How To Hem An Accordion Pleated Skirt

A pleated accordion skirt is a fashion statement that has stood the test of time. It is a wardrobe staple for the fashionable. Depending on its length, a pleated skirt can be worn in several situations appropriately. 

Hemming an accordion-pleated skirt is a bit difficult for beginners. As you develop your sewing skills, hemming a pleated skirt becomes a task you can complete in minutes. 

How Do You Hem An Accordion Pleated Skirt?

To hem an accordion-pleated skirt is a bit different from hemming a normal skirt. You hem this skirt from the top and not the bottom. This is because you don’t want to interfere with the pleats. Cut off the elastic waistband and then fold the top to make the skirt reach the desired length. Keep the fold in place with pins and then sew it in by hand for accuracy. You can then fix a new elastic waistband on your pleated skirt. You can now wear it as a shorter skirt than it was before. 

Method 1. Hemming At The Waist

Step 1. Normally, the hem of a skirt is made at the bottom. With a pleated skirt, making the hen at the bottom means that you will have to destroy the pleats, although it is possible when you hem a single pleat at a time.

So the first thing that you do to hem your accordion-pleated skirt is to wear it. When you wear it you can easily identify how long you want your skirt to be from the waist. Mark this length on the skirt and take it off. Make sure to wear shoes so that you can get the best length for the skirt.

Step 2. Place the pleated skirt on your working area. Make sure that you can see the desired length of the skirt marked. To start hemming this skirt, cut off the elastic waistband on the skirt. Cutting of the waistline ensures that you don’t interfere with the structure of the pleats. It also makes it easier to work with the skirt from the top. You can also replace an elastic waistband easily. 

You now have a new waistline on your skirt. So, measure your desired length again and mark. Add 1 inch to your desired length to leave an allowance for a waistline fold when you replace your elastic waistband. 

Step 3. For the excess fabric on your skirt, cut it off at the top so that you are only left with the desired length of the skirt. 

Take measurements of the new skirt to confirm that it will fit you at the hips. Measure your hips and that of the skirt. If the measurements align, you can go ahead and replace your elastic waistband.

If you need to take in or expand the skirt’s hips by a few inches, finish this first before you replace the elastic waistband. 

Step 4. Take your waist measurements and get an elastic band that will fit your waist properly. Sew its ends together so that it is round. Fold the top of your skirt, at least 1 inch to make a waistband. Insert the elastic band into this waistband by leaving a small part of the fold unsewn. When you have your elastic band in place, finish sewing the waistband. 

Step 5. You can now wear your newly hemmed accordion pleat skirt. Your pleats are still intact from the waist down, but the skirt is shorter. Hemming a pleated skirt from the top is easier. 

Method 2. Hem A Pleated Skirt By Hand

Step 1. This method is suitable for when you are making a skirt from scratch. You will need a matching thread in the color and weight of your accordion pleat skirt. You also need a small sharp needle to ensure that you can make small stitches accurately on your pleated skirt. 

Thread your needle and sew about ¼ inches below the raw edge of your skirt. Trim the excess fabric and leave about ⅛ inches just above the straight stitch. 

Step 2. Fold the remaining fabric of the raw edge in. Make sure the fold goes above the stitch line. Turn your iron on and press so that the fold you have made stays in place. 

Step 3. With a small sharp needle, pick a thread from each pleat. Use this thread to stitch and make sure to start from your stitch line. Make sure that the stitch stays as close to the fold as possible. Don’t pull the thread too tight or it will show. 

Step 4. Repeat this process all around your accordion pleat skirt. Pick a thread from a pleat and stitch to the end of the pleat. This is a slow process but when done well, it ensures that the hem of your skirt is invisible. This gives your skirt a beautiful appearance.

Step 5. When you get to the last pleat, any raw edges will have been sewn in. Making your skirt neat and ready to wear. Before you wear it, iron the hem in place. 

Method 3. Hem An Accordion Pleat Skirt From The Bottom

Step 1. First, wear the skirt that you want to hem. Make sure that you wear shoes that you will wear with your skirt. This helps to determine the desired length and comfort of the pleated skirt once it is hemmed. 

While still on the body and with a mirror, mark the desired length of the skirt after it is hemmed. Mark with chalk and pins around the skirt. Then remove the skirt to start hemming. 

Step 2. Place your skirt on your working surface. Pin your pleats at the marked desired length of the skirt all around the skirt. This ensures that you can hem all the pleats similarly to maintain a uniform look on your skirt. 

Step 3. Fold in the excess fabric under the pleats. Fold it neatly and ensure that every fold perfectly corresponds to the pleat on the surface. This ensures that you don’t have any bulking on the bottom part of your skirt. 

Step 4. Spray starch at the bottom of the skirt where you have made the fold. Then iron. This will ensure that the bottom of the skirt is firm and holds properly. This ensures that the bottom is properly aligned all around the skirt. 

Step 5. Turn the skirt inside out. Using a matching thread, hand sew the old hemline in the place it was folded in. Use a whip stitch to make sure that the stitches are invisible. When you have finished, spray the skirt with starch and press with a hot iron. Remove all the pins then press the skirt again. 

Your hemmed accordion pleat skirt is now ready to wear. 

How To Keep Maintain Accordion Pleats On Your Skirt?

Accordion pleat skirts require extra care to ensure that the pleats remain on the skirt. Without this extra care, you will one day find that your skirt is no longer pleated. Pleats on skirts are affected by sitting. Since you can’t avoid sitting, you need to take good care of the pleats on your skirts.

The best way to take care of accordion pleats is by dry cleaning your skirt. Drycleaners have the skills and tools to take maintain the pleats. 

However, you can also take care of your pleats at home. All you need is an iron and paper clips. When you take off or wash your pleated skirt, hang it. This allows for the pleats to get back to their normal shape and lie on each other. 

When the pleats are naturally in place, hold them with paper clips. Place the skirt on an ironing board and press a single pleat at a time. Make sure to remove the paper clips when you get to them. 

When ironing, set your iron to high steam settings. If your iron doesn’t have steam settings, you can sprinkle water onto your pleats as you iron them in high heat. Press from the waistband downwards on each pleat. Press for about five to ten seconds on each pleat. Repeat until you have all the pleats lying on each other perfectly.

Hang your skirt until the next time you wear it to keep the pleats in perfect condition. 

Should You Fold Or Hang Your Laundry?

When you wash your clothes, what is the best way to keep them? Some will hang them while others will prefer to fold. For accordion pleat skirts, hanging is the best way to store your skirts until the next wear. 

When you hang your laundry, you know that there will be little wrinkling hence less ironing of clothes. When you hang your clothes, you have more space to use in your closet. 

Folded laundry also has fewer wrinkles. You can pull out folded clothes and wear them immediately. Folded clothes fit easily in drawers and can be easily organized in the closet making them easy to find. 



I'm Jessica Flores, a professional fashion designer and an expert seamstress. Crafting has always been a deep-seated passion of mine, one that has flourished and evolved over the years. I've dedicated considerable time to both studying and practicing in the realm of fashion and sewing, amassing a wealth of experience and skills. It brings me great joy to share these insights and experiences with you all, hoping to inspire and foster a similar passion for the art of sewing.

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