how doe we make a pleated skirt?

this is a tutorial for a pleated skirt with a zipper on the side and with a waistband. if you like a dress with a pleated skirt just attach the top to your skirt instead of the waistband. don't forget to use a long zipper then that you put into your dress after attaching the top to the skirt.

1. take 2 pieces of fabric the length of your skirt + 2 cm. most of the time the fabric is 1m40 or 1m50 wide. so your pieces are 1m40/1m50 by the lenght of your skirt + 2 cm.

2. then take a strip of fabric. you iron (no steam) a length of stick-and-fold-ribbon on to that strip the length of that ribbon has to be your waist + about 10 cm extra

pieces of fabric ready to put together

3. take a short side of both pieces of fabric and stitch them together.

the 2 short side together
seam stitched

4. now it's time for the zipper. put the 2 other short side together and measure how long your zipper is, by laying it on the right place of the fabric and put a pin at the end of the zipper in the fabric.

zipper on fabric
pin at the end of the zipper

5. stitch the part below the pin and fold the top 1 cm open. pin both sides.

stitched below the pin
pinned edges

6. pin the zipper in to the right place and put and up-&-down-stitch to keep it in place. once in place machine stitch the zipper with a special (zipper)foot.

zipper pinned
zipper hand-stitched
special foot
zipper stitched

7. remove the hand-stitched threat and test your zipper.

clean edges
closed zipper

8. now we are going to work on the bottem of the skirt. if the fabric fray, overlock (or zig-zag) the edges, so everything is nicely finished. then fold 1 cm to the inside and stitch the hem.

overlocked edge
stitched edge
ready to finish

9. now it's the right moment to put tom ribbon or lace on to your skirt if needed.

ribbons on the bottom of the skirt

10. time for the top part and the pleats now. measure your waist again and add 7 cm and cut the waistband to length . put a pin in the fabric 1 cm from edge on both short side and 6 cm from the edge on the other short side.

waistband pinned to size

11. pin the inside of the big peace of fabric (skirt part) to the waistband in between those 2 pins. put those 2 pins on top of each other and fold the fabric, put a pin in both folds (skirt part and waistband). then put those 2 pins on top of each other and pin together. keep doing that until the parts between the pins on the waistband are a nice size for the pleats.

waistband pinned to the skirt

12. lay the fabric between 2 pins straight to 1 side and put a pin to keep in place, do this wit all those pieces. then fold the fabric back over and pin. it's also handy to pin a loop of ribbon at the side seams between the skirt and the waistband to hang your skirt later.

fabric folded and pinned to 1 side
fabric folded and pinned to the other side

13. now you can see how the pleats will look on the good side of the skirt and adjus if needed. if you like them, stitch the waistband in the slits in the stick-and-fold-ribbon.

stitched pleats

14. time to finish the waistband. fold the waistband inside out, you need to see a W when you look at it from the side. then stitch both short sides at 1 cm. cut the corners at an angle and fold back to the right side out. now you don't see that white/black ribbon anymore. pin everything in place.

edges stitched
corners cut
waistband folded right-side out and pinned

15. stitch the edge (about 2 mm) and go all a round the waist band.

waistband stitched

16. make a buttonhole on the long edge of the waistband and sew a button on the other end at the right place.


17. now you only have to steam-iron the pleats in place and your skirt is finished.

finished skirt