How To Make A Pleated Skirt With Free Pattern

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Today we have an exciting new pattern for you – The Box Pleat Skirt! A box pleated skirt is one of the most common types of pleated skirts and makes a timeless wardrobe piece. It transcends all seasons and all occasions. With the help of a sewing friend Debbie, we are going to show you how to make a pleated skirt with a free pattern. With just the right amount of fullness with a conservative midi length, you will want to make it over and over again. Pleats look the best when the fabrics used are able to hold the crease of the pleat. Suggested fabrics are medium to heavyweight cotton and linens. 

How To Make A Pleated Skirt With Free Pattern

This free pattern for a pleated skirt will help you sew this cute skirt without having to figure everything out yourself. The pattern accommodates three sizes – Small, Medium, and Large. You can simply download the pattern below and follow along with the easy pattern instructions we’ve included. It is such an easy sew that you will make several of them in no time!

What You’ll Need For This Pleated Skirt

Putting The Pattern Together

We’ve included these simple steps to help printing and assembling the pattern super easy. This size chart will help you determine what size pleated box skirt you will make. Note that the finished length of the skirt is 29” for all sizes. You can also scale the pattern up or down as needed.

Imperial (inches)SmallMediumLarge
Waist 283032
Hip384042

Fabric Yardage Required :


SmallMediumLarge
44” wide fabric3 yards3 yards3 yards

The printable pleated skirt pattern is listed in imperial measurements (inches) and consists of three parts: the main skirt, the skirt waistband, and the interfacing template. This pattern has layers, so that you can choose to print only the size you need. To achieve this, Adobe Reader must be installed on your machine or device. Adobe Reader allows you to click on the layers icon which will show you each size with an eyeball beside it. Click on the eyeball beside the size you do not want to print.

Before printing check that your printer is set to No scaling or Actual size. Set the Page orientation to Auto or Portrait. And then print page 1. Measure the 1” or 4cm test square to see if it measures exactly 1” or 4cm . If it does, print the remaining pages. Once you have everything printed out, cut off the right and top margins of each printed page before assembling the pattern so that everything will be correct. You can use tape or school glue to adhere your paper pattern together. 

The finished length of this skirt is 29”.  To determine if this length is right for you, measure from your natural waist to your knee.  If your measurement is more than 29” you will need to add the extra length to the pattern piece. If it is less and you want to  shorten the skirt, remove the difference from the length of the pattern piece. The skirt has a ½” seam allowance and a 2” hem allowance

How To Make A Pleated Skirt With Free Pattern

cutting fabric for pleated skirt

The first step in this how to make a pleated skirt tutorial is to cut out your fabric according to the instructions on the pattern pieces. Just follow the instructions we gave above and you’ll be fine.

finishing raw edges

Finish the raw edges of your skirt pieces (the shorter sides)  using a zig zag stitch 4 width and 4 length. 

finishing edges for pleated skirt

After that, finish the short edges of your waistband using a zig zag stitch 4 width and 4 length . 

using and pinning pattern

The next step in this how to sew a pleated skirt sewing tutorial is to transfer the pleat markings from the pattern piece to both skirt fabric pieces using tailors chalk, pins or small ¼” snips into your fabric . There will be a ½” at the end pins for seam allowance and to add your zipper.

sewing skirt pieces

With right sides together sew the two skirt pieces together at ONE of the side seams.

using pattern for pleated skirt
skirt pleats

With your fabric right side up, and starting from the left of the fabric, take your second pleat mark and move it to the left resting it directly on the first pleat mark.  Pin to secure in place.

making pleats

Move the next available pleat mark (mark # 3) to the right resting it directly on the next available pleat mark (pleat mark # 4) . Pin to secure. Press the pleat all the way to the bottom of the skirt. you can transfer the pleat markings to the hem to assist you in making the pleats.

pinning fabric for pleats

To make your second box pleat, move the next available pleat mark (# 5) to the left resting it on the nearest notch (this notch would be a part of the first box pleat i.e pleat mark # 4). Pin to secure.  Move the next available pleat mark (# 6) to the right resting it directly on the next available pleat mark (# 7). Pin to secure. 

making pleats

Repeat the same steps until the entire skirt is pleated, pinned, and pressed. You should have ½” seam allowance remaining at both ends to insert your zipper.

sew pleats in place

Using a ¼” seam allowance, baste the pleats at the top of the skirt in place. You are about halfway finished with this easy sewing project!

Next on this how to sew a pleated skirt tutorial, we will make the waistband.

iron interfacing to waistband for pleated skirt

If using interfacing, iron it to the wrong side of your fabric as per manufacturers’ instruction. Iron the long ends ½” towards the center.

folding fabric for waistband

Fold the waistband in half wrong sides together and iron to make a crease. With the waistband finished, now we just need to attach it to the skirt!

adding waistband

Unfold the waistband and place one of the long ends of the waistband  right side down so that it is touching the WRONG  side of the skirt. Pin to secure and sew.

making the waistband for pleated skirt
finished waistband for pleated skirt

With the skirt right side facing up,  Fold the waistband over towards the front of the skirt, aligning the folded edge of the waistband to the seam line you just sewed. Sew the waistband in place 1/8” away from the edge. Press the waistband.

measure where to place zipper

Now, we need to make a mark ¼” from the top of the waistband. This is where the zipper will go.

mark zipper pulls for pleated skirt

On the wrong side of the zipper mark where the zipper pull begins. 

lining up zipper for pleated skirt

Place the zipper face down on the left side of the skirt, aligning the mark on the zipper tape with the ¼” mark on the waistband. The zipper tape should align with the edge of the fabric. Pin and sew the zipper in place. 

sewing zipper on pleated skirt

Repeat for the other side of the zipper. Sew down the remaining side seam below the zipper

Now all that’s left on this how to sew a pleated skirt tutorial is to hem the skirt!

pinning hem for pleated skirt
sewing hem for pleated skirt

Fold the hem of the skirt by 1” and then again by another 1”. Press and sew it in place1/8” from the fold. 

finishing zipper for pleated skirt

Use a needle and thread to secure the zipper heads to the inside of the skirt.

finished pleated skirt

And there you have it, your box pleat skirt is complete! We hope you enjoyed this fun and easy sewing tutorial. Now you can make a cute skirt for yourself at home. Make one for yourself and some for your kids. You can pick out several different pattern fabrics and make a bunch of new cute skirts to refresh your wardrobe! Keep an eye out for new posts and our emails as we will have more sewing projects like this from Debbie.

How To Make A Pleated Skirt with free pattern!

If you liked learning how to make a pleated skirt with free pattern, make sure to pin it to your favorite Pinterest board or share it with friends on social media. If you decide to make this simple project on your own, make certain that you take a picture afterward and tag us on social media as we love seeing the fabrics and color choices that people use!

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How To Make A Pleated Skirt With Free Pattern

Pleated Skirt Featured Image

This is a great place to start if you want to get into making your own clothing. This easy pleated skirt sewing tutorial makes it fun and simple!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Active Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Difficulty Moderate
Estimated Cost $20.00

Instructions

  1. Cut out your fabric according to the instructions on the pattern pieces 
  2. Finish the raw edges of your skirt pieces (the shorter sides)  using a zig zag stitch 4 width and 4 length. 
  3. Finish the short edges of your waistband using a zig zag stitch 4 width and 4 length . 
  4. Transfer the pleat markings from the pattern piece to both skirt fabric pieces using tailors chalk, pins or small ¼” snips into your fabric .
  5. With right sides together, sew the two skirt pieces together at ONE of the side seams
  6. With your fabric right side up, and starting from the left of the fabric, take your second pleat mark and move it to the left resting it directly on the first pleat mark.  Pin to secure
  7. Move the next available pleat mark (mark # 3) to the right resting it directly on the next available pleat mark (pleat mark # 4) . Pin to secure.
  8. Press the pleat all the way to the bottom of the skirt. you can transfer the pleat markings to the hem to assist you in making the pleats.
  9. To make your second box pleat: Move the next available pleat mark (# 5) to the left resting it on the nearest notch (this notch would be a part of the first box pleat i.e pleat mark # 4). Pin to secure.  
  10. Move the next available pleat mark (# 6) to the right resting it directly on the next available pleat mark (# 7). Pin to secure. 
  11. Repeat the same steps until the entire skirt is pleated, pinned, and pressed. You should have ½” seam allowance remaining at both ends to insert your zipper
  12. Using a ¼” seam allowance, baste the pleats at the top of the skirt in place.
  13. If using interfacing, iron it to the wrong side of your fabric as per manufacturers’ instruction. 
  14. Iron the long ends ½” towards the center
  15. Fold the waistband in half wrong sides together and iron to make a crease.
  16. Unfold the waistband and place one of the long ends of the waistband right side down so that it is touching the WRONG  side of the skirt. Pin to secure and sew.
  17. With the skirt right side facing up, fold the waistband over towards the front of the skirt, aligning the folded edge of the waistband to the seam line you just sewed.
  18. Sew the waistband in place 1/8” away from the edge. Press the waistband.
  19. Make a mark ¼” from the top of the waistband.
  20. On the wrong side of the zipper, mark where the zipper pull begins. 
  21. Place the zipper face down on the left side of the skirt, aligning the mark on the zipper tape with the ¼” mark on the waistband. The zipper tape should align with the edge of the fabric.
  22. Pin and sew the zipper in place. 
  23. Repeat for the other side of the zipper. 
  24. Sew down the remaining side seam below the zipper
  25. Fold the hem of the skirt by 1” and then again by another 1” press and sew 1/8” from the fold. 
  26. Use a needle and thread to secure the zipper heads to the inside of the skirt.
  27. Enjoy your new pleated skirt!

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