I had always wanted to own a pair of the ‘Pleats Please’ trousers by Issey Miyaki but the price was a huge deterrent. However, recently I saw a pair that had the perfect cut and beautiful pleating which made me reassess the price. I hesitated and the next time I went back to the shop, it was gone. I guess it was not meant to be.
I thought that the next best thing would be to sew one myself so I got some pleated fabrics online and cut a trouser pattern with it. That is when everything fell apart. The fabric became difficult to sew when different layers were involved and one several occasion, snagged and tore. Although very rare for me, I decided to give up as I would have ended with something that was not fit to be worn. I guess, the best way to reproduce the ‘Pleats Please’ trousers would be to sew it first before pleating it. I whimpered at the face of adversity and decided to call it a day.
The next day, not wanting to waste the fabric, I decided to make a T-shirt instead. I decided on a very simple T-shirt pattern which allowed me to sew in straight lines. There was not a single curved seam in sight. This was a very good exercise in sustainability as the pattern was designed to limit the amount of waste produced.
What was also great about this fabric is the edge which does not fray. This meant that I could leave the overlocker on the shelf.
You may have noticed that there is no neckline. How was I going to get my head out of the T-shirt. Well, that is when this fabric worked perfectly with my idea which was to leave a gap big enough for my head to come through. As the fabric is pleated, it meant that there was a good stretch. No ribbing was required.
This process went so well, I ended up making another T-shirt and a dress with another pleated fabric for my colleagues.
When the dress was put on the stand, we thought that it looked a bit like a Fortuny dress.
It is funny that making this T-shirt went better than the trouser. Maybe I was just having a bad day when sewing the trousers and with a lack of enthusiasm, I willed myself to fail. Either that or I am still set in having an authentic ‘Pleats Please’ trouser. I’m sure one day I will give into this temptation.