Crafty Cupboard’s Pleated Chevron Skirt

Today for our Sew for Me! series with KOJO Designs we are lucky enough to have Melanie from the Crafty Cupboard.

Melanie has tons of fun tutorials that I know you will LOVE (if you haven’t already been following all this goodness!) One of my personal fav’s is her Puppetdoorway:

Seriously? How cute is THAT!! My problem is I would never want to take it down so that doorway would be unusable permanently ha!

And ya’ll know I love me some anthro knock offs!

And as soon as I FINALLY order some more buisiness cards (totally thought 100 would last me forever ha!) I will be making one of these:

What is really awesome about this post is that when I opened it up I seriously died. Melanie had made the EXACT same skirt that I had made for myself the week before we came to DC. And when I say exact I mean down to the same fabric… yeah. Spooky. The only difference is mine is in red! How crazy cool is that! She was good enough to make a tutorial though. I just whipped mine up and kept it to myself (seriously not on purpose I just was dying for something new and made it super fast ha! You can see a pic of mine at the end of the post) So here is Melanie with her fun tutorial!

Pleated Chevrons Title

Hello everyone!  I’m Melanie from the Crafty Cupboard.  I’m the wife of my studly husband Mike, and the mom to three adorable little girls.  In fact, our most recent little one came just three months ago, so you better believe I was excited to participate in something that required a ME project!  I’ve had a growing list of to-do’s and an ever bigger pile of fabric to use for said projects since this time last year.  Now that the post-partum as finally, sort of, hopefully gone mostly away, it was high time I jumped to work.

Once upon a time I was shoving my way through a crowded church hallway and 8 months prego when my eyes were captured by the most adorable outfit EVER on one of the beautiful ladies in our congregation.  Gray stripes, yellow sweater, great necklace… you better believe my brain was taking inventory of the whole thing so I could be a copy cat.  After I had that baby, of course.

When I saw the chevron pattern from Half Moon Modern, I had to have it as the gray stripe (ooh, found some here).  HAD TO.  You should to, because it is awesome.  And I bought it.  8 months pregnant.  And so it sat.

But now, that fabric has transformed into an awesome wearable skirt!!!  Want to make one too?  It is easier than you might think!

To make the Pleated Chevron Skirt, you need:

1 1/2 yards Chevron fabric!  This tutorial uses Half Moon Modern.  Yes, there is yellow too!

9” zipper (I was going to use an invisible zipper, but changed my mind at the last second –read it was going to be too small and I didn’t want it to pull really tight and expose the invisible zipper. I need to step up the exercise…)

Optional pocket fabric! 1/4 yard

Usual sewing supplies

***use 1/2” seam allowances, iron often, and finish all your edges!***

Chevron Skirt_Fabric and Zipper

To begin, measure your waist where you want your skirt to sit (I recommend measuring after lunch, or it will be a little snug in the end… ahem.).  Add 1 inch to that measurement.

My measurements were 29” waist, so I added 1 and got 30” as my starting number.  My measurements will be in (parenthesis) to help you see the process.

For your front piece, divide your measurement (30”) in half (15”).  Next, when using Half Mood Modern, add 10 to this measurement to get your front cut width (25”).  Make sure the center of the skirt lines up with a chevron point!  I wanted my skirt to be to my knees, so I cut it 21” long too.

Chevron Skirt_Cut Pieces

Your back pieces will be the half measurement (15”) plus 5 1/2” (20 1/2”).  Cut two at this width.

Chevron Skirt_Pleat Detail

Starting from the center of the front skirt pieces, start making your box pleats by lining up the point of one zig-zag with the dip of the one next to it.  Makes no sense in writing, so I hope you can see if from the photo.  When the pleats are closed up, the zig-zag pattern will appear to continue without any breaks.  You will have two pleats.

Chevron Skirt_Pleats

Do the same to the back pieces too, except make only one pleat per side.

Chevron Skirt_Waistband1

To make your waistband, cut two pieces the same width as your front skirt piece (which should be on or very very close to the original measurement (25”)). Cut four pieces the width of your back pieces.

Chevron Skirt_Waistband2

Sew the back waistband pieces to the sides of the front pieces, and then sew them all together along the long side, like so.

Chevron Skirt_Waistband3

I ironed a 1/4” hem along one side, so when I am hand-stitching later, it will be easier.

On to pockets!  If you want pockets, cut 4 shapes like this (I just traced around my hand to get a reasonably sized and shaped pocket piece):

Chevron Skirt_Cut Pockets Optional

Make sure you have two of each direction!

Chevron Skirt_Pockets Pinned

Pin the pocket pieces right sides down onto your skirt pieces, at a comfortable spot for your hands.

Chevron Skirt_Pocket Sewn Pleats Tacked

Stitch the pocket to the front and back skirt pieces, (and while you are at it, tack down those pleats so you don’t get poked with pins anymore).

Chevron Skirt_Pocket Seam Allowance

With the pocket sewn on, mark with a pencil or pin 1/2” from the edge of the pocket.  This is where you will pivot your fabric while sewing.

Chevron Skirt_Pocket Finished

Place the skirt pieces right sides together and line up the pockets.  Sew down the sides, going around the pocket as you go.  Don’t sew the pocket shut!

Chevron Skirt_Waistband Pinned to Skirt

Now, attach your waistband, lining up the non-ironed waistband edge with the pleated edge of your skirt.  Sew together!

Zipper Glue

Now, let’s install the zipper.  I learned this zipper trick from Ashley, and it works pretty well.  I’ll give vague instructions, since she already did a great job with her tutorial.

Sew up the entire back of the skirt and iron it open.  Now, pull out some sort of adhesive, whether it be glue stick or fabric glue or tape, and put the glue on the seam allowance where your zipper will go.

Chevron Skirt_Zipper Glued

Stick the zipper teeth-side-down onto your glued seam allowance, making sure the teeth line up with the seam. Make sure the zipper doesn’t go higher than the center waistline seam- you need to fold that over soon to finish this skirt up!

Chevron Skirt_Zipper Finish

Using your zipper foot, stitch carefully on the outside of your fabric to secure your zipper.  When you are done, use a seam ripper to unpick the zipper seam.

Hem your skirt, and the hand-stitch the rest of the waistband to the interior of the skirt.  I stitch it so the inside waistband seams are all enclosed.

Chevron Skirt_Full

You have yourself a skirt!  It’s awesome in every way!  It sits snug on the waist and pleats out so very perfectly around those chevrons…

Chevron Skirt_Perfect Pleats

Paying attention to detail is what makes a good project GREAT!

Chevron Skirt_Zipper

And what’s that peeking from the sides?

Chevron Skirt_Yellow Pockets

Why, it is an adorable pocket, perfect for those boogery tissues and random half-chewed fruit snacks your children hand to you as you are trying to head out the door.

Waistband_Chevron Skirt

Paired with a sunshine-y yellow cardigan, I’m totally ready to be twinners with that gal in my church.  Think she’ll mind? 😉

Chevron Skirt_Whole Body

Isn’t that a great tutorial!! I am totally going to try that zipper glue trick! Do you want to see what it looks like in red:

See? Isn’t that hilarious! Although, I didn’t put a zipper in mine, instead I did a big piece of elastic…. that would be the laziness showing up :)

Thank you so much Melanie!!!

Now hop on over to KOJO and see what goodness they have stitchin’ up!




  1. 3

    Rocio Estrada says

    Love this tutorial! I’m going to make this for myself and I hope I don’t look too wide. I’m petite and a tad meaty on the hips/thighs.

    Also, has anyone else commented that the text on the right side of the screen gets cut off. I noticed the change after your last blog upgrade.

  2. 4


    The right side of the screen is cut off! I can make out the tute, but not sure how to fix that.

    Further, can you tell me how “deep” your pleats were, since that will factor into the width of the final skirt… 1/2″ on each side???

    Thanks! Beautiful work… gonna copy you like you did your church lady. :)

  3. 5


    I love this!! I found it on Pinterest, and had to repin! Absolutely gorgeous! I just bought some chevron fabric last week and I have been staring at it all week thinking how I want to go about using it! You have definitely inspired me! I am so going to make this skirt to wear in Paris in 2 weeks! I’m so freaking excited!! Now to find a cute little yellow cardigan:)


  4. 6


    I’m glad you like it! Each pleat adds 5″ to the skirt, so that’s why you’ll add 10″ to the skirt measurements. Thanks for asking, I should have clairified that in the tutorial! And Kelly- you are adorable in red chevron!

  5. 7

    Leigh Anne says

    I am working on making this with a wide striped fabric instead of chevron since I have it on hand. I saw the comment about each pleat taking up 5″….but I’m confused about the part where u say when cutting your front waistband that it should be the same width as your original front measurement (25″). If I put 2 pleats in my front that are 5″ each then that will take up 10″ so my front piece is only 15″ now???? Am I missing something? I’m super xcited about it cuz it is such a cute skirt!

  6. 8

    Justine says

    Hi, would you consider selling a skirt like this?? Would love to buy one from you if you are willing. Email me if you are interested, beautiful skirt and I don’t sew very well! Thanks

  7. 9


    Leigh Anne- That was a typo on my part, it should be the same width as your now pleated skirt, which should be very close to that 15″ measurement I had for my own waist. Your guess was right- sorry I confused you! No more 1am tutorials for me…

  8. 10

    Sheri says

    Love this tutorial! Thanks for posting it! I bought some fabric yesterday and am excited to give it a try. I saw the correction for the waistband width but am wondering how many inches high the waistband should be. 15″ x ?? Thanks!!

  9. 11


    Sheri, you can do the waistband as tall or short as you want, I cut mine at 3 1/2″. I dont’ have much of an hourglass figure, so that measurement might not fit the shapely ladies among us as easily :)

  10. 13

    Sarah Preston says

    I am so excited to make this skirt! I am just about to cut into my fabric, but I am a bit confused about the measurement of the back pieces. You say they will each be the half measurement plus 5 1/2 inches (for the pleat and center seam allowance). Since we are cutting two, shouldn’t they each be HALF of the half measurement plus 5 1/2 inches? (If I cut out two 20 1/2 inch pieces for the back, once I take away 10 inches for the pleats, that still leaves me with a back that is 30 inches wide…and my front is only 15 inches wide). I can’t find that chevron print anywhere, but I am going to whip up a grey polka dot version. I can’t wait!

  11. 16

    Stephanie says

    I’m trying this, but out of a solid fabric.
    Plus Size + stripes of ANY size or direction = not working.
    I am curious too on how you converted the back to elastic instead of zipper. Didn’t that change how the skirt lays?
    Great tutorial!

  12. 17

    Sheri says

    Sarah – I just finished making this skirt and I too had a bit of confusion about how to measure and cut the back panels. You’re right – half the half measure + 5 1/2 (my half measure was 16 so I cut two panels 13 1/2 inches wide. Came out great!!

    • 18

      Julie A says

      Thanks so much. I’m sitting here looking at all of these pieces and thinking, “this thing is going to be HUGE!” Half the half makes so much more sense. :)

  13. 19

    Leigh Anne says

    Melanie – thanks for the reply. I finished my skirt up in a wide navy & white stripe and it turned out soooo cute! I had been looking for a pattern, but wasn’t confident in my skillz enough to wing it. But with your guidance, I did it! It was my first zipper too :) I’ve already purchased some more material to make a few more cuz I love my first one soooo much!

  14. 20


    oh my goodness I love this skirt thank you for the pattern…but also thanks for the etsy link for the fabric! I can’t ever find a good chevron fabric:)

  15. 21

    Laura says

    I can’t find a link for the fabirc??? Is it Riley Blake?? The stripes look wider than riley blake – I love the thicker stripes!! Where can I find it?

    • 22

      admin says

      It is a new line by Moda called half moon modern. They also have large polka dots. You can find them HERE Hope that helps!!

  16. 23

    wendy says

    I absolutely love this skirt and I’m planning to go out and find some fabric today. I was wondering though, is this just regular cotton fabric?

    • 24

      admin says

      It is! Just straight up cotton. If you can find brushed cotton that is fabulous but I have yet to find it in the states.

  17. 25

    Jessica says

    I am looking online for chevron fabric to make this skirt, can you tell me what size the chevron pattern is that you used so I can make sure to get the right one so they line up right? It is hard to tell just by looking at different patterns online if it is the same size. How many inches are in a zig-zag? Thanks!

    • 26

      cindy says

      The pattern is large chevron. I found the exact same Half Moon Modern gray/white on It arrived yesterday and the chevron is perfect. Medium chevron is a little too small and the pleats will not line up the same. You would have to do more pleats and it would have a totally different look. Your choice though.

  18. 28

    kristi says

    Just a quick question on using elastic instead of zipper. How much extra did you add and how did you do it?

  19. 30

    Sara says

    I came across this picture on Pinterest! I’m seriously in love with this skirt!! I’m not at all a sewer. I’d seriously consider buying this from you! If it’s something you’re interested in, please email me at Thank you and have a great day!! ~Sara

  20. 31

    LG says

    This is such a cute pattern! I have some chevron fabric and would like to give it a try, but I have a question. For the front piece (with a width of half the waist measurement + 10) is that the measurement for the width of the WHOLE front piece, or do you line that piece up on the fold? I appreciate the clarification! I know this pattern went up a while ago. Thanks!!


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