Tuesday, February 10, 2015

High-Waisted Box-Pleat Skirt

 I had the opportunity to make this lovely skirt recently for a good friend.  I used an excellent skirt tutorial I found from This Big Oak Tree. I made a few of changes per my friend's request and to make her chosen fabric work with this design: 
  • I added medium-weight iron-on interfacing to the belt portion
  • I added a bow tie to the front (instead of the tied sash in the original tutorial).
  • I made box pleats instead of a gathered waist.
  • I moved the zipper to the back and made the body of the skirt from one piece of fabric (instead of 2 pieced together).

To make this skirt you'll need: 
  • 1.5-2.5 yards of fabric (depending on your size). This was a light, flowing polyester. Cottons, cotton blends, silk, or chiffon would all work beautifully.
  • 1/2 yard medium weight iron-on interfacing
  • 7-9" zipper
  • corresponding thread 

  1. Follow the measuring instructions in this post from This Big Oak Tree to cut out the waistband (not the sash). Cut out the body of the skirt as one piece (double the width measurements instead of cutting two pieces). Add on a few more inches of width to the body if you prefer a fuller skirt. 
  2. Cut out interfacing to the same dimensions as the waist-band and iron on. 
  3. Follow the instructions below to create box-pleats in the skirt.
  4. Assemble the skirt as shown in the Big Oak Tree tutorial. 
  5. Cut out a 12 x 22 inch piece and a 3 x 6" piece of fabric and interfacing to make the bow. Iron the interfacing to the fabric. Follow the instructions for assembling the bow in the Bitty Bitty Bow-tie Onesie post. (This is the same, just not bitty-bitty). Add a broach pin to the back and attach to the front of the skirt waistband.

Box Pleat Tutorial:

1. Find the center of the skirt body by folding in half. Place a pin to mark the center, then unfold.

2. At the center point, make a 1 inch fold to the right, then take the top of that and fold it back to the left to create an "S" of folded 1" parts. 

3. Pin this in place through all 3 folds.

4. To the left of this "S" fold, create a mirror image "Z" fold and pin in place to create you first box pleat. This will be the center of the front of the skirt body.

5. Continue to create identical box pleats, leaving 1/4 inch between each one. Fill each side of the skirt with them. Measure when you are getting close to the ends to see how close you are coming to matching the measurements of the waistband. Add or subtract single pleats to fit the waistband (make sure you have an even number on each side of the center). You'll want to have at least 1/2 inch without pleats to install the zipper. Sew a straight stitch across the top (about 1/4 inch seam allowance) to secure, removing pins as you go. 

I just love the tailored look that box pleats give a skirt. They are a simple way to make the difference between casual and dressy in any full skirt you are making.

A big THANK YOU to my lovely model! She was so cooperative and poised! Well done!


  1. Cute skirt. I can't sew to save my life though....lol. I still send any urgent sewing back to my mum!

    Thanks for sharing at Marvelous Monday on Smart Party Planning.

  2. Love this!! I think it would look so nice on me and hide any "flaws". ;-) Thanks for sharing at the Pin Junkies Link Party! Have a great week!

  3. This is so cute! I am just getting back into sewing and need to practice a bit more before I take on this one BUT I can't wait to try it! Thanks for sharing at the Lets Get Real BlogHop! Following you now and seriously trying this one!

  4. Cute skirt and a very easy sew! Good job! www.thatblackchic.com

  5. Such a cute skirt! You did a great job making it. Pinning!
    -Leia @ Eat It & Say Yum

  6. Whoa girl, this skirt is crazy cute. The color is really great, and that bow is just the perfect addition! I love making skirts too and I tend to gravitate towards circle skirts, but you've totally inspired me to try to box pleating. Thanks for sharing your process!

  7. That is just lovely. beautiful colour and the box pleats make it just a little smarter than gathers - love it!

  8. It's gorgeous! I might even try my hand at this, you make it look so easy! Thanks for sharing :)

  9. I LOVE THIS! I wish I could wear it :( I have such high hips and everything looks funky on me but luckily i have a tiny daughter I can make things for lol! Thanks for linking up at Totally Terrific Tuesday! I hope you made it back this week, and stop back monday 10pm eastern for the next party! Pinned and Shared!

  10. What a cute skirt, and I LOVE that color!!! Please come share your blog posts over at the Home Matters Linky Party! We'd love to have you for a visit. The Door is OPEN. http://lifewithlorelai.com/2015/03/05/home-matters-linky-party-27/ :)

    Life With Lorelai