How To Sew A Really Good Pleat


I have one big issue with pleat instructions in sewing patterns. They instruct you to construct pleats from the right side of the fabric, but we usually mark crease lines on the wrong side of fabric.

That’s a recipe for inaccuracy.

But there is an alternative and I’m here to share it!

Mark crease lines in chalk on the wrong side of the fabric. Then thread trace the lines, ideally in a silk thread. (Silk thread is super slippery, which makes it much easier to remove the basting.)


Pleats are usually marked with a row of small dots that is brought together to meet a row of large dots. Replicate this distinction by using different coloured threads for each set of dots. Yellow thread for small dots; pink thread for large dots.


Flip your work over to the right side. See how easy it is to see the pleat lines? Now, you can press them into place from the right side, as instructed, and machine baste. You’ll have perfect pleats set in place for the rest of your project construction.



I promise this makes life easier!

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22 Responses to How To Sew A Really Good Pleat

  1. Kleines Quota says:

    This is great. Thank you! (I love that fabric. 😍)

  2. PocketC says:

    I’ve been looking at doing pleats on a neckline, so this is super helpful! Thanks!

  3. Caroline says:

    Such a great tip. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Helena Wagstaff says:

    Great tips and beautiful fabric, look forward to seeing finished garment.

  5. Cool tip! Can’t wait to see this made up, the neckline looks super interesting!

  6. Su says:

    Thanks for that!

  7. Candie Graham says:

    I love tips gained from real life experience! Thanks for this.

  8. Sue Schnabel says:

    Great tip. Thanks for sharing.

  9. Clémence says:

    Thank you for this!

    I love pleated skirts, they are probably my favorite thing to wear but I definitely shy away from sewing them because I have such issues making sure the pleats are even! I will definitely use this next time I sew a pleated skirt!

  10. Irene says:

    This is an absolutely brilliant idea!

  11. Sue says:

    Thanks for the tip. The neckline on your garment looks most interesting and so does the fabric. Can’t wait for the reveal!

  12. Aly Hookway says:

    Fabric is amazing.

  13. amcclure2014 says:

    I’m looking forward to seeing the finished item. The pleat detail and fabric look beautiful

  14. I am really slapdash at transferring marking so tend to thread trace and tailor tack everything. It makes life so much easier and although it takes a bit more time upfront it saves an awful lot of ripping out. Your pleats are stunning and that is such an interesting neckline. The fabric is stunning. Can you tell us what pattern you were using or do we wait for the big reveal? Can’t wait to see how this looks made up. Xx

  15. Thank you so much for sharing this with us! I’m totally saving this tip for later 😀

  16. Claire Castle says:

    Wonderful tip – makes me realise I should be sewing more complicated patterns for myself not just quick and easy . ( made my 3 year old grandson a pair of jeans recently but wouldn’t do for myself!)
    Looking forward to seeing your finished garment.

  17. La Vonda C says:

    Different COLORS???? That is some kind of Hogwarts magic right there.

  18. PsychicSewerKathleen says:

    Great tip! I’ve often looked at that myself and often forget about tacking! Tailors do this all the time and when I get into sewing a lot of silk I do tacking all the time because I’m afraid any of my markers will leave a stain but I forget it about it otherwise. A great reminder. I too LOVE your fabric here. Gorgeous 🙂

  19. Fab tip, can’t wait to see what you’ve made. I’m kicking myself for not buying that fabric from TMOS!

  20. Meg says:

    I can’t believe I never thought of that! This is going to revolutionize my sewing!

  21. Debra Levesque says:

    It is amazing how the simplest ideas can be the best solution. Thanks for sharing

  22. Diana C says:

    Brilliant! Lovely neckline – can I ask the pattern?

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