Sewing Tutorial: Making Pleats for Shirts

Updated: Feb 16


We encounter various types of pleats when making shirt projects. Here’s a short tutorial on how to create some of the common pleats.

CENTRE BACK BOX PLEAT

To make the Centre Back (CB) box pleat, you need to notch or chalk the following positions:

  1. CB

  2. Position A: This is one of the folded edges of the box pleat visible from the outward-facing side of the fabric.

  3. Position B: This is one of the folded edges of the box pleat on the inside. For the box pleat designs we use in our patterns, B will be underneath A once it’s folded correctly.

Make sure Positions A and B are marked on both the left and right sides of the back (mirrored).

The above image shows the outward-facing side of the fabric. It will be easier to make the box pleat if the markings are done on this side.


The image above shows the direction in which to fold the fabric. Fold Position A to Position B.


The right side of the box pleat has been folded. You can see that A is on top of B. Pin the pleat carefully.


The left side of the box pleat is now folded.


Staystitch the box pleat across the top within the seam allowance.


The box pleat is made and the back is now ready to proceed to the next step of construction.



MAKING KNIFE PLEATS


The knife pleats at the back of the shirt requires the following positions to be notched or chalked:

  1. Position A: This is one of the folded edges of the knife pleat visible from the outward-facing side of the fabric.

  2. Position B: This is one of the folded edges of the knife pleat on the inside. For the knife pleat designs we use in our patterns, B will be underneath A once it’s folded correctly.

Like the box pleat, it would be easier to make the pleat if the markings were made on the outward-facing side of the fabric.


The above image shows the direction in which to fold the fabric. Notch A will fold towards Notch B.


The right knife pleat is complete. Pin in place.


The left knife pleat is complete.


Staystitch across the knife pleats within the seam allowance.


The knife pleats have been made and the back of the shirt is now ready to proceed to the next step of construction.


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