The Box-pleat Skirt… part 1

Alright, so those of you who remember my threat to attempt a skirt without a pattern… this skirt actually, I am going to blog it.  Not a tutorial, mind you, so don’t go getting your machine out just yet.

I found this online, and after reading it a dozen times, I started, fuzzily, to believe I could do this.

I broke down and bought one of those little slide rulers with the plastic arrows for this.

So here I am, hemming 15 feet of fabric.  I started to feel like I was working with a bedsheet, but now I realize a bedsheet is much smaller.

Did i mention the 15 feet?

The next part was the chalking.  Now, i just used plain old dollar store chalk and it worked just fine.  Here I had to chalk the ‘fell’, which is basically waist to butt, and then from there chalk in the 42,000 pleats.  Okay, so there were 12 pleats at 3″ and the insides, which were 5 1/4″.  I’m using the kitchen table, but I cleaned it twice, just to insure ensure no peanut butter stains.  You can see all the fabric bunched up in the chair at the top.

Next, I had to sew the box pleats all the way down.  I see the sanity in this– the X-kilt guy said that if you don’t do this, you will never find your pleats again.  It took about 2 hours.

OMG there is so much left!!  Working with that much yardage was awkward– I’m glad I have mom’s sewing table!

Pins are my friends!  It took forever to pin each individual pleat line, but I didn’t have any trouble sewing them– none of that catching background fabric or anything.


I did, however, get a lot of these.  I found out they are called birdnests, and weren’t they a pain to undo!  Of course, both the top and bottom stitching is on the outside of the skirt, so I can’t just leave them and pretend they didn’t happen.  Darn it all.

So here it is, all pleated and ironed and pinned at the fell, ready to tack.  I am pretty proud of it so far– let’s see what happens when I start stitching the fells, since I have to taper them.    Wish me luck!


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trudy Winslow
    Jun 04, 2011 @ 14:06:04

    Dearest Elizabeth, You have taken on a huge project here…..I am so proud of you and it is coming out so well. You must have the patience of Job…good going and I will keep checking in with you to see how it is going….love, Trudy


    • llewcie
      Jun 04, 2011 @ 15:00:09

      I miss you! Remember when we were going to make those Beetlejuice pants? I still have the fabric lol. I might take a crack at it after this. Thank you for your encouragement, and I will definitely keep you posted!


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