Easy pleated skirt pattern, FREE sew-along: Part 1

easy pleated skirt patternI have a new, easy pleated skirt pattern to share with you that will help streamline your figure and look great.  This A-line shaped skirt style is so easy to sew that you'll want to make a few skirts and they should last you for many years.

Warning:  This is a sew along where you will learn how to handle this pattern to fit it to any waist size, how to shorten and lengthen the skirt.  Therefore, sizes are limited.

easy pleated skirt patternMade of linen, cotton, light wool or other fabrics with a bit of body, this skirt will give you an effortless classy and elegant look.  This skirt has three pleats in the front and three in the back. easy pleated skirt pattern

Lately, I have had a few requests and since there are a few that relate to each other I thought a sew-along showing how to do alterations and customizations would cover many of the questions and requests you guys sometimes send my way.

I must say that I do enjoy getting mail and comments from everyone and, believe it or not, requests make my life easier since I don't have to wonder what am I going to write about next.  So thank you and keep them coming!

I have divided this tutorial and sew-along into four parts so I can share with you a few details that will make this an easy and valuable learning experience.  I really want you to end up with a great finished product!

Materials:

  • two (2) yards of medium weight fabric at least 44″ wide (cotton, quilting cotton, linen, or light wool)
  • 3/4 yard of lining soft cotton (lawn or batiste), silk or satin.
  • 1/4 yard of woven or non-woven fusible interfacing
  • one (1) invisible zipper 10″ long
  • thread to match.

Tools:

Fabric Selection:


Please note: Do not attempt to make this skirt until you have read all the instructions.  You should know how to read a pattern, how to layout fabric and have made at least one skirt before attempting this tutorial.

Advanced sewers or those that do not require instructions can proceed.

For confident beginners and intermediates, after following the four parts of the tutorial you will be able to:

  • Attach an invisible zipper
  • Sew pleats
  • Hem a skirt with pleats in two ways
  • Alter a skirt with your own measurements
  • Pattern transformation using the same pattern

Finished Measurements:

Size Waist Length of Skirt Width at hem
Medium 30″ 29″ 90″
Large 34″ 29″ 94″
X-Large 38″ 29″ 98″

Pattern Layout:easy pleated skirt pattern

Pattern Download:

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Download the Free Pattern

You can download the pattern for this Easy Pleated Skirt from our account at Craftsy.

For help downloading and printing PDF patterns, please CLICK HERE.

Step One:  Print the pattern

Use the latest version of Adobe Reader and print in Landscape mode.  Your pattern does not contain seam allowances.  Add 5/8″.  The hem of this easy pleated skirt pattern is 1″ and the lining of the skirt is 3/4″.

Step Two:  How to lay out the easy pleated skirt pattern

I folded the fabric lengthwise and used both ends.  There will be some left over in the center, but I know I can use it to make a small handbag with the rest of the fabric.

easy pleated skirt pattern

The same pattern is good for the front as it is for the back.  In other words, we need to cut the pattern as a mirror image.  All the pleats will be folded toward the left.  Make a notch on the waist seam allowance to mark the pleats.  Make sure you have five notches, one will be in the fold of the fabric.  The tendency is to forget this fold, but you will need it because this notch will mark the center of the skirt and the depth of the second pleat.

All the pleats will be folded toward the left.  Make a notch on the waist seam allowance to mark the pleats.  Make sure you have five notches, one will be in the fold of the fabric.  The tendency is to forget this fold, but you will need it because this notch will mark the center of the skirt and the depth of the sec0nd pleat.

Pattern placement for the front. easy pleated skirt patternPattern placement for the back.  Flip the pattern upside down to get the pleats going in the same direction. easy pleated skirt patterneasy pleated skirt pattern

Step Three:  Sewing the zipper and sides of the skirt

I'm using a 10″ zipper because I am recycling one from an old blouse and it also fits this design perfectly.

Sew the zipper using the invisible zipper foot.  For a detailed explanation of this step please visit this tutorial about how to attach an invisible zipper.  The method below is a little different, but both ways are going to give you the same result.

Mark the seam allowance using tailor's chalk.  I'm using blue and I have only made a very faint line but I still can see it.

Use your overlocker to finish the seam allowance but don't use the knife unless you have to so we don't reduce the size of fabric before fitting.  I prefer to do this before I sew the zipper because I find it hard to do it at the end when the zipper is already in place.  The lining will not cover to the hem of the skirt so the side seam will need to be zigzagged or serged. easy pleated skirt pattern

Align the top of the zipper face down with the top of the skirt and pin the zipper, aligning the zipper teeth with the tailor's chalk marking you have done previously (see picture above). easy pleated skirt patternUsing your invisible zipper foot, sew the zipper in place using the left-hand groove of the zipper foot.  For more information on how to use your zipper foot, please check out this article.

Still working with the zipper right side down, place the fabric upside down and align the teeth with the tailor's chalk.  Pin the zipper and sew.  easy pleated skirt patternUse the right groove of the invisible zipper foot.  easy pleated skirt patternChange your machine to a normal zipper foot.  This is necessary so we can get as close as possible to the zipper and still sew the side using the chosen seam allowance.  In my case, the seam allowance is 5/8″.  Right sides together fold and sew the side starting where you had to stop sewing the zipper.  (see picture above)easy pleated skirt patterneasy pleated skirt pattern

Sew all the way to the hem and then iron with the seam open.

Sew the other side of the skirt and iron seams open as well.

Step Four:  Making the pleats

There are 6 pleats on the skirt, three in the front and three in the back.

The picture below shows you the skirt on the fold.  Starting on the right-hand side of the zipper.  Fold line A up to line B, (B becomes under pleat).  Place A/B on top of C.  easy pleated skirt pattern

This is when you will be making the first fitting.  I will explain in more detail in Part Four.

Sew the pleats down 3.5″ from the waistband.easy pleated skirt pattern

Fold the pleats from left to right and topstitch at 1/4″ to keep in place.

easy pleated skirt patterneasy pleated skirt pattern

Step Five:  Sewing the waistband to the lining

Apply woven or non-woven fusible interfacing.  If you are using woven interfacing cut the interfacing following the same gain line as the facing.easy pleated skirt patternPlace the print sides together, sew the right-hand side of the facing.  easy pleated skirt patternOpen the seam and serge the seam edges open.  Iron.easy pleated skirt pattern

We will work on the lining now and you will have to join right sides together and sew the left side of the lining at 5/8″.   In other words, don't sew where the zipper is supposed to go.  Serge with open seams, then iron.easy pleated skirt pattern

Join the facing to the lining by first pinning the side seam, right sides together.  easy pleated skirt patternPin the other end of the lining and the facing together.  You will notice the lining of the skirt is a fair bit bigger than the facing, this is so when you sit down the lining will not crawl up your thighs.

Make a few pleats between the side seam and the zipper on both front and back of the lining and sew at 5/8″. easy pleated skirt patternSerge the seam allowance and iron the facing and the lining.easy pleated skirt pattern

Step Six:  Attaching the lining to the skirt

We will work with the skirt right side out (print) and the lining wrong side out, or right sides skirt and lining facing each other as shown in the picture below. easy pleated skirt pattern

As before, we will start by aligning the side seams of the skirt with the side seam of the lining.  Continue pinning from the side to the zipper.  easy pleated skirt pattern When you get to the zipper, wrap the facing around the zipper. easy pleated skirt patternSew at 5/8″.  Keep a strict seam allowance at the ends where the zipper and the facing meet since this will be visible once you turn the lining inside.

End of Part One of the Easy Pleated Skirt sew-along.  Join me for Part Two next week!  Until then!

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32 Responses to Easy pleated skirt pattern, FREE sew-along: Part 1

  1. Trish says:

    I love this skirt. Are you putting the zipper on the side?

  2. Suzanne says:

    Lovely skirt. Have done sewing before but having problems with the pleats.
    Just not getting it.

    Would help if you could indicate how many pleats the skirt should have in total.

    Also would help having diagram of complete skirt front and back with placement of pleats indicated.Made the notches but seem to have an extra one. Is the centre front notch used only to indicate the centre or its it also to be a pleat notch?
    Is skirt right side out or inside out when making pleats? Hard to tell.
    I’ve been working on the skirt for 2 weeks and can’t seems to get past the pleats.
    Would really appreciate help to I can finish the skirt. It’s just what I wanted.

    Thanks so much.?

    • Mayra at So Sew Easy says:

      HI Suzanne, I have an annoying habit of assuming people know what I am talking about, so I thank you for your questions. On picture (technical drawing) number two, I have indicated that the fabric is on fold, so is the pattern this is indicated by the long line with the two arrowheads. Do not forget the notch there (on the fold) because you will need it to make the second pleat. So on the fold there is half a pleat. There are three pleats on the front and three in the back. On Picture 14 I show you I am working on the inside of the fabric. After folding the pleats and before you do anything else topstitch the waist to make sure the pleats do not come away and fit the skirt to your body. Hope that helps, you can always send me an email at mayra@so-sew-easy.com Let me know how you go.

  3. jjgammon says:

    Cute, but WAY too small. If you want to illustrate how a style looks great on all body types, it would be good to make your pattern for all body types…

  4. Enid says:

    Would love to see a YouTube tutorial video thanks.

  5. jibimol says:

    thank you for the free tutorial and pattern. but when i open the link i cannot download the pattern. plaese help

  6. Octavia says:

    This skirt can be made without the lining if the fabric is not see through right.

    • Mayra at So Sew Easy says:

      I agree, however if you are using fabric medium to light cotton such as quilting cotton, a lining will make it look expensive.

  7. Marjorie says:

    Thanks for the pattern! If you are using a mid-weight cotton, is there a need to line the skirt?

  8. Laura Kimmel says:

    This is a great pattern staple! Thank you! I have an idea, you have so many good patterns; in the future, could you please share some ideas in a post on incorporating them into a wardrobe capsule for year round? thanks!

    • Mayra at So Sew Easy says:

      Thank you Laura for your idea. I must say an excellent one. I will do this, I am missing some palazzo pants, shorts and evening dress and a swimsuit though….

  9. cynthia says:

    love it, but wish it had pockets. I’ll add them when I make this.

  10. Anne says:

    Fabulous skirt and instructions, so very much looking forward to the pattern for waist 24 inches.

  11. Pattie says:

    I am very thick waisted, will we be able to alter this a bit larger in the waist?

  12. Vanda says:

    Wow! Thanks for the free pattern!

  13. Frances Johnson says:

    I’m going to make this….but for your next project how about how to make pants or a nice pair of walking shorts.

  14. I love this pattern,Mayra.Can’t wait to see next week’s tutorial!

  15. stea7 says:

    This is not available in small?

  16. Thank you so much…what a generous thing to do! i am so excited to be sewing along with you. I have some beautiful linen that I’ve been saving for just the right project.

What do you think?