Peekaboo Pleated Hem Tutorial

This post is sponsored by Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores.

Pleated Hem Tutorial

Hi friends! With spring finally arriving, it’s time to brighten up our wardrobes! Today I have a fun tutorial to teach you how to add a POP of color to a basic pencil skirt with a DIY pleated hem tutorial!

Pleated Hem TutorialPleated Hem Tutorial

Pencil skirts are a wardrobe staple for so many women, and flatter almost every body type. They can be easily dressed up or down, and a pleated hem is a perfect way to take your basic pencil skirt up a notch!

Pleated Hem Tutorial

Let’s get started!

DIY Pencil Skirt Tutorial

pencil skirt pattern of choice – I used a self drafted pattern but there are some great pattern options here and here
skirt fabric (add 1/2yd to fabric requirements for pleats)
inverted pleat fabric – 3/4yd – pictured is a neon pink bottomweight sateen
other supplies required per pattern instructions such as zipper, interfacing, etc
measuring tape
thread (one spool to match skirt fabric, and one spool to match inverted pleat fabric if contrast thread is desired at hem), pins, scissors

Cut Skirt Pieces:

To begin, we need to remove some length from the front and back skirt pieces to allow for the pleats. Shorten the front and back skirt pieces by 3.5” + the hem allowance included in the pattern. For example, if the pattern allows for a 1.5” hem allowance, you would shorten the skirt pieces by 5” (3.5”+1.5”).

Cut all other pieces required for skirt as directed in the pattern.

Pleated Hem TutorialCut Pleat Pieces:

Divide the finished bottom width (to do this, measure the bottom width of your shortened pattern pieces and subtract the seam allowances) of your skirt by 10 to get the width of each outer pleat. For example, the skirt shown has a finished bottom width of 38”, so each outer pleat is 3.8” when finished.

Add 1” to the finished pleat width for seam allowances, and cut 10 pieces of that measurement x 5” tall. In this example, each piece was cut 4.8”(3.8”+1”) x 5”.

For the inverted pleat, cut 10 pieces 2” wider than the width of the outer pleats x 5” tall. In this example, each piece was cut 6.8” (4.8”+2”) x 5”.

Pleated Hem TutorialSew Skirt:

Assemble skirt as directed in pattern, with the exception of the hem – we’ll do that next! If there is a back slit in the pattern, stitch it closed when you sew the center back seam together.

Pleated Hem TutorialSew Pleated Hem:

Right sides together, pin and stitch one outer pleat piece to one inverted pleat piece along 5” side, matching raw edges.

Pleated Hem TutorialContinue to stitch outer pleat pieces to inverted pleat pieces right sides together along 5” sides, alternating pieces. When all pieces are sewn together, sew the two ends together, forming one continuous loop.

Pleated Hem TutorialFinish seam allowances with serger or zig zag stitch (if you are using a zig zag stitch, trim seam allowances ¼” before stitching to remove bulk). Press seam allowances toward outer pleats.

Pleated Hem TutorialPress raw bottom edge of pleats ½” toward wrong side. Press another ½” toward wrong side and stitch close to inner pressed edge to secure hem.

Pleated Hem TutorialWrong sides together, press each seam flat where pleat pieces were joined together.

Pleated Hem TutorialPin each pressed edge of outer pleats to center of adjacent inverted pleats, creating a fold in inverted pleats.

Pleated Hem Tutorial Pleated Hem Tutorial

Stitch along pinned edge to secure pleats in place, ½” from raw edges.

Pleated Hem TutorialRight sides together, pin pleats to hem of skirt, matching raw edges. Stitch around pinned edge, securing pleats to skirt. Use serger or zig zag stitch to finish seam allowance and press seam allowance toward top of skirt.

Pleated Hem TutorialPleated Hem Tutorial

There you have it! Have fun adding different pops of color and your wardrobe will be ready for spring!

Pleated Hem TutorialPleated Hem Tutorial

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  1. Super cute! Great Tutorial as well…I have been sewing for years and do fashion on my blog..want to add sewing tutorials..but the time…ugg when you work full time..almost impossible!

    Happy Easter


    1. Thank you! And I agree, it’s definitely hard to find the time! I’m a firm believer that life has different seasons, so just look forward to when you WILL have the time!

  2. Oh my goodness I love this! Thank you for such a great fun tutorial.
    It looks super cute on you too!!

  3. Really cute! I just took the skirt sloper class on craftsy and I think this might be the first skirt I make. Thanks for the inspiration.

  4. Pingback: Peekaboo Pleated Hem Tutorial – sewing mania club
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  6. Looks very nice!
    I’ll make sure, a skirt like this is to be seen in Cologne, Germany next spring 😁
    Thanks for the nice idea❗

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