For those of you making a pleated Wattle skirt – this post is all for you! And it’s going to be a fun one, because there are actually many different pleat patterns you can choose from. And I’m going to show you five of them today!
It’s important to note that you may find it easier to wait to attach your pockets until after you’ve completed your pleats. But you can also do pockets first, if you’d like. You’ll notice in the different samples before that some have pockets already, and some don’t.
Ok, let’s see what these pleat patterns are and you can decide which you like best! Or maybe you want to play around and create your own pleat pattern. The sky is the limit with this one…
Before you start, make sure you transfer all of the pleat marks to your fabric. Normally, you would make all markings on the wrong side of the fabric. But for pleats, I like to mark on the right side of the fabric. Just make sure you use a water soluble fabric marker, tailor chalk, or something else that will wipe off easily when you’re done.
For the sake of this tutorial, I’ve also marked the center front in red (as well as the side seam allowance on the samples that don’t have pockets attached yet).
// One Direction – Right to Left //
For this one, we’re going to make all the pleats go in one direction – right to left. I know it looks like it’s going left to right above, and you will be working left to right. But remember, we’re doing this from the right side of the fabric. So when you are wearing it, it will be right to left. I hope this isn’t too confusing!
Starting at the very left side, bring the first pleat notch over to meet the second notch. Pin in place.
Then bring notch 3 over to meet notch 4 and pin. And so on, and so on.
Keep moving and overlapping left to right until you reach the last pleat mark.
And remember – if you’ve already attached the pockets, make sure your left side pleats are through the skirt front and pocket bag only, leaving the pocket loose.
// One Direction – Left to Right //
This is the same exact concept, but with the pleats moving from left to right. So you will be working right to left while looking at the right side of the fabric. Again, sorry if this is confusing!
Starting at the very right side, bring the first pleat notch over to meet the second notch. Pin in place. Then bring notch 3 over to meet notch 4 and pin. And so on, and so on.
If you’ve already attached the pockets, make sure the pleats on that side are through the skirt front and pocket bag only, leaving the pocket loose.
Keep going and overlapping right to left until you’ve reached the last pleat mark on the left.
// From Center Front Towards Side Seams //
This is actually the pleat pattern that is shown in the instructions. It starts at center front, and radiates out towards each side seam.
Start with the first notch on the right side of Center Front.
Move over and match up with the next notch and pin in place.
Keep going until you reach the very last pleat marking.
Remember, if you’ve already attached the pockets, make sure your left side pleats are through the skirt front and pocket bag only, leaving the pocket loose.
Now go back to the Center Front, and start with the first notch on the opposite side of CF.
Move it over and match it up with the next notch. Pin in place.
Keep going until you reach the very last pleat mark.
So the pleats on either side of CF are going in opposite directions.
// Box Pleats //
Now we are getting into a couple of slightly more complicated patterns, but such pretty results!
This is a type of box pleat. Each side of every pleat is folded in the opposite direction.
Lets begin by creating the CF pleat first.
Start with the first pleat mark on one side of CF.
Bring that first marking over to meet the second mark and pin in place.
Repeat for the other side of CF – bringing the first mark to meet the second one.
Keep going, following the arrows in the first photo.
For the second pleat, skip ahead to marking 4, and bring it back to match number 3. Then bring 5 to meet 6. To finish it up, skip over to 8 and bring it back to meet 9. And then repeat for the other side.
// Inverted Pleats //
An inverted pleat is similar to a box style pleat, just the opposite. Each side of the pleat comes together to meet in the middle.
Again, start with the first pleat mark on one side of center front.
Bring it over to meet your CF mark.
Repeat with the first mark on the other side of CF – bring it over to meet the CF mark, butting up against the other side you just did.
You can see how the pleat meets in the middle. Now repeat for the other pleats.
On one side, bring mark number 2 to meet mark 3, then mark for to also meet mark 3. So on, and so on.
Here is what it looks like!
A note for this pleat pattern – because of how we used the CF as a pleat mark, you will be left with an extra pleat mark on either end. Just leave them! I measured to make sure it measures up correctly compared to other pleat patterns. And that is something you should do if you are playing around and creating your own pleat patterns as well – make sure you are not messing with your waist measurement.
/ / / /Continue For All Pleat Patterns / / / /
So once you’ve decided on your pleat pattern and pinned in place….
Staystitch the pleats on place just under 5/8″ from the raw edge.
Remember, if you’ve already attached the pockets, make sure you do not sew the left pocket closed when you staystitch, only sew through the skirt front and the pocket bag. The right side will be pleated and sewn through all layers – skirt front, pocket bag, and pocket.
If you haven’t attached your pockets to your skirt front yet, do it now (you can follow those instructions here).
And then repeat the same pleat and staystitch process for your Skirt Back.
Place your Skirt Front and Skirt Back together with right sides together.
Line up the side seams and notches and pin in place.
Sew each side seam 5/8″ from the raw edge. Finish each raw edge with your preferred method.
Press the side seams either open or towards the back. Turn your skirt right way around, and you can see how it’s starting to look like a skirt! And see how the left pocket is left open.
Here’s the full list of Wattle posts and tutorials:
- Pattern Tester Round-up
- Inspiration + Ideas
- Pockets (all views)
- Bias Cut seams (views A & D) and Tips for Pattern Matching
- Pleats (view B) and Alternate Pleat Patterns (this post!)
- Gathers (view C)
- Button Waistband
- Tie Waistband
Don’t have the Wattle sewing pattern yet?! Order Wattle today! We absolutely love seeing what you make, so don’t forget to tag your creations with #MNwattle and @megannielsenpatterns when sharing on social media, and check out what everyone else is up to!