# How Much Fabric For A Pleated Skirt?

Making your own pleated skirt is a fun sewing project. But to get it right, you need to calculate precisely how much fabric you’ll need. Getting the math wrong could leave you with not enough material to finish!

The amount of fabric depends mainly on:

• The number and width of pleats you want
• The length of the skirt
• Seam allowances

### 1. Decide on Your Pleat Design

First, plan out the pleats. The most common options are:

• Knife pleats – Pleats all folded in the same direction. They give a sleek, tailored look.
• Box pleats – Pleats that alternate fold direction. They have a bouncy, full effect.

Also decide how many pleats you want, and how wide each one should be. More narrow pleats packed closely together create a smoother line. Wide pleats with more space in between look fuller.

As an example, let’s say you want 10 box pleats, 2 inches wide each.

### 2. Calculate the Pleated Width

To find the total width of fabric needed for the pleated section at your waist:

• Box pleats take 3 times their finished width in fabric.
• So for our 2 inch pleats, each one uses 2 x 3 = 6 inches of fabric.
• With 10 pleats, that’s 10 x 6 = 60 inches of pleated width.

That 60 inches of pleated fabric needs to wrap around your body. So add in your waist measurement.

Let’s say your waist is 32 inches. Now our total is 60 + 32 = 92 inches.

Finally, remember to account for seam allowances. Typically 1/2 inch on each side is fine.

So our final fabric width is 92 + 1 + 1 = 94 inches.

### 5. Calculate Fabric Length

The length depends on your desired skirt length. For a knee-length skirt, 40 inches is a good guideline.

### 6. Convert to Yards

Now convert your measurements to yards of fabric.

• Width: 94 inches / 36 = 2 2/3 yards
• Length: 40 inches

So for our example skirt, you’d need 2 2/3 yards of 40″ wide fabric.

Following these calculations, you can easily figure out fabric needs for any pleated skirt design!

## Pleated Skirt Measurements

Here are the key measurements to consider when selecting a pleated skirt:

### Waist Measurement

This is the most important measurement, as it determines the size of the skirt you need. Measure around your natural waistline, which is about 1-2 inches above your belly button. Get your waist size in inches or centimeters. Allow about 1-2 inches for ease of movement. Many pleated skirts have elastic or adjustable waistbands to provide some flexibility in the waist fit.

### Hip Measurement

Measure around the fullest part of your hips. This will help determine the overall sweep and fullness of the skirt. Pleated skirts can range from slim-fitting to very full, so your hip measurement compared to the garment measurements will indicate the skirt silhouette.

### Length

Measure from your natural waistline down to where you want the hem to hit. Common pleated skirt lengths are:

• Mini – 14 inches or above
• Knee – 18-22 inches
• Midi – 24-28 inches
• Maxi – 30 inches or longer

Consider your height, body proportions, and preferences for coverage when selecting length. Skirts with deep pleats may appear slightly shorter when worn.

### Pleat Size and Fullness

Look at the product details to see how deep the pleats are and how full they make the skirt. Deeper pleats equal more fullness, which may require a larger hip size. Shallow pleats create a slimmer silhouette.

Pay attention to hip and waist sizing in particular to get the best fit. Try things on in store whenever possible.