Instructables
Picture of Easy Pleated Skirt - No Pattern Needed
pleatedskirt1.jpg
pleatedskirt2.jpg
It's surprisingly easy to make a basic pleated skirt.  You don't need a pattern - you just need some measurements.  And the great thing is, you'll just be cutting your fabric in rectangles, so there's nothing complicated about it!

With this skirt, I used 3 yards of fabric and added a contrasting color to the hem and waistband. 
 
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Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials
skirt measurements.jpg
What you need for this project:

Fabric: See diagram to determine amount of fabric needed.  When in doubt, 3 yds will make most things!
Zipper
Hook & eye for waistband
Thread
Scissors
Iron
Sewing Machine
Pins 
Ruler

(honestly, I quit trying to use the ruler after about 15 minutes and just made the pleating up as I went along.)

Step 2: Cut & Sew Panels

Picture of Cut & Sew Panels
sewseams.jpg
openseam.jpg
So in the previous step you figured out how many panels you need and at what length.

Now it's time to cut them and sew them together to create one long panel that we'll pleat up.  

Sew together the pieces at the side seams along the selvage edges, and press the seams open.

Step 3: Make the Pleats

One reason it's great to have extra fabric is that you can play a lot with how deep you want your pleats to be and how full you want the finished skirt.

I tried out a bunch of different methods (including marking them all with a ruler and chalk) and then decided just to eyeball it.  Really, when you have a lot of pleats on your skirt, especially if it's a busy fabric, people won't notice the precision of your pleats.  

I ended up settling with 1" knife pleats.  See the first diagram to show you how they should look.  Each fold is 1" deep and none of them overlap.  Rather the top fabric comes to the place where the bottom of the fold stops.  It's easier to understand once you get your hands on it.  And again, there are no hard set rules here!  Do what you like.

Iron and pin your pleats in place.

Sew along the top of the pleats to hold them in place.  You're almost done!
micalonga5 months ago

Hi! The tutorial looks pretty easy, i had to translate some words because i didnt understand well what i had to do, but nothing more than that. There's one thing i dont understand and i couldn't get it: in steps 1 and 2 i dont understand the panels thing. I get that you need like, 3 yds of fabric for starters?? and in the graphic it has the rectangle like divided in 3, are those supposed to be the panels?? and then in step 2 you have to sew them together, i dont understand from which part and how (i honestly couldn't understand the pictures, particularly the one with the white line in the middle). what are the measurements of the panels be?? like length x waist and then sew them on the 'lenght side'?? sorry i have so many questions; hope you understand what i mean :)

jszemin5 months ago
Hello :D
This tutorial looks doable for me this beginner :)
However, I do not understand the measurement part. Please help me :)
jszemin5 months ago
Hello :D
This tutorial looks doable for me this beginner :)
However, I do not understand the measurement part. Please help me :)
Penolopy Bulnick made it!6 months ago

I made a pleated skirt using your tutorial! Yay! Prefect for my Halloween costume!

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Rhi-Rainbow12 months ago
So I had a bash at this tutorial, and with a little help from my mum it worked out quite well!
I've uploaded a picture :)
xx
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lingham11 year ago
Great tutorial! This is going to be perfect for a cosplay I'm planning for March.
I was so thrilled to stumble upon your easy to understand tutorials! I'm starting on making my little girl (Miss Madeline Ann- who is a petite 6 month old sweet tart) a "spirit/cheer" skirt for her cousin's upcoming football season & Kentucky's Wildcat games, too! Yay! (a multi-tasking skirt) If you are able could you give me a few tips? I'm a newbie sewer & I'm AWFUL with measuring, ect. LOL- With that, she is about 23" long and pretty tiny..so how long would you imagine I need to cut the panels? If you can get back to me and follow me on twitter I'd so appreciate it or Facebook. But, I'm always on twitter - @TheKatiePett.
Love your tutorials, pleated maxi skirt is next on my list! I'm only 5 ft. tall so I MUST make my own, lol! xoxo- Katie
Rhi-Rainbow2 years ago
I love this skirt!
I've been looking for something to do with my old fabric (well, fabric that I decided I needed to have and never used!)
I'll try and post a picture when I'm done :)
Rhi.x
MKosterich2 years ago
It is official, I will be making this. Now to find fabric and actually do it...
scoochmaroo (author)  MKosterich2 years ago
And I'll help!
Mrballeng2 years ago
When do you rest??? Keep up the good work.
scoochmaroo (author)  Mrballeng2 years ago
I just got so revved up by the Fashion Contest!
Ninzerbean2 years ago
I love it!