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Pleated Skirt Tutorial

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[EDIT] Final Product: [link]

And yes, I am very aware that it looks very half-assed and ugly XD

This is my first tutorial/instructions on how to do anything, so I apologize If I'm unclear! If you have any questions, please ask!

I decided to make the instructions separate because the deviation would be crowded and hard to understand!

1. Gather Supplies: Scissors, measuring tape, iron, pins, fabric of choice (cotton works best!), sewing machine*, spray bottle, seam ripper*, corn starch, water, one safety pin, elastic, towel and table** /ironing board

*Optional but I suggest you have them. Hand sewing pleats and many layers of fabric is a pain D:
**I don’t own an Ironing board, so that what I use.

2. Measure around your hips! If you’re going to wear a petticoat with the skirt, put that on first, then measure! This is half the width of the skirt. Add an inch. We’ll call this measurement A (or around the widest part the skirt will sit on)

3. Cut 2 panels of measurement A!

4. Measure from where you want the skirt to sit, to where you want it to end. Subtract 2 inches! This is the length of the skirt. This is measurement B!
4a. If you plan to make a Vocaloid/Utau style skirt, Subtract another 2 inches.

5. Iron everything out!

6. Hem the fabric about a ¼ inch to ½ inch up.
6a. Instead of hemming, cut out two strips of fabric 4 inches wide and measurement A and the length. Fold it in half and sew it onto the base. (see Picture 6a!)

7. Now for the cornstarch, water, spray bottle madness. Mix 1 pint (2 cups) of water and 1 tbl spoon of cornstarch in a bowl.

8. Pour Mixture into your spray bottle and put it in the refrigerator! This starch mixture will make sure your pleats stay looking sharp and lovely <3 This is also good for making collars on shirts stiff. :D

9. Set your iron to the cotton setting (or whatever type of fabric you’re using).

10. Iron out your fabric again! Try to make it as non-wrinkly as possible.

11. We’re ready to pleat! Pleating is just folding over itself. Mark 3 ½ inches from the edge of your fabric on the top and bottom all the ways across the fabric.

12. With your fingers, pinch the fabric at the top and bottom and fold it over to the next two marks.

13. Pin the pleat at the top and bottom (makes sure the pins are vertical!) then iron the pleat out! When you iron, be angry at that pleat! Iron it real good, kay thanks.

14. Now for the spray starch! Lightly (1 or 2 sprays) spray the pleat with the starch and iron it again!

15. Repeat this until you reach the edge of your fabric. When you’re done, the length should be half of what it was before.

16. Make sure to leave 2 ½ inches left at the end of you’re fabric for seam allowances, and so you can pleat over the seam so it’s invisible!

17. Done pleating? Good! Now we will stitch the pleats in place. Put the opening in the pleats facing you when you’re sewing the pleats. Make sure to sew over ALL of the fabric that is folded up under the pleat and that the fabric doesn’t get bunched up.

18. Take the pins out of the top of you’re pleated fabric and set aside. We’re half way there!

19. Do the same thing to your other piece of fabric!

20. We’re going to make the waist band The waist band is a tube of fabric that the elastic will go through.

21. Measure the elastic (e) you’re using. (I’m using ½ inch wide elastic.)

22. Add 1 ½ inches to that measurement.

23. Double that. If we’re going to get fancy, an equation should look like this (e+1 ½)2= How wide the fabric strip that we’re going to cut out should be. The reason you double how wide you want your waist band to be is because when you fold the fabric in half, the width will be cut in half.

24. The length of the waist band should be measurement A with 1 ½ inches added on to it. Cut out that fabric!

25. Fold it in half and Iron it! Set aside.

26. Now to connect the two pleated side together. Put the right (side with the pins on the bottom) facing each other. Sew!

27. Now you should have a long pleated rectangle the length of measurement A! Flip it over so the RIGHT (ride with the pins on the bottom) side is facing up.

28. Take you waist band and place it ¾ and inch down from the top. Have the folded edge pointing toward the bottom.

29. Pin it in place.

30. Sew it in place with the pleats facing you. Make sure that the fabric under the pleat isn’t bunched up, just like before!

31. Flip the waist band up and iron everything (don’t forget the spray starch!)

32. Almost done! Fold the fabric (right sides together) and pin up the side. DO NOT pin or sew the waist band closed!

33. Sew the side together; again, DO NOT sew the waist band closed!

34. Measure the elastic around where the skirt will sit.

35. Cut the elastic.

36. Hook the safety pin into on end of the elastic.

37. Feed the elastic into the waist band until it comes out the other side. Don’t lose the other end!

38. Once you have the elastic out the other side of the skirt, pinch the two sides together and sew them to each other. Remember to back stitch/tack multiple times so the elastic doesn’t come apart.

39. Sew the waist band closed.

40. Flip it right side out and you’re done! <3
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© 2010 - 2021 losertastic124
anonymous's avatar
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irishhighlander's avatar
Faving this for future reference :)
KrisKittie's avatar
Thank you for this! Totally using it for my Babydoll cosplay <3 
losertastic124's avatar
No problem! Lemme know if you have any questions along the way. This thing is 4 years old >//<
KrisKittie's avatar
Thank you, I definitely will! A cosplay blog I follow reblogged it and I just had to check it out myself. c: 
I'm working with a pattern and I feel like it's too complicated for me in a way?
I am very very new to sewing and I just get lost looking at it!
CookieDough10's avatar
Im sooo gonna use this to help with my Orihime cosplay! :3 Thanks for posting!
losertastic124's avatar
Absolutely! If you have any questions, please feel free to ask!
And I would love to see pictures when it's all finished~
CookieDough10's avatar
Thank you! and yes I will definately post them! :)
Kreepy-Kitten's avatar
thank you, this really helped<3
losertastic124's avatar
You're very welcome~! I hope your skirt turns out alright!
And thank you for the favorite >w<
Kreepy-Kitten's avatar
lrignafemina's avatar
This is a very well made tutorial. I need to teach a friend how to make a pleated skirt so I'll definitely send her to this tute. (I already know how to, but it's hard for me to explain something I learned kinda by accident.) I'm really impressed by this since this is your first one. Very nice job!
losertastic124's avatar
O-Oh my goodness! Thank you so much! I really appreciate it! I'm glad it's helpful, I was worried no one would understand what I was trying to say! :]
lrignafemina's avatar
No way! It's great!
benihme-chan's avatar
thanks so much for this. i was stressing over how much i needed to cut to make it and you've helped bunches! thanks!
losertastic124's avatar
OH YAY~! I'm glad I could help!
I just apologize about anything that might be confusing. I'm horrible with trying to put things into words! Let me know if you need anything~
benihme-chan's avatar
well i used a tutorial on youtube for the actual pleats it was just the whole measuring thing :\ but my skirt looks great~
tarinalove's avatar
Just want to say that I used this tutorial to make a school girl skirt. And although it's a LITTLE confusing in spots (like step 27) it works and makes sense. :D
I'm not finished with my skirt yet, because I don' t have elastic... D: But I plan to buy some this weekend.
creativeCrater's avatar
Sweet! I'm gonna be making a pleated skirt this summer for my Halloween outfit: Velma Dinkley [link] I'm so excited! Your tutorial is definitely going to help I believe! :dance:
losertastic124's avatar
Awesome~! I love Velma >w<
I can't wait to see it!
If you have any questions, please ask~! I tried my best to be as clear as possible, but If you need anything, let me know!
DestatiSm's avatar

I also love the idea of using that corn starch mix! I'll have to try it on my next skirt. The starch spray I got works, but it's still kinda meh.
losertastic124's avatar
I HATE ZIPPERS TOO! I love the elastic because it fits a wider range of sizes as well as it being so much easier to install .w.

Thank you! My mom suggested it to me, it works wonders~
Just be careful if you use it on black skirts, it might show up a little bit depending on the fabric. I usually spray it on the back when I'm using it on black fabrics~
RazuKat's avatar
Yay! Thank you so much for posting this! Very helpful!
losertastic124's avatar
Really?!?!? 0____o When I reread it, I thought it was a bunch of ranting that didn't really make sense! XD

So thank you! <3
anonymous's avatar
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