Wednesday, April 11, 2018

In the Folds/Peppermint Magazine Pleated Summer Dress

Spending time in the shop talking to sewing people most days, it’s always interesting to us to hear which sewing related tasks entice some people and send others running. We all have our favourites and the things we dread, whether it’s inserting collars, installing an invisible zip or sewing buttonholes. On my personal Top Ten List of Enjoyable Things To Sew, plackets would have to bring up the rear around 10. Perhaps minus 10. Give me a collar or a buttonhole over a placket any day! Love the look of them, I’m just not a fan of sewing them.

So when Emily from In The Folds released the (free download!) Pleated Summer Dress for Peppermint magazine's Sewing School last year, I was excited, yet also not excited to get cracking. I did suspect though, that if anyone was going to help me join team placket it would be Emily. 

The Pleated Summer Dress is a midi length dress featuring in seam pockets, waist pleats and of course that good looking yet pesky concealed front placket. I chose to make mine from this very soft, striped washed linen (now sold out, but other striped linen options here, here and here).

Like all In The Folds patterns, this one is beautifully drafted and thoughtfully written with thorough directions. It’s a loose fitting dress with lots of ease built in. This one is for a more intermediate sewist. It’s a methodical make, but nothing too challenging. Pleasingly, even for the placket averse like me, even the placket was fine, its one-piece construction was something I’d never come across before. Fun even… who knew!?


Style wize, this was a bit of a fingers-crossed make for me. I’m only 5’6 and on the curvy side so I wasn’t sure if the volume of all those pleats would suit me. But, after whipping up a muslin I decided to give it a crack with roughly 20cm off the length and without the in-seam pockets.

As far as 'accidental modifications' go, I made a mistake when binding the collar about which was the right side of my fabric (right and wrong are practically identical on this linen), so I ended up with the bias turned to the inside instead of exposed. Rather than unpicking this soft, loosely woven linen, I just went with it and did the same for the arm binding too in the hope that it looks intentional. 

back yoke
I also ended up taking about an inch out of each side-seam at the bodice and top of the skirt. My muslin was made using a fairly stiff cotton fabric, so when it came to the real thing in this extremely soft, slightly loose weave linen, the whole thing grew a bit. We know that some of the softer washed linens can have this effect, so I should have known better, but I hoped the drape of the linen would compensate and make this oversized frock work on me. Nope! But all fixed after some side seam surgery.

Even though it’s Autumn now in the southern hemisphere, I anticipate I’ll still get a lot of layered-up wear out of the Pleated Summer Dress. It would work so well pinafore-style made out of a heavier washed linen like this or even this washed denim. I’m even tempted to placket again!

The Pleated Summer Dress pattern is downloadable for free via Peppermint Mag here

- Fiona & Jane xx


  1. Very pretty and relaxed. The fabric is beautiful too.

    1. Thank you! All of the In the Folds/Peppermint patterns I've sewn have been really enjoyable makes - this one too. :)


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