Add Box Pleats to any plain bodice pattern: Tutorial and pattern

Add box pleats: tutorial and pattern

Last week we shared our Little Tummy Tunic for infants.  Download your free pattern HERE.  It is a very simple straightforward top that lends itself to a number of variations.  I have been having fun with pleats of late and today I am going to show you how to add box pleats to your tunic.

box pleat tutorial

If the tunic isn’t in your size range, this can be done with any top. Best to start with a simple woven pattern. We need to divide our front before we can begin.

Measure down from the armhole 1 inch on the small and medium size and 1.5 inch on the large size tunic.  Draw a line across to the fold.  Cut your front along the line.  You will now have a yoke and a skirt for your front.

Cut both pieces on the fold as directed.  I decided that I wanted 3 pleats in my skirt, so I divided my skirt in 4 even sections.

To create 4 even sections first cut down the center front. Then fold each side in half again and cut along those lines.

Your skirt will now be in 4 pieces.

box pleat tutorialCut 3 strips that will become your pleats. These strips should be 3 inches wide and just a little longer than your skirt.

box pleat tutorial

Sew your pleats to your skirt in 3/8 inch seam. Trim the pleats to match your skirt.

box pleat tutorial

Fold your pleat to the inside by bringing either either side of your skirt to the center of the pleat strip. Press in place. Baste across the top of each pleat.

box pleat tutorial

Now you will re-attach the yoke of the bodice that we cut off.  Due to the added seam allowances you will need to slightly gather the yoke to match the skirt. Do this by running a line of basting stitches across the bottom of your yoke and gently gathering until the two are equal lengths.

You can add just one pleat in the center of the skirt or 3 like I did or maybe 2, one on either side .  The yoke can be adjusted accordingly.

Finish your tunic according to directions HERE.

Enjoy your pleated tunic!  Stay tuned for a fun St. Patty’s day project I made up with this technique!

Add box pleats: tutorial and pattern

Happy Sewing, Donna




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  1. Awesome tut!!

  2. That is so easy and super cute. I’ve never done the contrast insides, but I love it.
    Ajaire recently posted..Shaffer Sisters’ Betty SkirtMy Profile

  3. I love this idea! Especially the cute contrasting insides. Thanks for the tutorial!
    Maegen Foster recently posted..My kids’ namesMy Profile

  4. C U T E ! ! -Marci @ Stone Cottage Adventures
    Marci @ Stone Cottage Adventures recently posted..20 Wishes {February Update}My Profile

  5. Very cute! I love the seersucker fabric! Great tutorial
    Chelsea recently posted..Sabrina Shirttail Dress from Peek-a-Boo PatternsMy Profile

  6. Love the contrasting green pleats!!! Really sets the tunic off beautifully, Donna.
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