Children’s Pleated Skirt Pattern

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You can make an adorable pleated skirt that is perfect for the fall.  I love this free skirt pattern and tutorial,  Great DIY idea for little girl clothing.  There's a sewing video tutorial too!This pleated skirt pattern can be made from fleece or jersey knit.  It can also be made in a shorter mini length or a longer length.

You will need:
1/3 fleece or jersey knit color A
1/4 fleece or jersey knit color B
16-19 inches elastic
Sewing Essentials (scissors, pins, etc.)

Download the free pattern here, tutorial below.

You can get a free copy of Adobe reader here. By downloading  you are agreeing to pattern terms of use. Click the picture of the pattern envelope to download the .pdf !

Get the video tutorial here, written below:

Children’s Pleated Skirt Pattern

1 – Cut out pattern

Print up the pattern (you can get assembly instructions here)

Cut out pattern pieces. Decide if you are making the mid-knee length or the mini length of the skirt – choose the correct pattern pieces for it.

While you’re at it why not make a matching hat?  Get the free pattern and tutorial here.

2 – Begin to build the skirt

Alternating pieces A and B sew them together using a .5 seam allowance, right sides together.  Once you have made one long strip, turn under the bottom (long edge) 1 inch and sew using a zig-zag stitch along the edge.  This is your hem.

3 – Begin to make the box pleat

Using your Handy Dandy pleat guide, begin making the box pleats. Hem is the bottom – you will pin along the top.  Place the guide on the B fabric (it should fit there perfectly).  Fold the A on the left fabric to the dotted center line, pin.  Keeping the guide on the B fabric fold the A fabric on the right to the center crease, pin.  continue down the skirt.Note: There is one pleat that you haven’t made yet, because the final “back” seam to the skirt hasn’t been made – leave this please unpinned – we’ll get to it in a minute.

Press using an iron,with a low setting and a pressing cloth the pleats. (Be sure to check your iron temperature on a scrap – fleece will melt under the iron if it’s too hot).  Sew your box pleats in place, using a straight stitch, and a .25 seam allowance from the top.

4 – Sew the skirt together.

Take the ends of the skirt and with right sides together sew using a .5 seam allowance.   This should make a loop. Then using the guide pin and sew the final pleat.


5 – Make the drop waist.

With right sides together take the top skirt piece and sew the ends together using a .5 seam allowance.

Make the elastic casing. Turn the waistband down 1.5 inches. Pin.  Using a medium zigzag sew along edge of waist starting at a seam and stopping 2 inches short of completing the seam.

Take the bottom half of the skirt (right side facing in and place the top half outside of the skirt – so right sides are touching.  Pin together, sew together using a .5 seam allowance and a straight stitch.

6 – Finishing

Using a safety-pin pinned on one end of the elastic – thread the elastic through the waistband (taking care to keep the other end exposed).  Sew elastic Ends together.  Sew opening closed.  Trim thread and Voila!

I take the elastic and hold it around my child’s waist to give it the right fit.  Safety pin the elastic and then pull it down over the hips to you can tell that there if there is enough / or too much stretch.  Gauge how much to use from there.

Angel Hickman Peterson

Angel Hickman Peterson

Creator, Editor and Author at Fleece Fun
Angel has a bachelor’s degree in Film Studies from the University of Utah, with a professional background is in film, television, radio and ad production. Angel currently divides her time between her small production company Angel Dawn Productions, her online sewing and crafting blog, her two little girls, baby boy, husband and on very good days also manages to get the dishes done.
Angel Hickman Peterson
Angel Hickman Peterson

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  1. Its very good job. You are very intelligent mom. Your kids is very lucky. I like your creativity and you.



    • Selma,
      I’m a little confused on your question. If you are meaning pleats there are 8 pleats total – the amount is the same no matter what the pattern size.
      – Angel

      • Angel~ thanks i finally figured it out..and finished it…yea! I will send a pic shortly…it was nice…im trying to figure out how to make one for myself…

  2. I have 2 girls that I am planning on making this skirt for, one wears a 6x and one a 3t, how would I do the sizing for them?

  3. Is there any way to get this pattern in a size 13/14 or Junior 0/5 we are having a dance competition and this skirt would be perfect!

  4. I hate to say the “C” word but can this pattern be used with Cotton? I’m making your ruffled pants (taking a rest break!) for my 3 year old granddaughter. She is going to love them!

  5. I just converted your pattern to American Girl size (15″-18″ doll) and it is adorable! Thank you for the help. I wish I could post the picture to you. This is my first doll item that looks great…and it is a pleated skirt!!!! I am stocked!

  6. Hey I am in Zimbabwe and I have just made 2 sets of fleece pants and hats for my babies aged 2 and 1 with much success and now cant wait to try out this adorable pleated skirt. thanks for the lovely creative and easy to follow patterns and instructions. stay blessed

  7. Hi, I’m on the second from last step, attaching that top of the skirt to the bottom and I’m stuck. I seem to have more skirt the top. I’ve double checked and I have the right size top piece and the correct number of pleats….should I sew as is? It should I remove some skirt?
    If I pin it to fit I’d say I have a least a square too many.


  8. I bought myself a sewing machine for Chritmas and this will be my first sewing project. As a beginner, i have a silly question. When you say 1/3 fleece or jersey knit color A and 1/4 fleece or jersey knit color B are you talking yards??

  9. Thank you for sharing this tutorial, I found it on Pinterest and I knew I had to make the skirt for my little girl! I chose sweat-fabric and it turned out really cute!!!

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