A nice pleated skirt: a tutorial!

A nice pleated skirt: a tutorial!

Pleated skirts are not only worn in summer, they also make a top outfit in winter. Combine with an (oversized) sweater and boots, or make a dress with matching or plain fabric. And the best news, it is really a super easy and quickly finished project! But it takes some tips that we would like to share with you! 

The pattern of a pleated skirt with small pleats are simply two rectangles that you stitch together. So no need to draw a pattern! 

To know the size, measure your hip width. A fine pleated skirt may be a bit more fluid, so take some extra flow at the hips, around 30 to 40% extra (or how much you like). For a hip width of approximately 104 cm, that is about 140 cm of pleated fabric, seam value included.

For a midi skirt of about 70 cm length, you only need half the fabric, because you cut the fabric into two pieces.

If you cut open the fabric in the middle, you now get two rectangles.
Cut the fabric to the size you earlier determined, according to the width that you have (based on your hip width + flow).

Measure how long you want the skirt to be and cut to size (cut at the height where you cut the fabric in the middle). Take into account the 1,5 cm seam at the top on which you will stitch the stretchable waistband. You do not have to calculate a hem, you finish the hem with the overlock at the end. 

Place the pleated side seams nicely on top so that the fine pleats come together. To have a nice, straight side seam, it is best to fasten the seam. Then stitch nicely straight on the 'mountain' or in the 'gutter' of the pleat. 

Afterwards, finish the side seams together with an overlock stitch or the zigzag stitch of your sewing machine. Also finish the top with the overlock or zigzag stitch. Make sure that the differential of your sewing machine is not too low, for me 1,5 works best (Bernina overlock). 

    Now you should frown. To do this, first stitch at 0,5cm from the top with the largest stitch on your machine. Then stitch again at 1,5cm from the edge. Do not attach! Leave a piece of wire hanging on both sides that you can pull on later. Do this separately on the front and back to facilitate frowning. The frown threads can also be sewn by hand if you wish, using the same principle.

      Measure your waist width and multiply it by 0,8. This becomes the size of the waistband. Take one and a half centimeter of seam allowance on each side. Cut the waistband to size. If you prefer a looser or tighter waistband, measure according to your own feeling.  
        Place the two sides of the waistband on top of each other and stitch to 1,5 cm seam allowance.

          Pleat both seams and sew on the waistband 1,2 cm from the seam of the waistband. If necessary, overlock the side seams to prevent fraying. 

          The pleated skirt must now be adjusted to the width of your waistband. For this you gather both front and back to the same width as the waistband by pulling on the loose hanging front threads. When you have the right size, tie knots in all your threads.

          Pin the waistband on the pleated skirt by first marking four points on the skirt: two side seams, the center of the front and the center of the back. Also mark four points on the waistband (eg with pins) by dividing it into four. Put the notches of skirt and wasteband together.

          Sew the waistband on the pleated skirt with a zigzag or stretch stitch at approx. 1 cm from the top edge of your fabric.

          Remove the frown threads after stitching.

          The new pleated fabrics have a white edge on the selvedge so must be finished, ideally with the overlock machine. After some testing, this worked best for us with three threads (omit left needle), thread tension at 4, stitch length 2,5, differential 1,5, and blade position 3 (with a Bernina overlocker). 


          HAPPY SEWING !!   


          Back to blog