Learn How to Sew: Sewing Pleats

Sewing pleats is a talent that helps to add a tailored look to a piece of clothing as well as add comfort. By taking in pants or a skirt, the garment will look better on your body and showcase your figure. In just a few steps, you can learn to add pleats to pants and skirts.

Measure the Pleats You Want

To begin, you need to measure how wide you want the pleats to be. Larger pleats will tailor a garment more, but smaller pleats are more noticeable. Take some time to measure out the pleat sizes you like, holding them in place to see if you are satisfied. Then you will need to measure how long the pleats will be. Though you can have them as long as you like, classic pleats travel from the waist to the hips.

Supplies You Will Need

For this sewing project, you will need: sewing machine, thread that matches the color of the garment, pins, iron, measuring tape, and fabric marking pen. You might be able to use a traditional needle and thread for the pleat sewing, if you are comfortable.

Step 1 – Pinning Your Pleats

Once you’ve measured and determined where your pleats need to be, take some straight pins and pin them into place. You may even decide to iron them down to see what they look like. Measure to ensure the pleats are even from top to bottom since poor measurements can result in a problematic pleat. Make sure the pins are in straight and securely before sewing. Some fabrics are not made for pleating, especially those which are thick and stiff. Though professional tailors can handle these situations, the average sewing machine is not up to the task.

Step 2 – Sewing the Pleats in Place

Begin to sew the pleats from the right side of the pleat and only partially down the entire length. This leaves you some room to make mistakes and still be able to rip out the stitches. These initial stitches can be done by hand, though only if you sew evenly and consistently. In either case, use small stitches which will allow the fabric to gather evenly as it rests on the leg. Use the basting technique along the top of the pleats to hold them in place. This is best completed with a sewing machine.

Alternative Step – Hide Your Pleats

If you want to hide the pleats you created, just fold the fabric as you did with the pins in the initial step. Instead of sewing from the top of the fabric, create your stitches from the back of the garment, hiding them from sight. You would still baste these pleats as well, like you did for the traditional pleating. The process simply starts from the back and allows the stitches to be out of sight.

Sewing pleats will allow you take in your pants or your skirt when you’ve lost those last ten pounds. Now your wardrobe can keep up with your success in the gym.