Thursday, May 24, 2012

Hip to Be Square: Box Pleat Skirt Tutorial

Sorry I didn't post this yesterday.  We spontaneously did this...
And this...
 The one on the left is NOT mine... no new children here. ;)

 ... at Aunt Nancy's house (or as Riley calls her-- Aunt Ancy).  Thanks, Aunt Ancy! :)

But without further ado, here's the Box Pleat Skirt!  


Okay, so it's not really made from squares but rectangles... BUT it's made with box pleats, and boxes are square (technicality: cube), so can we compromise?  Whew.  Thanks!

about 1/2 yard main fabric
1/4 yard coordinating fabric
1/2 inch elastic


Cut 9 rectangles each of your fabrics...
for the main fabric, cut them 6 inches wide by the length you want (mine are 12 inches)
for the coordinating, cut 3 inches by length. 

TIP: For each main rectangle you cut, your skirt will, after pleating it, be 3 inches wider.  You want to get it wider than your girly's waist, so you can cinch it in with the elastic.  So with 9 rectangles, this skirt is 27 inches.  Then I bring it in to 21 with elastic.  Add or subtract rectangles as you wish!

Sew long sides of rectangles together, going every other.  Zig-zag each seam to finish.  (Engage in self-talk, such as "Oh my gosh, this is mind-numbing.  I can feel my mind actually numbing... So many rectangles!  Argh!  I have to zig-zag stitch them, too.  This skirt better rock...  It does.  I know it does.  Okay... I can do this!")

 Once you get a big loop of a skirt sew, press the seams OUT from the smaller rectangles, so they are over the big ones.

Hem the whole thing up by pressing over 1/4 inch then another 1/4 inch.

Find the center of your smaller rectangles (1 and 1/8 inches in).  Mark.

Fold big rectangles from the seams into that center mark.

I don't know if this helps, but here's what it looks like from this angle...

Once you get all those guys box pleated, basted them in place.

Now cut a 3 inch by 28 inch  rectangle for your waist band.  Stitch short ends together, using a 1/2-inch seam allowance.  Then fold it in half like so and press.

Line all raw edges up and sew skirt to waistband, leaving 3/4 inch open.

Zig-zag stitch, leaving that opening.  Then just thread your elastic through (mine is 21 inches) and close up the opening.

Twirl away!



  1. Adding it to the list. YOu are very hard to keep up with, but Ruth is one well dressed little girl thanks to you. Amy H.

  2. More fabulous girlie twirly skirts... love the contrasting colours! Great tutorial as always.

  3. This is the best tutorial ever! I just learned how to sew and this is my first skirt! My daughter will be pleased when she wakes up. Thank you for this great tutorial from the Netherlands (found it on pinterest).

  4. Making this for my daughter (12), it upsized very well. She's super tall, so it's hard to find appropriate clothes for her in the juniors department. I'm making it a bit more complicated, however, by topstitching the first 3 inches of the pleats and adding a ruffled underskirt. I've also used repurposed materials, an old skirt of mine, and a sheet. Next time I will hem the sides of each strip first because it frayed pretty badly.
    Anyway, I just wanted to thank you for the inspiration and your great tutorial.

  5. I just made this but my skirt won't fit into the waist band. Was there a step that was skipped? I followed your directions to the tee.


I love comments more than I love buying new fabric, and that's saying something. :)