I love making pleated skirts. They’re the one thing that I actually know how to sew, and they are really simple to make! Most anime school uniforms include a pleated skirt of some sort, and I can usually pump one out in a few hours.
I recently made some for my Erina cosplay from Shokugeki no Soma… or food wars! #bestanime2015 I also made mle’s skirt.
I think they turned out alright considering we:
1. Didn’t have an iron before leaving for Fan Expo, meaning we couldn’t smooth our the pleats.
2. Tried to use a straightener and ended up burning some of the ribbon
3. Changed at the convention, meaning the skirts were packed up in our bags
Oh well. I think they turned out alright. However, some anime school uniform designs have pleated skirts that come in different patterns. These fabric patterns are either impossible to find, or are ones you have to order online! If you event is coming up and you want to be able to make a skirt with easy to find materials and don’t want to pay for risky shipping from China, this tutorial is for you!
How to make a tartan/plaid pleated skirt for cosplay!
Lay down your vertical strips. For the Shokugeki design, we sewed a white thin strip of ribbon down the middle of the black strip. Hem and fold up the bottom of the fabric where the skirt end will be so it looks cleaner!
Begin folding your pleats to the desired size. This can take some trial and error to get the correct sized pleats that you want. I believe ours were 3.5 inches wide. I would have made them smaller for more defined pleats but we ran out of fabric… Make sure you have more if you want a sharper pleat!
When you are happy with their size, iron them down! Make sure the iron is on a lower setting or else it may melt the ribbon. I highly recommend using a starch spray to keep your pleats crisp and pretty!
Sew down the pleats along the top. Fold the told of the skirt in again to make a waistband. Sew the two ends of the skirt together, and make sure pleats match up so it looks seamless.
I packed away my skirt and then remembered that I had forgotten to take pics for this tutorial, so excuse the wrinkliness!
This is the front of the skirt. Make sure when you iron that you’re on a lower temperature. If you look along the fourth write ribbon from the left, 2 black ribbons down, you’ll see a part of the ribbon is missing. This is because the ribbon stuck to our iron, which was too hot! A little mistake, luckily not too noticeable when worn.
We used velcro at the back to keep our skirts closed. I like using velcro for cosplay because it’s easier to put on, and change in and out of. It’s also more beginner friendly than installing a zipper!
This is the back of the skirt, As you can see, we matched up the pleats with the velcroed back so it blends in nicely! Especially when the velcro back is covered by the uniform jacket.
I hope this tutorial was helpful! If you use this tutorial, make sure to mention me on social media so I can see your results. (@sachietv on twitter and instagram!) Best of luck with your cosplays!