How To Make Box Pleats And Inverted Box Pleats

Following on from my post on how to make the knife pleats and how they are made, this is the second in that little series. This is how to make the box pleats and inverted box pleats, these are a little favourite of mine as I really like the decorative effect they create. Using the box pleats hemmed at each end and sewn in place down the middle can sort of make them look like a bow so they can be great for detailing and transforming a project.


*Remember if you are creating the pleats from a pattern to follow that, mark out your spacing and follow the instructions.


Equipment And Materials

Step one

To creating the box pleats I used a test piece of 9 inches long and created 1 inverted box pleat of 1-inch fold over a 2-inch backing and the new measurement was 5 inches. This will help you create the correct length for your project. This will need roughly double the length for the length you wish to cover in pleats. Create your length of fabric and press.


Step Two

Take your fabric to the ironing board and measure up 1cm evenly along the length of the fabric. If you are sewing the pleats into a seam on both ends this part does not relate to you. If you are having the pleats out and loose this will be for you. Measure up 1cm fold and press into place, repeat again and press. Take this to your sewing machine and sew into place. This hem will stop the pleats from fraying and will look tidy.


Step Three

Press the fabric again to make sure any bumps and wrinkles are gone. Then measure out how deep you want your box pleats/ inverted box pleats are to be. I usually work on a 1-inch fold that gives a 2-inch backing. This means that you are folding 1-inch over and the reverse of the pleat should have a width of 2-inches. Measure out with your chalk pen and ruler. This will look something like the image below. The measurements can be the same for both box pleats and inverted box pleats, the measurements are still the same just the method is in reverse for one.


Step Four

Create the folds on the fabric using the chalk lines and pin into place. For the box, pleats create the folds by folding back the fabric to create the folded edge to the side see image below. This will also show the fold going to the back of the fabric. For the inverted box pleats, you want to create the fold going into the middle. This will show the fold been shown on the front of the fabric.  Make sure to pin at both ends of the fold to hold into place. Take to the ironing board and sew into place.


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