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How To Make Box Pleats And Inverted Box Pleats

Box pleats and inverted box pleats are often used in clothing, garments and sometimes decorative trimmings. Though they look high end and hard to create they aren’t. Here is how to make box pleats and inverted box pleats.

*Remember if you are creating the pleats from a pattern to follow that, mark out your spacing and follow the instructions.

Equipment And Materials

  • Fabric to your selected size and length
  • Tape Measure
  • Fabric Scissors
  • Chalk Pen/ Tailors Chalk
  • Ruler
  • Pins
  • Sewing Machine
  • Iron/Ironing Board

How To Make Box Pleats And Inverted Box Pleats

How To Make Inverted Box Pleats

Step One

Start by pressing your fabric so all wrinkles and fold lines are gone.

Step Two

If you are making pleats as a decorative trim or hem you will want to hem the bottom first. You can do this by pressing up 1cm fold and again to create a neat edge. Sew this into place with matching thread.

If you are making pleats within a garment you won’t necessarily need to hem straight away. Always check your pattern instructions first.

Step Three

Create drawn lines going vertically down the fabric piece from the top. I decided to use my quilting ruler as it gives me the most accurate measurements.

If you wish to use another tool than a chalk pen, you can alternatively use a friction pen or hand sew the lines into place.

You can otherwise you a tape measure or standard ruler. Mark the increments to how often you want your pleats to be. I chose to mark 1-inch increments so I could have close together pleats.

You can also change how deep your pleats are if you wish, this would just mean changing the 1 inch to 2, 3, etc.

Step Four

Next, take the first line and match it to the next, this will create a fold underneath.

Pin this into place, remember to create a straight and neat pleat to line up the drawn line and the top raw edge.

Pin the pleat at the top where it will be sewn into place.

If you want to keep your pleats quite tight and tidy you can also pin the bottom to hold them into place.

This technique can be useful if you are creating an inverted box pleat trim or edge and working with a long strip of fabric.

Step Five

Take the now pinned inverted box pleat to the ironing board and press into place. Try taking the pins out first as they will leave hole and marks on your fabric.

Take it one inverted box pleat at a time as to not lose where you are and have to start again.

Step Six

The inverted box pleats are now ready to sew into place. You can do this on the machine or by hand if you are more comfortable.

After a little while, the inverted box pleats will settle and look a little more natural and will give a softer flare.

How To Make Box Pleats

Step one

Start by pressing your fabric so all wrinkles and fold lines are gone.

Step Two

If you are making pleats as decorative trim or hem you will want to hem the bottom first. You can do this by pressing up 1cm fold and again to create a neat edge. Sew this into place with matching thread.

If you are working from a pattern making a garment such as a dress or skirt you won’t need to hem until the end. Though always double check the instructions before you get started.

Step Three

You can otherwise you a tape measure or standard ruler. Mark the increments to how often you want your pleats to be. I chose to mark 2-inch increments so I could have close together pleats.

You can change the measurements to be higher such as 2 or 3 inches. This will create a bigger and deeper pleat. You can also space you your pleats to look a little more natural flare or close together for a fuller effect.

Step Four

Next, take the first line and match it to the next, this will create a fold.

Pin this into place, remember to create a straight and neat pleat to line up the drawn line and the top raw edge.

Pin the pleat at the top where it will be sewn into place.

If you want to keep your pleats quite tight and tidy you can also pin the bottom to hold them into place.

Step Five

Take the now pinned box pleat to the ironing board and press into place. Try taking the pins out first as they will leave hole and marks on your fabric.

Take it one box pleat at a time as to not lose where you are and have to start again. If you wish to have very loose and easy flare to your box pleats only iron up to 1 inch of the top half of the pleat.

This will create a simple and easy pleat, holding the top part in place without creating a harsh fold all the way down.

Step Six

The box pleats are now ready to sew into place. You can do this on the machine or by hand if you are more comfortable.

After a little while, the box pleats will settle and look a little more natural and will give a softer flare.

That is everything on how to make box pleats and inverted box pleats. If you are looking at using them in a project and have any other questions let me know. If you have any other techniques you want to learn about leave me a comment below.