BOX PLEATED SKIRT TUTORIAL

I’m not sure how much longer I can possibly drag out Alt Summit, but here we are over a month later and I’m still bringing it up. The last night was the mini parties, and for this night I wanted an outfit that was fun. I don’t know where the idea came from, but suddenly a graphic top and a pleated striped skirt was stuck in my brain and not going anywhere.
I searched high and low for some good fabric, until one day I ran across the perfect striped fabric at IKEA of all places. I know! It’s a home decor fabric so it’s a super heavy weight cotton, but since I wanted something full and poofy, it did the trick. I’m not wearing it these photos, but for the parties I threw my tulle skirt on underneath it and it became a big, huge bell, swinging around all night. I loved it.
The zebra sweater, glitter pumps, and big, colorful statement necklace were the perfect finishing touches, and made an unbelievably fun night even better. Before we get to the outfit and tutorial, I had to share a few quick photos from the party night…
kissing booth with Leanne and Ryan // chatting with the gorgeous Whippy Cake & Bella the Blog
hilarynicoleuyen, me and leanne at the secret garden party // abby, leanne, me, and janssen at susan’s epic shark tank viewing/dance party
Ok, on to the main event.

photos by Jylare Smith
___________________________
sweater: old navy
necklace: c/o lulu*s
skirt: made by me (similar)
shoes: made by me 
bag: similar
rings: c/o inpink & hello fab
sunglasses: c/o lulu*s 
Click through for the full tutorial!

Materials:
  • 2 yards (more or less depending on your size) fabric — I used this heavy weight cotton from IKEA which is stiffer than anything I normally sew with, but it works for this skirt.
  • matching thread
  • zipper (I used invisible)
  • clasp closure
1 // Measure from your waist to your knee-cap and cut your fabric accordingly. Now it should be 2 yards wide and [your measurement] tall.
2 // Pin 3″ wide box pleats across the entire 2 yards and then use a basting stitch to hold it in place (after I pleated the whole thing I measured it around my waist and ended up cutting off a few pleats. You may need to adjust the width of your pleats a little so the two ends connect perfectly at the zipper).
3 // With right sides together (R.S.T.), sew up the skirt, inserting a zipper at the top of the seam, as shown. Zigzag or serge the raw edge.
4 // Measure your natural waist and then cut a 3″ tall strip of fabric in that length, adding one inch for your seam allowance.
Fold in the short ends and hem, as shown.
Then fold the whole strip in half, length-wise, as shown.
5 // With right sides together, pin the waistband to the skirt, making sure to line up the open end of the waistband with the zippered side of the skirt. Attach the waistband with a straight stitch, making sure to sew slightly below your basting stitch to cover it up. Zigzag or serge the raw edge, and press the waistband up and flat.
Add a clasp closure to the waistband so the open ends overlap and close on your waist.
6 // Hem your skirt to your desired length, and you’re done!

30 Comments

  1. Demi says:

    Argh, this is exactly the kind of tutorial I needed! (That, and a cute pleated shorts one at some point)

    How do you keep everything symmetrical? By the time it comes to add the zip in, everything looks kind of messy and off-centre. Maybe I'm just a bad sewer 🙁

    Demi
    http://carbonchic.com.au

  2. Karen N says:

    This is adorable! I'm so math oriented, I have to break it down strictly into numbers. For the 3" pleats: 3" on your body is 9" of fabric. (3" for the face of the pleat, plus four 1 1/2" folds of fabric behind the pleat itself). My waist measurement is 27", so it works out super well for a multiple of 3". I would have nine 3" pleats, and would need a total width of 81" (9" per pleat), plus a 1" seam allowance. So 82" of fabric for my body.

    This would also let me purchase just the fabric I needed, or would save me from basting and finding out I should have done a slightly larger or slightly smaller pleat to symmetrically suit my waist size.

    • I'm definitely not math oriented, but this is perfect! I mentioned in the tutorial that some people might need to adjust the 3" pleats measurement so that their pleats match up perfectly on either side of the zipper; this math will be super helpful to anyone needing to figure out all the measurements, so thank you!

  3. Love that fabric!! I had no idea Ikea had fabric like that! Time to make a trip to Ikea… 😉

  4. Joanna says:

    these are some of the prettiest pictures of you to date!

  5. Paige Flamm says:

    Wow! Is there anything you can't make? This skirt is fabulous! Great job!

    Paige
    http://thehappyflammily.com

  6. Just gorgeous, love it! I have just this kinda fabric (but blue and white) sitting around since last year…now I finally know what to do with it! Hope I have enough to make two as I'd love to try one for my little girl as well as myself…I think a 5 yr old version would be adorable! Thanks so much for sharing.

  7. Cynthia says:

    I love this! I bought the same fabric from IKEA in red, in hope of making a skirt like this. I can't wait to make one using your tutorial!

  8. Maria Modl says:

    Love love love the illustrated tutorial! And fabric from IKEA? Genius. What a great project 🙂

    Maria
    http://adifferentfashionmm.blogspot.com

  9. Hanna Bar-or says:

    Thank you for the tutorial!!! I've been wanting a striped skirt and can't wait to sew my own! I've had my sewing machine for a while now, but have been a little intimidated to start sewing haha. I think having this cute skirt is motivation enough 🙂

    Hanna
    goldpolkadots.com

  10. So you say 2 yards of fabric, more or less depending on your size. May I ask what size you are, for reference?

  11. Thanks for the tutorial! This is the first skirt I've tried to make. Sorry I had to cut my face out of the picture, I was looking down and I had a gross double chin thing going on. The fabric I used has little fruits and veggies all over it 🙂 http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v17/bunnysuitdriver/skirt_zpsef2f7872.jpg

  12. I made nearly this exact same skirt for a taping of the Ellen show in December, but a tad shorter and fuller. they must have liked it because they requested that I sit on the end. that fabric has such a great stiffness for this style. great minds think alike!

  13. I just found your blog and am loving all these great tutorials…I actually did this exact same thing also with Ikea fabric! It was the perfect skirt for hiding postpartum pounds too. Love it 😉
    http://whiskem.blogspot.com/2013/09/bell-skirt-tutorial.html

  14. Piarve says:

    I didn’t realise IKEA sold fabric. Next time I am around I will have a browse. Also the skirt has come out very nice. I used your tutorial as reference to make my own, I used light weight cotton but it still had some volume (perhaps because I ended up making the waist too large, as a result I carefully gathered the skirt into the waistband).

    Nice skirt, and nice presentation.

    https://modisteword.com/wardrobe

  15. Caroline says:

    LOVE IT!! I’ve been looking for a silk satin B&W fabric to do exactly this pattern. I’m going to IKEA today!! Brilliant! Love your website. Love your ideas Thank you!!!!!!

  16. Ellie says:

    I’m going to try this but the fabric I found was quite thin. I wanted a thick fabric but couldn’t find anything I liked. So I’m wondering how would I go about adding a lining into this tutorial? I’m a beginner so any help is soooooo appreciated

  17. sara says:

    made the skirt. love it. thx for the tutorial

  18. Zuzana Janockova says:

    thank you for tutorial, Here are my skirts I made for myself and my little princess 🙂

  19. Indy says:

    Hi I’m new at sewing and I just don’t understand how to attach the waistband? For the life of me I can’t figure it out…the waist band is folded so does that mean the raw pleated skirt edge goes inbetween the fold? And if so how would so see that with out the raw edge of the waist band showing? As you can see I’m abit lost. Any help would be appreciated!

    • Merrick says:

      Hi! The raw pleated skirt edge WILL NOT go in between the fold…the two raw edges of the waistband will match up with the raw pleated skirt edge, making the folded edge point down toward the hem of the skirt. Then sew over all three raw edges. The folded edge of the waistband will become the top of the skirt, so once you attach the waistband to the skirt you’ll fold it upright and press it in place. Does that make more sense?

  20. lynlyn says:

    hi, greetings…
    great skirt, great tutorial… i WILL be trying…

    i want to know…. what kind of cloth did you use?

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