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.
Step 1: Materials
What you need for this project:
Fabric: See diagram to determine amount of fabric needed. When in doubt, 3 yds will make most things!
Hook & eye for waistband
(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
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!
Step 4: Finishing
I decided to add a contrasting color hem to the skirt, so I just serged that right on. You can do this with a sewing machine, or skip it all together. Either way, it's time to finish the hem on your skirt in whatever way you like.
Try on your skirt and determine where the zipper should go. Install the zipper according to the package's directions.
Add a waistband if you like - I chose to do one in the same contrasting fabric as I did the hem. I added a little support in the waistband with some grosgrain ribbon, folded the fabric over it, and serged it to the top of the waist.
Finish your waistband with a hook and eye.
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