Sew a Timeless Clothing Item- DIY Pleated Skirt

Wendy Herrera
by Wendy Herrera
6 Materials
3 Hours

Pleated skirt? Why not? But have you seen the price tag on some of these pleated skirts? It can get super expensive! I did some research and took some inspiration from a couple of designs. Of course, my print will be Burberry-inspired ( without the price tag, of course), and I will make a lovely high-waisted, wide-belt wrap-around skirt. So, I decided to do my own version of a DIY pleated skirt, and I'm going to show you how you can do the same! So, grab your tools and materials, and let's sew an easy DIY pleated skirt.

Tools and materials:

  • Fabric 73 x 16 inches)
  • Measuring tape
  • Pins
  • Sewing Machine
  • Thread
  • Scissors
DIY pleated mini skirt

Measure and mark the pleats

So the biggest and most crucial part of the skirt is the pleats. You need to measure this accordingly and correctly to get it right the first time around. Some patience is required here, but it goes a long way! Take your fabric, lay it flat on a smooth surface, and pin the top of your skirt every 3 inches or so.

Pleated skirt

Create the pleats

Now, slouch the pleats on top of each other. Take the second pleat, which measures 6 inches, and sandwich it on top of the first pin. Remove the pin that's under and repin it. Continue this process throughout. In other words, take the right pin, fold it and place it on top of the left pin.  

Pleated mini skirt

Make sure to fold the pleats accordingly so that the fold carries through the length of the skirt.

DIY box pleated skirt

Next, measure the waistband, making sure it's a lot longer than your waistline.

How to make a pleated skirt

Iron down the pleats

Next, iron down the pleats, so you have crisp, clean folds. This will also make the sewing process much easier. Trust me; you'll thank me later!

Easy DIY pleated skirt

Sew across the waistline

To hold your pleats in place, sew a straight line across the whole waistline. Make sure to leave an inch or so from the top. You can also do a zigzag stitch here; it doesn't matter.

Burberry pleated skirt

Optional- Create a flared pleat

This is totally optional, but I am shimming out the pleats, so I have a more flare look going on. If the pleats run straight down, it gives your skirt a more structured, box-like shape. I want a more curvy shape. To do this, flare out the pleats just a bit and pin it about 7 inches down from the top pleat.

Make a pleated skirt

Sew down the pleats until you get to the second mark. Stitch as close to the edge as possible and reverse stitch a few times when you get to the end. Do the same to all the pleats.

Sew a pleated skirt

Here's how it looks after sewing down the pleats. There's still a bit of flare at the bottom- exactly what I was hoping for!

How to sew a pleated skirt

Make the waistband

For the waistband, I cut 10 x 32 inches of fabric. Mark the waistband at 3.5 inches and fold the waistband about 4 inches, so you have an extra bit of seam allowance. Pin across, as shown.

Iron down waistband

Iron the waistband flat.

Slide through the waistband

Slide through the waistband.

Attach the waistband

Attach the waistband to the skirt

Slide the skirt in between the waistband and pin it along the ends. When you pin it, make sure to fold the seam and pin it as straight as possible.

Pin both sides

Now that it's all pinned in front, fold the rest of the waistband's fabric behind the skirt. Pin the very edge as you will be sewing there, too.

Sew to secure

Sew a line straight across for the top and bottom. Use a straight stitch and stitch as close to the edge as possible.

Sew along the edge

Then, move to the top of the waistband and do the same; sewing at the very edge.

Sew both sides

Notice at the back, there's excess fabric. You can cut it off if you wish, But I left mine on for extra warmth.

Hem the seams

Sew the seams

Here, use a double roll method and pin in place all across the skirt. Sew in place using a zigzag stitch.

Sew the side seams

Next, cut off the excess fabric from the waistband and sew the side of the skirt. Use the double roll method again and repeat the process on the other side of the skirt.

Add buttons

Add buttons

Try on your skirt by wrapping it around your waist. See where the buttons should be placed and mark accordingly. Feel free to add as many buttons as you like. I added two buttons on each flap, making sure it stays secure and in place. I added invisible buttons, and I love how it looks.

Burberry inspired DIY pleated skirt

We're done! Here's the finished product. I'm so proud of myself, and it looks totally stylish! How awesome does this pleated skirt look? Now that you know how to sew a pleated skirt, what print will you be going for? I finished off the look with a black belt and knee-high boots. I literally wore this skirt the whole day after I finished making it. I hope you enjoyed this tutorial. I hope it inspired you to go ahead and get your pleat on!

Suggested materials:
  • Fabric
  • Measuring tape
  • Pins
See all materials

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