This is a pleat with a box shape on the front, with parallel creases facing opposite directions – such a simple explanation for a very versatile pleat. You can make single box pleat, double box pleat, inverted box pleat, all with the base knowledge of how to make the box pleat and all of them makes the fabric folded look special
It is made by folding the fabric so that under edges are turned towards the center back of each pleat. When you look at the back of the fabric you will find two equal folds of fabric folded towards each other and meet with zilch space in between
Pleats are generally added to contain the fullness of the fabric and box pleats does this beautifully. The fabric falls in attractive folds when pleated this way.
Box pleat – Dimensions
As always it is better to start with knowledge – of how much fabric you need to take for all the box pleats you want to make, how many number of pleats should fit in, what should be the width of each pleat etc. Infact, for precise looking box pleats, it is imperative that you start with measurements
The basic measurements you need for making box pleats
First and formost measure the area you will be attaching the pleats to (without any seam allowance) This is taken as A
How much fabric you should have for making the pleats :
3 * A + seam allowances on either side of the fabric edge
What should be the width of each pleat
Decide on the number of pleats you want to fit in there ; take this as B
Determining the width of each pleat is simple : A / B
For eg take the case of a skirt yoke with box pleats attached ( sewing pattern and tutorial for pleated skirt here) – Measure the bottom edge of the yoke (full round) you have finished . Take this as A = 44 . Decide on the number of pleats you want. Take this as B (8 pleats) So A/B = 44/8 = 5.5 inches will be the width of each of the pleat
How to easily fold the box pleat
After leaving the seam allowance Mark half of the width of the pleat along one edge of the fabric. I have marked from A after leaving 1/2 inch seam allowance. A-B, B-C, C-D etc are marked half of the pleat width of 2 inches each
Fold and bring the second mark (B in the picture) to the first mark A. Then fold C to A.
Press with your nails along the folds
Now carefully Open the second fold – Voila, you have your box pleat
Pin the box pleat in place. You can also use tailor tacks to keep the pleats secure. Start doing the same thing with the next marks.Now C will the starting point instead of A.
After I have pinned all the box pleats I baste stitch with hand sewing stitches or machine stitches taking care that none of the folds are deformed at the back or front.
After the whole pleated fabric is basted in place, you have to attach it to wherever you are attaching it to. It is not as simple as sewing together two plain fabrics. You will have to ensure that the folds donot get caught in your stitching at all times
Inverted box pleats : This is nothing but box pleats made the same way as described earlier but made from the back side.In the front of the fabric now you will get inverted box pleats!
When choosing fabric for box pleats my favourite is to choose it with checkered patterns or striped patterns – lines and measured distances between them gives you easier and accurate folds. Pleating distorts the prints and patterns so if you have a plain fabric or one with lines it is far easier to pleat than pleating with large prints . If you use large prints, they maynot match and will look distorted