more adventurous as I’m a follower of instructions to the letter, you have shown flair and imagination and I think it will inspire and encourage others to just go for it and see what happens. And I agree with the previous posters it’s a flattering silhouette for you.

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