How to Sew a Pleated Skirt From Knit (PARADISE)

I've prepared a new pattern for women's and children's skirt and, of course, detailed photo instructions on how to sew the skirt step by step. The pattern is easy to work with and versatile, so I can recommend it to intermediate sewers. The skirt has a prominent bottom hem, contrasting waistband, and side seam pockets.

The pattern

Pattern for the pleated skirt PARADISE is now available in our online store: Women's Pleated Skirt PARADISE

Recommended material

I recommend using light and medium knits (elastic materials), such as cotton knits, Ponte Roma knits, and light laid-in knits.

You will receive the info about the required amount of material along with the pattern.

Sewing instructions


It’s ideal to sew the skirt on an overlock machine, but you can also use your regular sewing machine. Just follow these steps:

Pattern layout


  • 1x back piece (cut on the fold)
  • 1x front piece (cut on the fold)
  • (it's the same as the back piece, but you need to cut off extra parts to prepare pocket openings)
  • 2x bottom hem
  • 2x pocket piece - with opening
  • 2x pocket piece - whole
  • 1x waistband

Cut off the extra parts of the front piece.

Note the marks on the waistline of the front and back pieces. These will help you to space out the folds of the pleating evenly. Transfer the marks to the front and back pieces.

Reinforce all pocket openings - on the front piece and both pocket pieces with openings.

Use about 2 cm (3/4") wide strip of one-sided fusible interfacing.


Lay pocket pieces with openings on the front piece (face sides to face side) and pin the openings.

Sew openings with a straight stitch.

Fold the pocket pieces to the reverse side of the front piece. Baste and iron the pocket pieces to keep them from peeking out. Pin both pocket openings and topstitch them.

Flip the front piece over so you can see the pocket pieces. Lay the other set of pocket pieces (whole) over the pocket pieces with openings and pin them together to create pocket pouches.

Sew both pocket pouches. If you have an overlock, you can sew and clean the cutting edges in one go.

Side seams

Lay the back piece over the front piece (face side to face side) and pin both side seams.

Sew both side seams. Again, you can use your overlock to do this.


Now is the right time to prepare the waistband. Fold the waistband piece in half (face side in). Sew the shorter sides.

Find the midpoint of the waistband (opposite the seam), and the two quarter points. Then pin the quarter points to the centers of the front and back piece.


Now you need to form the pleats by folding the edge of the skirt so that the two adjacent marks always lie on top of each other. I recommend starting from the middle of the front/back piece and moving towards the side seams.

Make sure that the pleats are uniform and that they point away from the side seams.

That is how you make a simple pleat.

Prepare the rest of the pleats in the same way. All pleats should point from the middle towards the side seams of the skirt (from the face side view), except for the last fold of the front piece (near the pocket) - point that one in opposite direction - towards the middle of the skirt.

This will prevent a bulge from forming in the area below the pocket opening.

This will prevent a bulge from forming in the area below the pocket opening.

The back piece looks similar, but there are no pocket pouches.

Sew the waistband to the skirt around the entire circumference. You should sew through the upper parts of the pocket pouches too. Again, you can use overlock straight away. In that case, pull free ends of the thread chain under the loops.

Bottom hem

Let’s look at the bottom hem. There are two hem pieces. Lay them on top of each other (face side to face side) and sew the shorter sides.

Fold (“roll”) the hem in half (lengthwise, face side out).

You can temporarily pin the two halves to each other in the side seams and the other two quarter points of the circumference. I recommend spreading the hem on the table and checking that it is not stretched/folded unevenly. Iron the folded hem before sewing.

The bottom hem has the same circumference as the skirt, so it should be very easy to sew it to the skirt. Pin the side seams of the hem to the side seams of the skirt and quarter-point marks of the hem to the midpoints of the back and front pieces of the skirt.

Then pin the rest of the circumference evenly...

...and sew it. Again, you can use an overlock straight away to do this. Pull free ends of thread chain under the loops.

And your skirt is finished! :)

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