DIY Pleated Skirt Tutorial (like the American Apparel Tennis Skirt)

DIY Pleated Skirt Tutorial (like the American Apparel Tennis Skirt)

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[Intro music] Hi! Today I’m going to show you how to make a knife pleated skirt with a hidden zipper.
So let’s begin! So, the first thing you need to do is to take
your waist measurement just below the smallest part of your waist, or where ever you want
your skirt to sit. My waist measurement is 30 inches. Multiply
this measurement by three add two inches to either side for the zipper and the seam allowance
and this will be the width of your fabric. The length will be however long you want your
skirt to be. Mine is 17 inches. Cut a piece of fabric out to this size.
Start making your measurements from 1 inch in. This will allow you to insert a hidden
zipper later on. Make a mark along the fabric every 3 inches until you reach the end of
your fabric. Your marks will go in a repeating pattern. One, two, three, one, two, three.
Put a pin in every “one” mark. To make a pleat, pinch the fabric at “one”,
fold it over to “three”, and remove the pin from “one” and pin it in place.
Here’s how it looks from the opposite angle, which might make this clearer. Pinch the fabric
at “one”, fold it over to “three”, remove the pin from “one”, pin it in place. Continue doing
this all the way along your skirt. Once it’s all pinned up like this, sew using
a straight stitch in the opposite direction from where you pleated it. This will make
sure that you won’t bunch up the pleats on the other side of the fabric.
Then (and this is optional) you can sew down each pleat, one or two inches.
On the bottom of the skirt (the edge without the pleats) make a hem by folding this raw
edge up twice, and using a straight stitch, stitch over the top. This is called a rolled
hem. Now, I should have ironed my skirt before
sewing it, but it doesn’t really matter. You can iron your pleats flat here too. Basically
though when in doubt, IRON EVERYTHING! 😀 One last little thing is remember that 1 inch
you left free for the hidden zipper? Pin this bit down out of the way so it won’t get
caught up when you sew on your waist band and we’ll come back to this bit later.
Cut out another rectangle of fabric whose dimensions are the same as the width of your
pleated skirt. So mine is 32 inches, and whose height is about double the thickness that
you want your waist band to be. Fold this in half length-ways, right sides together.
Then you ‘re going to do a straight stitch right down the length like this, and then
turn the tube inside out when you are done, and it’s a good idea to iron this flat.
Then place the waist band on top of the skirt right sides together. Pin it on so it’s
lined to the top raw edge of the pleats. Attach it to the skirt using a straight stitch, and
go slowly while you’re sewing here. And that’s your waistband done!
Fold your skirt over rights sides together so that the end with the raw edge hidden under
the pleat (that bit that you pinned out of the way earlier) meets up with the raw edge
at the other end of the skirt. Pin these two together all the way down that
length. Match up the zipper next to the skirt, and make a mark where the zipper ends. So
you would do a proper back-tack straight stitch down this part of the skirt to attach these
two ends of the skirt together, but above the mark you would just do a very long basting
stitch, which is a loose temporary stitch to hold the fabrics together.
Press this seam open and place your zipper face down on top of the seam. Line the zipper
teeth up with the seam, and pin it on one side only. Then sew down the side that doesn’t
have the pins on it. When you get to the bottom, remove the pins, and sew back up the other
side. So once you’ve sewn the zipper on, the right side of your fabric skirt will look
like this. Bust the zipper out of there by ripping apart the basting stitch that you
made before, and there’s your hidden zipper! So you could add buttons in this step, but
I’m going to use press studs because they’re really easy to add to a garment.
[Annotation: I also finished off the raw edges of the waistband by folding them underneath,
and sewing across] I’m going to figure out where I want my
press studs to go on the waistband so it will close up the hidden zipper, and then I just
attach them using a needle and a thread. And so now my skirt closes up, awesome! And
this is the finished result. So that’s all there is to it, and if this
video helped you out then please give me a thumbs up, subscribe to my channel, and I’ll
see you guys in my next video. [outro music]

22 thoughts on “DIY Pleated Skirt Tutorial (like the American Apparel Tennis Skirt)”

  1. Thank you!!! Your tutorial made making knife pleats seem so much less intimidating. I am making doll clothes and was looking for a much easier explanation.

  2. Do you multiply your waist measurement by the number of inches you want between each mark? I'd love to make this, but I want my pleats to be smaller

  3. Does anyone know how to sew a flat waistband like this when you have super sloping hips? My waist is a lot smaller than my hips are, so with this method I end up with a tight fit on the bottom of the waistband, but a lot of excess fabric at the top. I just can't figure out how to sew it so that it will sit flat. Basically I need a waistband thats a lot wider at the bottom than it is at the top, but I don't know how to do it. Please help if you can! Thank you

  4. I love your channel so much. I've always wanted to make my own clothes but I was always scared that it was too hard because everytime i watched tutorials they were always too complicated. They way you explain things is easy to understand when you're dumb like me hahaha. Thank you!

  5. How wide did you make each pleat?
    Sorry, I am having trouble figuring out the formula you used and how to modify it to my costume skirt, which has two inch wide pleats all around.

  6. I know this comment is really late but thank you very much for this tutorial! It was so helpful and the voice over made it easier to understand. I can't wait to start sewing!

  7. I've watched your videos for a while and I have been really inspired to try and sew something myself I ended up making this and it was super easy because you gave such clear instructions. Thanks for the inspiration and awesome videos!


  9. If you want to make the knives/ pleats more narrow, do you multiply your waist measurement by the desired width of the pleat and still fold the fabric the way you are doing it (every 3rd measurement)?

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