DIY: Box Pleat Skirt

I’m so in love with the box pleat skirt trending right now. It reminds me of Audrey Hepburn’s iconic skirt that she wore in Roman Holiday. I first laid eyes on this pretty piece of sartorial at Miss Selfridge. It was retailing at RM200 in plain black duchess satin and I told myself “Screw it! I’ll sew one for a quarter of the price”. After all, it’s really simple. I walked into Kamdar and bought this pretty regal floral brocade for RM50. I was obviously pleased with myself.

Here’s the tutorial:chinese-brocade-2 chinese-brocade


What you’ll need:

-Basic sewing kit (Fabric scissors, sewing machine, pins, chalk, ruler & measuring tape)
-Invisible Zipper
-Soft Waistband
-Candle (optional)

1. To determine the amount of fabric to buy, you’ll first need to measure your waist and multiply the total by 3, then add another 20cm extra. I’ll use my measurements as an example: (Waist) 72cm X 3 = 216cm + 20cm is 236cm. It’s always good to buy extra fabric if you’re not so sure.

2. Use a chalk to mark your measurements onto your fabric.You’ll need your waist measurement x 3, that will be the width of your skirt. Then proceed to measure the desired length of your skirt. Please note that the starting point of the length measurement should be at you waist. Next, add in your fabric allowances. It should be 1.5cm for the top, 2.5cm at the sides for your zipper and 3cm for the hem. Mark these measurements onto your fabric (as shown below) and cut. Slide1

3. Now let’s cut out the waistband fabric. Take your actual waist measurement add 5cm for your width. The height should be the Width of your waistband + 4cm for sewing allowance. Mine was 10cm in total.Waistband4. Immediately serge your both your waistband fabric and skirt fabric after cutting to prevent it from fraying. You can get it done at your neighbourhood tailor.

Pleated-skirt-tutorial 2However, if you’re using a fabric that frays fast and easily like mine, a quick solution would be to burn the edges with a candle before sending it to the tailor. Tip: Cut away the frayed edge before burning to avoid setting your entire fabric on fire!Stop-fabric- fraying

5. Once that’s done, you can start marking your pleats! You start by deciding the number of pleats you want, I chose to have 8. Then take your waist measurement and divide by the number of pleats of your choice. Here’s how I did mine: 72cm (Waist) / 8 (No. of Pleats) = 9cm. Mark your results onto your fabric, start from the allowance line as shown below, feel free to use chalk instead of pins.

Pleated-skirt-tutorial 37. To begin pleating, take the Pin 1 and fold it towards Pin 2. Next, take Pin 3 and fold it towards Pin 4. Pin down your pleats and repeat until you’ve pleated the entire skirt.


Your pleats should look like this:

9. Sew your pleats to keep them in place and iron to shape.

Pleated-skirt-tutorial-5 Pleated-skirt-tutorial-6

10.Then take your waistband fabric, pin it onto your skirt and sew.


Tip: As you’re sewing your waistband fabric, make sure you stitch on top of the same stitches used to hold your pleats in Step 9.


11. Up next, place your waistband onto your waistband fabric at the seam line.


12. Fold waistband fabric over, pin it down and iron flat.


13. Remove your waistband, measure the length of your zipper’s “teeth” and mark onto your fabric starting from the freshly ironed line of your waistband fabric. Sew the back together.


14. Now, install your invisible zipper. Feel free to refer to my zipper tutorial here. Be sure to place your zipper all the way to the ironed line of your waistband fabric. Tip: Do not to sew too tight between the connecting seam of the skirt and the waistband fabric.


15. When that’s done, close the waistband fabric by flipping the excess to the back. Pin it down and sew.


16. Re-insert your waistband, pin and sew using a large sized stitch. Cut away any excess waistband.


17. Flip the fabric over to cover the waistband and pin your fabric from the front.


18. Close the waistband fabric by sewing directly on top of the seam.


19. Fold and iron the hem at the bottom of your skirt. Sew to finish.


Voila! You’re done!

[Wearing] Hat: H&M, Jewelled Necklace:, Heels: Zalora