Pleats Tutorial

Like I promised in my last post about my 50's/80's dress, here is the slash and spread method I learnt years ago to create pleats. It works everytime and after you've done it once it all makes sense. You can use this method to create pleats anywhere on your pattern, I'm doing my pleats on my skirt pattern piece.

1. Make sure your pattern piece is ready with any pocket/yoke/straps notches already marked. Decide how deep you want your pleats, I went for 6cm. Because the pleat is folded in half, this means the pleat will go in 3cm then back out 3 cm. 

2. Mark on your pattern piece where you want the pleats to appear, then number your pieces to avoid any confusion and cut the pieces out.

3. On my pattern piece the hem is the straight edge. So I am going to use the hem as a guide to line up each piece. If it helps, you can rule out a line on the paper to use as a guide. Use a long piece of paper and glue down one piece from the furtherest side and square out a line from the hem.

4. Mark your pleat allowance from the edge of the pattern piece (6cm for me) and glue down your second piece. Find where half the pleat allowance is and mark the line, this is the pleat fold line.

5. Repeat for all the other pieces.

6. To cut out the pattern piece, I like to fold the pleats and then cut out the pieces. This way you will get the right shape around the pleats.

7. Remark your seam allowances and.... TA-DA!



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