Back to School Pleated Uniform Skirt Tutorial

on August 26 | in Sewing Tutorials + Patterns | by | with 44 Comments

Tiffany from Simply Modern Mom joins us today with this cute and easy Pleated Uniform Skirt tutorial. It’s perfect whether you need to wear a uniform or just want to wear the cute, pleated look. After a little practice Tiffany assures us the skirt can be made in less than an hour! Learn more about Tiffany, Simply Modern Mom and all Tiffany’s site has to offer in her introduction. Enjoy the tutorial!

From Tiffany: It seems to me more and more schools are requiring some type of uniform. And although my daughter is not yet in school this year, I thought that a pleated uniform skirt would look adorable on her. This skirt I made her was from a fleece fabric that I think will be perfect for the fall to wear with some leggings. You can also use regular or some of the more heavy weighted fabric (polyester) too. This is the basic and easiest pleated skirt to make. After a few tries you can make a skirt in less than an hour.


  • 2 yards of fabric
  • matching thread
  • two large buttons
  • small snap
  • regular sewing supplies

Getting Started:
1. Measure your daughter’s waist and length to the knee or little shorter. To figure out the fabric you need, multiply the waist size x 3 (for the pleats) then + 4 inches (for the buttons). The length of the skirt you will take the measured length and add 2 1/2-inches for the bias tape coverage at the top and a hem at the bottom. For my daughter, she had a 19-inch waist and 13-inch length. The amount of fabric I needed for her skirt was 61 x 15 1/2 inches. (With a little excess for the bias tape mentioned in Step 2.)

2. With the extra fabric, cut a strip that is the waist size + 2 inches for the width and 2 1/8-inches for the length to make 1/2-inch bias tape. Iron the tape in fourths then in half. The best way is to make the front side of the bias tape slightly shorter than the back. Set this aside.

3. Pin 1-inch pleats all the way around the skirt leaving 3 inches on the two ends for the buttons. After you pin, iron each pleat. Then straight line stitch once across the pleats about 1/4-inch from the edge to keep the pleats in place.

4. Iron the sides of the skirt in half into the wrong side of the skirt. Make sure to fold in the raw edge and iron that too. Then sew the ends close.

5. Get the bias tape that you ironed in Step 2 and with the right sides touching, sew one end close. Then flip right side out and iron.

6. Match that end of the bias tape to the edge of the skirt. Pin the bias tape in place along the skirt then do Step 5 on the second end of the bias tape. You will have some excess to cut off the second end.

7. Sew the bias tape in place as close to the edge of the bottom of the bias tape as you can.

8. Now fold and iron the bottom hem 2 inches and fold in the raw edge. Then sew all the way across the skirt.

9. Match the two edges of the skirt with 1 1/2-inch overlap. Place the buttons on there to measure how big of an opening you need. I left a 4-inch opening from the top. Then sew the part below the opening in place. I did a big rectangle following the stitches that were already there from Step 4.

10. Make two button holes on the top layer of the opening. I just quickly hand-stitched mine. But you can use the sewing machine if your machine has that feature.

11. Sew the buttons in place to match the button holes on the bottom flap of the opening. I then used a small snap to help keep the top corner of the skirt in place.

Thanks for sewing along with me!

Win a free Back to School pattern every day this week. Visit and comment on our daily Back to School Featured Patterns to win.

WIN A SERGER! Enter our contest for your chance to win a Husqvarna Viking s21 Serger (retail value $1199)!

Pin It

Related Posts

44 Responses to Back to School Pleated Uniform Skirt Tutorial

  1. liz says:

    Excellent tutorial, very clear and detailed.
    Thank you for taking the effort.

    The skirt needs a wider waistband with lightweight interfacing inside…then it will lay straight and strong(and be truer to the original uniform skirt design). Then you can attach a skirt button and buttonholes at the waistband, not at the (weaker)pleats.

    yes, it is a little more difficult, but it adds to the sturdiness of the final product.

  2. Nancy Fomich says:

    I love your patterns and directions. Can you please fix it so that I do not have to print out the comments, etc. that follow the directions? I wish to keep only the directions.
    Thanks so much!

  3. Chris C. says:

    Your tutorial is nicely written and illustrated. Your waistband is not bias tape, however; that would have to be cut on the diagonal of your fabric, resulting in some “give” (small amount of stretch) which of course isn’t desired in this type of waistband. I would amend your instructions to call this piece a waistband.

  4. Wow, I never new that, much appreciated.

  5. Bethany S says:

    I’ve already made two of these…working on a third! Love it!

  6. ctb says:

    What a great tutorial & a really cute idea!

    FWIW – the skirt waistband is a waistband, not ‘bias tape’. Bias tape is cut on the bias, hence the name…..

  7. Rosa in The Antipodes says:

    WOW! This is a keeper! Thank you so much!

  8. carmel says:

    so nice!

  9. Catherine says:

    thank you – this is gorgeous!

  10. Mariane says:

    So cool, tks!

  11. Colleen says:

    Thanks for the great tutorial!

  12. CarrieMJ says:

    I think I’ll make this for my daughter!

  13. heather b says:

    I can’t wait to try out this tutorial!

  14. Michele says:

    Great tutorial, thanks for sharing!

  15. Loved it. Easy. Girly and definitely going to make it!!
    thank you!

  16. Jesse says:

    Great tutorial. Thank you! I think I might just try to make one for myself.

  17. helena says:

    Thanks so much for this great tutorial, will definately be making one for my daughter.

  18. Kristin says:

    Wow how fun!

  19. Kristin says:

    thanks for the tutorial! this is great.

  20. kelli says:

    Who knew it was so easy? I tried to sew up a little plaid pleated skirt last fall and got so messed up right at the end I gave up. I will get the fabric back out & try again! Thanks!

  21. That is much easier than I thought it would be. Thanks for the terrific tutorial.

  22. Anna says:

    so adorable! love the fabric choice and the button details, great job tiffany. 🙂

  23. Thank you!!! I need to make my daughter some clothes for school and I love pleated skirts (they’re one of the few items we actually agree on!). Can’t wait to use this tute!!!

  24. Marcia W. says:

    School districts around here have or are looking at moving to uniforms. Thanks for the tutorial.

  25. Tabitha says:

    Thanks for the free tute! I’ll definitely being trying this one out.

  26. wow, this is super cute! And how nice that there’s no pattern required.

  27. Amy says:

    thanks for the darling skirt tutorial! So simple, a great project to include my daughter!

  28. Celeste says:

    Love this! I think my daughter may need a few for fall!

  29. Cricket says:

    Cute, cute! And how simple is that?

  30. Sara says:

    This looks like a nice and easy pattern and the buttons she chose are a nice touch in the pics.

  31. Tiffany says:

    thanks everyone for you wonderful comments about the pleated uniform skirt!

  32. Claire says:


  33. stephanie says:

    that is adorable!

  34. susan h says:

    wow love this quick and easy tutorial. thanks so much tiffany 🙂

  35. Alice S says:

    I’m definitely making this for my daughter. She’s not in school yet either, but it is very cute. I like the plaid or maybe a heavy twill.

  36. Emily says:

    This is darling.

  37. quenna says:

    Thank you for this! I love pleated skirts and plaids.

  38. Alyssa says:

    Definitely need to make this!!!

  39. papgena says:

    thank you so much for this! I’ve been thinkink in refashion one of my daughter’s dresses and this is just perfect!!!

  40. mandy says:

    i can not wait to make this!. All three of my children have to wear uniforms and I hate not being able to send them in home made awesome. Thank you so much for this tutorial!

  41. this is so great! Thanks for sharing!

  42. jes says:

    Thanks for the skirt Tutorial! I love the pattern and the fabric used in your sample.

  43. jes says:

    Thanks for the Tutorial! I love the pattern and the fabric used in your sample. My niece would love this!

  44. That is so cute! I am definitely going to make one of these for my girls!

« »

Subscribe to the newsletter

Sewing inspiration, projects, events and offers delivered conveniently to your email.


Get the latest news via