Pleated Skirt – Free "pattern"!

As you may know, I’m a newbie in the sewing world, but these past days I felt ready for a bigger project!

I was keeping this fabric for a while and always wanted to make a pleated skirt with it. Don’t know exactly why a pleated skirt, I just think the plaid print remembered me a little bit about school and its pleated skirts and over the knee socks.
So I definitely needed to turn this into a skirt like those, from erstwhile times.

Ok, I just had this kind of uniform on kindergarten. After that they transformed the uniform into sweat pants and polo shirts. But you know what I mean.

I didn’t have any pattern, and I don’t know why, in my mind, would be simple to make it.

Here are the "pattern" I’ve made for myself. It's not a real pattern, it's actually just a draft. But can be adapted for any measures and it may help you if you wanna try.
I may have done it completely wrong. But if you are starting in sewing like me, it's really easy and you can practice. My draft is here

I just was in doubt about which format the skirt pattern should have, since all the skirt patterns I see around has a cutting angle that leaves the fabric already in the form of a skirt, they are never straight.
So at first I drew my skirt with this angle, but then I wasn't so sure if I was going to be able to make the folds of the pleats correctly with a side bigger than the other.

Then I thought that as I was going to make pleats in all the skirt, it won’t be a problem if I cut it straight. Because the top of the skirt was going to be sewed, the bottom was going to be loose, and the folds would open giving to the skirt the correct format.

And so it was done.

Finally I took courage. I drew it in my mind, and after that, in a paper. Took the measures. Deep breath. And started cutting.

I know it's not the best pleated skirt ever. But it's my FIRST SKIRT EVER. So, I can't pretend I'm not happy! :D

I started cutting the 4 pieces. 2 for the bottom (the pleated part) and 2 for the top of the skirt (kind of a belt).
I planned making the folds with 3 cm (1,18 in) length, that’s why we needed to multiply the measure for 3.

As I was using plaid print, I do not marked where I would make the folds, because I was guiding myself by the print. But I’ve read that you should mark exactly where you have to fold, this way they’ll have the exactly the same size.

Fold the first bottom part carefully. Fix every fold with pins.
After ending to fold, verify if the bottom part folded has exactly the same length as the belt part. You’ll sew they together, so has to be with the same length.

Do the same with the second bottom part. Compare with the belt part as well. But in this case, the belt need to be a little bigger. Cause it’s where you'll sew the buttons.

Use the iron to mark the folds.

Sew a straight line on top of the fabric. Do this slowly to ensure that all the folds are ok and that the fabric will not curl. This will keep the folds in place while you finish sewing.

After that, fold the belt in the middle, and align the three borders of fabrics together. Right side turned to right side. Sew on the wrong side.

Once finished, put the belt part up.
Do this to the other pair of fabrics too.


To put everything together, sew one side from top to bottom (the one that does not have the extra piece of fabric to the buttons).
The other side you should sew just the pleated part. Let the belt part released. In this part sew a hem.
After that, sew the buttons and buttonhole.

And ta-dã. You have a skirt.

Learn with my mistakes:

- When you sew the belt in the pleated part, make sure you are covering the stitching that is keeping the pleats together.
I sewed them and when I finished, I still could see that stitches. So I had to sew again in another place to cover that. I didn't plan correctly.

- I know it's obvious, but when we're excited we do not think right. Before sew the buttons, make the buttonhole. I didn’t think about that and sewed the buttons first. Then I had to use a similar button to make the buttonhole using the sewing machine. But as it wasn’t exactly the same button, it turned out a little bit bigger than necessary.

- When you make the buttonhole, try first in another piece of fabric. And them take the measures and compare to the skirt, to make it in the right place. Mine got a little higher than it should because I didn’t measure before.

That’s it.
Gave me a lot of work actually.
And write all this in English gave me a lot of work as well.

But it worth. Totally.



  1. Great job Deborah! Beautifully written and made.