Simple Summer Pleated Skirt pattern

Free pattern, tutorial and video for how to make an easy pleated skirt for summer. Even has optional pockets!I’ve had a couple of nice lightweight cotton fabrics in my stash since last summer, meaning to make myself a couple more skirts.  I’ve got quite a few patterns I’ve designed I could choose from now, but one of the skirts has a border print and I wanted to make sure I had a pattern that would work just as well with a border print as with the floral.  So I designed another skirt pattern.

This could easily be your go-to skirt for summer.  Make it once, and then over and over in different fabrics.  I think you’ll like it!

Free pattern, tutorial and video for how to make an easy pleated skirt for summer.  Even has optional pockets!

Features of the Summer Pleated Skirt Pattern

  • Quick and quite easy to sew
  • Cool and casual fit
  • Pleats front and back, no darts
  • Optional side seam pockets (who doesn’t love pockets!)
  • Pick your own skirt length
  • Ideal for use with border prints or stripes too
  • For woven lightweight fabrics such as cottons
  • Video tutorial too

Sizing (9 sizes) – 25- 41 inch waist, 34-50 inch hips

Download the pattern here

Opt In Image
Download the Free Easy Pleated Skirt Pattern

You can download the pattern from my design account on Craftsy.  Add it to your cart and check out - its FREE.  The pattern will be saved in your Pattern Library safely until you are ready to sew, then you can download and print it at any time.


Free pattern, tutorial and video for how to make an easy pleated skirt for summer. Even has optional pockets!

How to sew the Summer Pleated Skirt pattern

Check out the video tutorial, or follow the step by step photos below.


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Never sewn a skirt before?  Then check out the Sew a Skirt Beginners Series which takes you through everything from choosing fabric, to drafting your own custom fit pattern if you want to,  to cutting the pattern, zippers, hems, lining and more.  It’s a sewing lesson from start to finish.

How to Sew A Skirt. Beginners tutorial series covers fabric, patterns, cutting out, darts, zipper, lining, hems and more. You can totally learn to sew from this set of tutorials - from So Sew Easy.The Summer Pleated Skirt Pattern – step by step

Download the pattern and check out the instructions provided for cutting your pieces.  Cut everything you need, and then add a light weight apparel interfacing to the outer waistband pieces.  We’re ready to start putting it all together.


Find the center of the front waistband and the center of the front skirt panel and mark them.  (I like to mark my fabrics with a Frixion pen as these are accurate, come in lots of colors and can simply we removed with heat.)

Check the table in your pattern instructions for where to mark your pleats and make a mark out in each direction from the center front.  Start pinning the skirt panel to the waistband at the center, then pin out to the pleat marks, placing a pin on each mark.


Then match the side seams with the outer waistband edges and pin in towards the center.  You’ll have some excess fabric.  Keep sliding this up towards the center as you pin and eventually you’ll come to that pin that marks the pleat.  Fold the excess fabric towards the center to create a pleat and pin it in place.


Stitch the waistband to the front panel with a 1/2 inch seam allowance.  Press both seam allowances upwards.  Set this piece aside.


Take your two skirt back panels and referring again to the table in the instructions, mark out from center back on each piece.  Start pinning the skirt panel to the back waistband at center back until you reach your mark.  Then pin in from the side seams until you reach that mark, folding the extra fabric towards center back to create your pleat.  Make sure the pleats are a mirror image of each other when you place your back pieces together.


Sew both back waistband pieces with 1/2 inc seam allowance. Press both seam allowances upwards.


Insert your skirt zipper into the center back.  Either follow these instructions for how to sew an invisible zipper, or follow the instructions below and in the video (if you need them) for how to add a regular skirt zipper.  Finish your back seam.

For my regular skirt zipper installation. 

  1. Pin the entire back seam.
  2. Mark where the bottom of your zipper will fall.  I decided to shorten mine a little.
  3. Baste with a long stitch from the top of the waistband to your mark.  Then stitch to a regular stitch length, back stitch a couple of times and then sew your regular 1/2 inch seam to the bottom hemline.  Neaten your seam.  Press the seam open where the zipper will fall.
  4. Place your zipper over the center back seam.  I lined up the end of the tape with the top of the waistband and made sure the zipper teeth followed the center seam.
  5. Pin, glue or otherwise temporarily secure the zipper.  I used two strips of Wonder Tape to hold it in place as I sew.
  6. Sew your skirt with the zipper upwards, using a zipper foot.  Start at the waistband, don one side, across the bottom (don’t hit the zipper stop!) and back up the other side.
  7. Remove your basting stitches and give it a press.

Regular zipper

Now pin your skirt panels and check for fit.  Make any fitting adjustments necessary before adding pockets.

Optional step – if you are adding side seam pockets to your skirt, measure down 1 inch from your waistband seam on the front and back panels.  Place your pocket pieces RST with the skirt panels with the top of the pocket at this 1 inch mark.


Sew your 4 pocket pieces in place with a 3/8th seam allowance.  The seam allowance should be a little narrower than you will use for your side seam.  Press the pockets out away from the skirt panels.


Match your side seams, matching waistband seams and pockets, RST.  Stitch from the top of the waistband, then around the pocket, then back down the side seam until you reach the bottom.  Use a 1/2 inc seam allowance.  Neaten your seams and press both towards the front to make the pockets sit nicely.

Assemble your inner waistband pieces.  If you had made any fitting adjustments, make the same changes here too.  Press side seams open and press up 3/8th of an inch all along the lower curved edge.


Pin your waistband RST, matching side seams.  Stitch across the front between the side seams.


At the back center, stitch your waistband to the zipper tape (see the video if you aren’t sure how to do this). Then resume stitching from the side seam to the center back.  Turn out your waistband the right way and try to get nice neat square corners (tip in the video on how to do this.)

You can click this image below to enlarge it for more detail.

Back zipper

Press the waistband top edge.  Pin the lower waistband inner edge to your seam allowance.


Either hand stitch the inner edge in place so your stitches can’t be seen from the outside, or sewing from the outside of the skirt, stitch close to the waistband edge catching the inner waistband fabric as you go.


Try on your skirt, check and pin the correct hem length for you.  Trim, neaten, turn and stitch your hemline with your favorite finish.  Give the skirt a final press and it’s ready to wear.

Opt In Image
Download the Free Easy Pleated Skirt Pattern

You can download the pattern from my design account on Craftsy.  Add it to your cart and check out - its FREE.  The pattern will be saved in your Pattern Library safely until you are ready to sew, then you can download and print it at any time.

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Free pattern, tutorial and video for how to make an easy pleated skirt for summer. Even has optional pockets!


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22 Responses to Simple Summer Pleated Skirt pattern

  1. Helen White says:

    Sew great.

  2. ema says:

    thanks a lot for your hard work.
    there is no free download option on craftsy ,only add to cart and add to wishlist.
    thanks again ema

  3. connieoi says:

    I just downloaded the pdf, and I’m a bit confused! It looks like there are pattern pieces for a waistband and a pocket — and nothing else? The pdf is only 8 pages.

    • Hi Connie. Did you read through the instructions yet? There are tables there for the pieces you need to cut for the front and back of the skirt. These are just rectangles shaped by the pleats. If you really wanted, you could cut a rectangle of paper and use that as your pattern piece, but its usually quicker and easier to draw right onto the fabric. So many people complain about printing rectangular pattern pieces that they don’t want, that I often don’t include these now, just dimensions. Let me know if you have any questions.

  4. Two totally different looks by changing the fabric. Really love the one in the first photo.

  5. Dot says:

    I love the blue fabric. Can I buy it online?

  6. Mei says:

    Thank you for sharing this project. Looks simple enough to get started 🙂
    Have a wonderful day.

  7. tea says:

    This is a very pretty skirt. I love your work

  8. Great skirt!! I’ve got a Craft Gossip post scheduled for later today that links to your pattern:

  9. Rosemary says:

    Hi Deby, I just love the way you present the tutorials, even tho I am a seasoned sewer, I delight in watching you and learn some new trips to boot. So thank you for this pattern, I have a few pieces of border prints, I didn´t quite know what to do with and now you have solved my problem. Thank you.

    • I’d collected a few too, and was not sure what to do. One I would really love to make into a dress, but pattern placement is so hard to make it look balanced. Maybe you’ll see it later this year if I can work it out. Great to have you following along.

  10. carol says:

    Thank you for the video. I now understand how to make a skirt. I will download the pattern and make my first skirt.

  11. Karen says:

    Thanks for the pattern. Will have to try to make time to sew for myself.

  12. sjmcclelland says:

    Deby – thanks for the pattern. I have a piece of fabric that is perfect for a light weight skirt and have been looking for the right pattern. I think this fits the bill perfectly (just need to get my printer working). Snowing near Toronto, Canada today too.

  13. Linda says:

    I really appreciate your patterns … even though they don’t come in my size. Usually I can adjust them but not always. Your sewing instructions are really clear.
    Linda … from just north of London … the snow finally stopped but the world looks white. Not too cold though.

  14. Val says:

    Than you Deby for the free pattern, I love the video tutorials as well. Oliver really makes it! Heading over to Craftsy for the pattern.
    Cheers and Happy Easter.
    Val in London Ontario Canada where we have snow coming down. I think it is about -1. Oh well spring will come soon hopefully.

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