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Pleats...How to make Perfect Pleats When Sewing

How to Make a Skirt with Perfect Pleats.


When shaping a garment, one might use Pleats.  Pleats are often found on skirts, pants, jumpers, dresses, jackets, and blouses. Pleats can be used to provide fullness in an area of a garment or can be used decoratively.


A pattern with pleat marks on it.

When sewing pleats first you will want to look at your pattern or design your own pattern. If you are following a pattern, this might be what pleats may look like on your directions.

A sewing pattern with pleat markings on it.

This would be what the pattern would look like.

In general a pleat is made by marking fabric in two places for each pleat.  One place where you want to pick up the fabric and the other place where you want to place the fabric.

On this pattern piece the solid line represents the picking up of the fabric and the dotted line represents where you want to move it too.


Making Pleats on a skirt.

If you don't have a pattern make sure your pleats are of equal distance apart and all the pleats are the same in measurement.
How to pin pleats on a skirt you are sewing. Notice in the photo that both pleats are the same in measurement and in distance.

Once you have your pleats in place pin them in place.

Lots of pressing needs to be done when making pleats. PRESS, PRESS, AND PRESS.  For this pleated skirt I made for Jamie, I pressed the pleats every time I had to go to the iron for even another area of making the skirt, I still pressed the pleats.

You want to "train" a flat piece of material to fold in a pleat.  So YOU have to "train" or "Make" it stay in place.

Another great idea is to "pound" your pleats in place.  This is great for collars and jackets too that you will make.  You simply get a piece of hard wood, make sure the edges are sanded and you "pound" the pleats with your block of wood. Do this on a flat surface or table not the ironing board.

Pleats need to lay flat, once they do baste them in place. Once the pleats are lying nice and flat on their own, baste them in place as shown in the photo.  Leave them in for as long as you can.  After the pleats were pressed, pounded, and basted in place, this skirt was hung on a dress form for 2 days before the basting was taking out and the skirt was finished.


Notice how well the pleats are holding on their own.  This is the professional look you will want to attempt when making your own clothes.

Perfect Pleats have been made!


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