The Draped Pegged Skirt (Draping and Construction advice)

I have been working on a pegged skirt design for some time, and I thought I would share my recent experiments.

First I will share two pictures of skirts draped from CB to CF (code grey), and from CF to CB (code navy). The first navy skirt is draped with the CF on the straight grain. I have shown front (left) and back (right in photograph) together here. There is a nice deep box pleat in the front; otherwise it is just unpressed knife pleats. Overall there is less draping in the back. You can definitely see how the skirt pulls in towards the narrow hem.

Draped peg skirt, Cf on grain
CF on straight grain, Navy skirt

Let’s compare the calico patterns that I draped with the straight grain along the CB, with the CF on the bias.

drapped peg skirt, CB on straight grain
CB on straight grain, Grey skirt

The design is different.  During the draping process, I went with the look and feel of the fabric in terms of where to place the pleats and how many to put in. The Grey skirt is more exaggerated than the other version, and contains more fabric. (This is where wardrobe comes in – I need a bit of variety).

Having made two patterns I now thought about it. With the Navy skirt, as the CF is on the straight grain, I would be able to cut my pattern on the fold, thereby getting back to the one piece skirt, made in the round without a joining seam. The Grey skirt, on the other hand, would have a seam at CF on the bias. This might be tricky. On the other hand as my grey fabric has a slight stripe in it the effect might be rather pretty.

I am still busy making these two skirt up. In the meantime I have some learning to share. Mary Funt suggested extending the zip through the waistband for a neat finish, and this is what I did.

Making a draped peg skirt – construction notes

  1. Mark the fabric very clearly. I used three colours of basting thread for a) the waist line, b) the upper part of a pleat or fold and c) the lower part of the pleat or fold. Also the CF and CB and suggested hem position.
  2. Separate the cloth and cut open the marking threads carefully. If you are making the Grey skirt with two pieces of fabric then the CF is on the bias. Take care not to stretch this. I stitched the seam very cautiously and then carefully pressed open without pulling.
  3. If, conversely, you have created the Navy version with the CB on the cross then as soon as you have carefully separated the pieces at CB, apply some stabilising fusible interfacing of an appropriate weight, at least the length of the zip and around 2″ wide.
  4. If you are planning to use underling now is the time to attach it to the piece, basting it to the fashion fabric along the stitching lines.
  5. Now pin in the pleats, bringing the top of the pleat to the marking of where it will lie. Once the whole skirt is pinned along the waistline (the back seam is still open) try it on the stand to ensure the pleating works in a pleasing way. Also check the waist measurement with your tape measure to ensure it will fit you.
  6. Check the circumference of your hem to ensure your stride is not overly affected.
  7. Make up the lining, but leave CB open for zip insertion.
  8. Pin the lining together with your skirt, taking care with the bias CF seam (grey skirt), and pin to the skirt, wrong sides together at both sides of the CB.
  9. Pleat the lining along the waistline seam. It doesn’t have to be the same arrangement as the skirt, but should be balanced.
  10. Baste along the waistline including the underlining, lining and fashion fabric
  11. Prepare the waist band
  12. Sew the waist band neatly and accurately to the waistband, still leaving open the CB seam
  13. Insert an invisible or regular zip at the CB bringing it through the waist band.
  14. Finish the CB seam and then attatch lining. Finish the waist band neatly.
  15. Put on the skirt and enlist a helper to mark the hem. I measured up around 20″ from the floor for mine.
  16. Hemming doesn’t really work because the turned up hem is narrower than the skirt.
  17. The best approach I found was to create a facing, or to cut down to a  1″ hem, then attach 1″ bias binding.  This is flexible and will stretch to ensure that the hem sits neatly. Turn up the 1″ hem, baste along the hem line. Press carefully, then slip stitch the bias binding to the underlining.
    Bias binding hemming
    Using (Linde Carr’s) bias binding to hem a skirt with a narrow hem
  18. Hem the lining fabric with a small, folded over, machined hem.


4 Responses

  1. Linde

    I am so pleased you are still pegging. If I still had a good shape I would have a wardrobe full of pegged outfits. To me they bring a sculptural dimension to garments. The bias binding does add the final touch to the finish I think.

  2. Mary Funt

    You certainly have done a bit of work on this project and developed quite a nice skirt. You’ve also done a through exploration of a pegged drape. Your method similar to that explained by Connie Crawford in “The Art of Fashion Draping.” I’m referencing it in case any of your readers would like a textbook source. Her method places the straight grain at CB which allows the front folds to drape softly since they are now more towards the bias. If you bring the fabric around so that the front is on the true bias, then maximum waistline fullness results. The final draft looks like a wedge with curved bottom and top which explains why the hem is a concave curve and can’t be hemmed in the usual manner. (A pic would probably be easier to understand but no mechanism to add one to a reply). Facing it as you did, allows for the curve plus stabilizes an off grain hem. She also points out to be sure the hem allows for walking and possibly use a slit at CB for walking ease.
    One of my good friends teaches draping at FIT in New York and says she always likes students to master straight grain draping before tackling anything off grain, as bias is much more difficult. You have done a superb job of creating this and explaining the process. The blogging platform gives all of us a chance to share info and I’m sure this will be helpful to others wanting to create their own version. Thanks for all the references back to my blog; I hope it gives other sewers some useful tips.

    • fabrickated

      Fools rush in, as they say. I didn’t know how difficult this task would be – to both drape and sew, when I accepted the assignment. I will have to see how the other students get on as most are even less experienced than I am.

      As you friend says “master straight grain draping before tackling anything off grain, as bias is much more difficult.” I don’t think I have mastered draping at all, but these projects have been both enlightening and fun. I don’t have the Connie Crawford book, but Christmas is coming. And I believe you can include images in comments, but I am even less of an expert on digital technology than draping! Thanks again, dear Mary.

  3. Stephanie

    As I’ve mentioned before, this information is so interesting, especially when matched with comments from the experts. Thanks for sharing. I think I would enjoy wearing these shapes.

Leave a Reply