DIY Friday: Pink Knife Pleated Dress

Partnership with Fabric.com

Photography by Taylor Cole Photo

Merrick's Art DIY Knife Pleated Dress

Outfit Details:

Dress, made by me (ponte knit fabric c/o Fabric.com, similar dress here)
Similar pink pumps
initials necklace

A couple of years ago I wrote a post about my top places to purchase fabric. It’s hard to buy fabric online, but Fabric.com has always been my go-to for online fabric shopping. So today I’m really excited to be teaming up with them for DIY Friday!

Merrick's Art Knife Pleat
Merrick's Art Knife Pleated Dress
Merrick's Art Pink Valentine's Day Dress
Merrick's Art Pink Pleated Dress
Merrick's Art Knife Pleat Dress

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, so I’ve been working on some fun (and very pink and red) projects, one of which is this pretty little knife pleated dress. I usually stick to more classic and muted colors (my closet is full of gray, black, and white), but I couldn’t resist a hot pink for Valentine’s Day!

Ponte knit is a perfect choice for a dress because it’s stretchy and it has a gorgeous drape. This one from Fabric.com isn’t too heavy, but it’s not see through at all, so it’s great for summer and spring dresses and tops. But I also picked up this red lace that you’ll see on the blog in a few weeks!

This dress is so easy to throw together, and the knife pleats add a little preppy sophistication to the look, which I love. You could also make the sleeves shorter, the hemline shorter or longer, the waistband higher or lower, and the neckline deeper or higher. So many modifications to make it your own!

Here’s what you’ll need:

2 yards of fabric (I used this ponte knit that has a gorgeous drape).
matching thread
20-22″ invisible zipper

1. First cut your pattern pieces. You’ll need a BODICE FRONT (cut on the folded edge), 2 BODICE BACK pieces, NECKLINE LINING (cut 2), 2 SLEEVES (cut along the folded edge), and a big rectangular piece for the skirt (the measurements for the skirt are so individual since it depends on how big you want your pleats as well as your size. But it should be roughly your waist measurement x 2, and as long as you want).

2. Sew darts into your BODICE FRONT piece.

3. Sew the BODICE FRONT and two BODICE BACK pieces together at the shoulder seams (with right sides together).

4. Now it’s time to attach the sleeves. Line up the top of the sleeve with the bodice shoulder seam (as shown) with right sides together. Pin in place.

5. Continue pinning the sleeve to the bodice, and then sew along the arm hole with a straight stitch. Repeat for the second sleeve.

6. With right sides together, sew the sides of the bodice up with a straight stitch.

7. Sew the two neckline pieces together to form an “O,” and then attach the NECKLINE LINING to the BODICE neckline with a straight stitch (there’s a more detailed illustration and instruction for this step over here).

8. Tuck the LINING inside the dress, pin in place, and then sew around the entire neckline with a straight stitch to secure the lining in place.

9. Pleat your skirt to your desired width. My pleats were about 1 1/2 inches wide. Use a basting stitch to hold the pleats in place.

10. Take your pleated skirt (which should just be a big rectangle of fabric that is now pleated) and pin it to the bodice with right sides together, as shown. Sew across the entire waistline, attaching the skirt to the bodice.

11. Insert your zipper following the instructions on the package, and then sew up the remaining opening of the dress. Finally, hem the bottom of the dress and the sleeves to your desired length, press all your seams, and you’re done!

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  1. Natali says:

    You’re looking flawless and the dress suits you beautifully! 🙂


  2. chrisi says:

    Love it as always!!! Miss seeing Tara’s name as your photographer!

  3. Rachael Allison says:

    gorgeous!! I’m finishing up a dress today, and this just might be my next one! thanks Merrick!

  4. Kristen Fiedler says:

    How did you gen the sleeves and skirt? It looks invisible! Was it just a blind stitch?

  5. Paige Cassandra Flamm says:

    This dress is so pretty! You did an incredible job! I loved seeing your step by steps on instagram this week!

    Paige Flamm
    The Happy Flammily

  6. Mish Young says:

    What a fun dress and the customisation options are almost endless!

  7. Darcy says:

    Love this!! I just bought the fabric ❤ Do you have any suggestions on making it more breastfeeding friendly?

  8. Alivea M. says:

    Hi, I’ve been looking at your blog for a few days and I LOVE all your sewing tips! Thanks so much! Do you think this fabric you use on this dress, the ponte knit from fabric.com, would work well for your Pleated Fit and Flare (http://8f8.ac9.mwp.accessdomain.com/2014/10/diy-friday-pleated-fit-flare-dress.html)? Thanks!

  9. Erikka Treatch Hedberg says:

    Hi Merrick! This dress is incredible – I’d love to try to create it with a patterned fabric. I found one I like from fabric.com but it is a jersey knit. I’m still a beginner with sewing so I’m not super versed on differences of fabrics. This is the fabric I’d like to use (https://www.fabric.com/buy/0399832/art-gallery-skopelos-jersey-knit-paparounes-crimson?cm_vc=756b1813-cbc1-43b3-84bd-29889bf8fb7b) – can you advise on this type of fabric vs the ponte knit?? Thank you!

    • Merrick says:

      Hi Erikka! Your fabric choice is so pretty! So the main difference is that yours is going to be a lot thinner. It’s a cotton/spandex blend, so it should be really soft and have a gorgeous drape like the pink ponte knit I used, but it’ll probably be see through if you hold it up to the light. Those tend to be a little harder to sew with, just because they’re less forgiving than a thicker knit. Use a slightly wider straight stitch when you sew and make sure you’re using a ballpoint needle, and you should be good! Good luck xx

  10. Emily says:

    I just found your blog. Thanks for sharing your great style. I’m sure I just missed it, but is the pattern available for download?

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