McCall’s 5984 – Tweaking the Pleat

After conferring with Els about my inverted pleat, she directed me to an old post at The Sewing Divas. How could I have forgotten that?!?!? Brilliant, right? Els recommended that I stitch the diagonal line about 5″ down from the top of the opening. As you can see, she’s not only a master tailor, she is also the Queen of Photoshop (the yellow stitching is from the skirt post, the red is the jacket stitching)!


I took these photos after doing a little hand basting with silk thread – it shows up much better than the permanent stitching does. You can see that I started the stitching at the top of the opening and angled it out to the fold. I had originally intended to stitch the pleat closed a bit more but decided against it once I saw that this method would give me the look I wanted.

The stitching is only done on the inside of the pleat and does not show on the outside of the garment. This would all have been much easier to do had I done it before attaching the collar! Believe me, I won’t forget to do it on my next version.


You can see how much more nicely the pleat lays without taking away the swinginess at the lower edge. I have to say that I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this jacket and will definitely make another. Thank you, dear Els, for teaching me something new!



Filed under McCall's, Tutorials, Year of the Jacket

15 responses to “McCall’s 5984 – Tweaking the Pleat

  1. Hi Gigi, As usual, you do lovely work. That jacket looks fab. I have a question: I’m working on a delivery gown/nursing gown for my pregnant daughter and am taking a standard flat front gown pattern(free) and tweaking it to make it have an inverted pleat/nursing opening. Do you think I should use this this same adjustment on the front of the nursing gown opening so that it lays flat? (I’m using a 100% cotton fabric.)

    What do you think?

  2. Deb

    Thank you so much for following up and sharing this tip. I’ve been afraid of sewing some patterns with pleats like this because even the pattern envelope photo shows a wide splayed pleat. Not very flattering, but at some point, the extra fabric is needed near the bottom of the pleat. Now, those patterns are a possibility! And also the little touches like the chain, very nice and thanks for the great photos of those details. This jacket is beautiful.

  3. Thankyou so much for sharing this . I wish I had known when I had made a coat before Christmas . I will definetly use this in the future.

  4. Wow! I think I’m going to add this to the back pleated jacket I just made! Thanks Gigi and Els!!!

  5. Joyce in NC

    The pleat lays so much better after the alteration. I’ll keep this little jewel in mind when I do my jacket.

  6. Now THAT is a superbly helpful trick, thank you! Your jacket looked terrific without the tweak, now it looks utterly fab.

  7. Yes! I remember that trick, it’s the perfect solution. The next time I make a kick pleat in a skirt I think I’ll do this.

  8. I love it. The color is awesome.

  9. OP Gal

    Your jacket is lovely. Thanks for the pleat tip. I always learn something from you.

  10. babydoll

    hello gigi – did you sew this pleat stitching on the coat fabric itself, the lining pleat or both? i looked at els skirt tutorial and it seemed to be only on the skirt – would you normally sew it on the lining too?

    • You have to in this case because of the way the jacket is constructed – the pleat is formed through both the fashion fabric and the lining.

  11. Els

    You’re welcome. Your “new” back side jacket looks beautiful.

  12. jennifer

    Hi Gigi,
    Your coat is sublime!! I need some inspiration to sew.

  13. That is perfect! Great Job!