Saturday, March 10, 2012

Box Pleat Bed Skirt

A month or so back I had received a request for a tutorial on Box Pleat Bed Skirts, so here it is.  If anyone else has something they want to learn to make, shoot me an e-mail and I will gladly oblige.

This bed skirt was for a designers client, so I don't have pictures of it on the bed.  It was for a day bed and required split corners to accommodate the bed frame.

Always measure the box spring itself, not the mattress, their sizes can vary slightly.  This day bed measured 71x39"and was to have a 17" long skirt.
Here's the basic anatomy of this bed skirt and the box pleat divisions.
Notice all of my box pleats are not going to be the same width.  That's OK, this small difference won't matter.  Also notice I make a flap out of lining to hang down the back edge of the day bed.  If you are making this for a regular bed, you will omit this flap and simply do a hem along the head of the lining deck.

There's going to be a lot of math to figure your cuts, but follow carefully and it won't be hard.

The first thing you will cut is the deck.  This is cut out of lining, but you can cut it out of an old sheet.  The deck is what goes between the mattress and the box spring.  Just add a 1/2" seam allowance to all sides, so I cut mine 72"x40".
If you are making this for a day bed like I am, then cut your flap out of lining too.  Add 1" to each side for a small hem allowance and make it a little shorter than the height of the bed skirt.  I cut mine 73"x15".

Now to figure the cuts for our box pleats for all three sides.  First off, I number my cuts starting from the left side of the bed and working my way around to the right side of the bed.  This helps when it is time to sew all these box pleat pieces together.  It helps ensure I don't sew them out of order.  You can either write directly on the fabric up in the right hand corner(inside the seam allowance) or sometimes I use painters tape to number my pieces.
My left side of my bed skirt is 39" wide.  As the diagram above shows I will be making my box pleats 9 3/4" wide.  The fabric I used was slightly wider then 54" wide which was good because some of my pieces were 56" wide.  I made my pleats 2 1/2" deep.
Cut 1-  3"(double 1 1/2" hem allow.)+5 (2 1/2"+2 1/2" which makes up one half of a pleat)+9 3/4"(pleat front)+10"(2 1/2"+2 1/2"+2 1/2"+2 1/2" which equals a whole pleat)+ 9 3/4"(pleat front)+8 (which makes up 3/4 of a pleat plus seam allow 2 1/2"+2 1/2"+2 1/2"+1/2")=45 1/2"  This is how wide you will cut piece 1 of your box pleat skirt.  We'll figure the length of these cuts in a bit.
Cut 2-  3"(1/4 of a pleat plus 1/2" seam allow)+9 3/4"(front of pleat)+10(whole pleat)+9 3/4"(pleat front)+5"(half of pleat)+3"(double 1 1/2" side hem)=40 1/2"
Those are the 2 cuts for the left side of this day bed skirt.  Now for the front of the day bed, remember these pleat fronts will be different sizes.
Cut 3-3"(double 1 1/2" side hem allow)+5"(half of a pleat)+10 1/4"(pleat front)+10"(whole pleat)+10 1/4"(pleat front)+8"(3/4 of a pleat plus 1/2" seam allow)=46 1/2"
Cut 4-  3"(1/4 of a pleat)+10"(pleat front)+10"(whole pleat)+10"(pleat front)+10"(whole pleat)+10"(pleat front)+3"(1/4 of a pleat plus 1/2" seam allow)=56"....this is the cut that if my fabric was only 54" wide I would not have been able to cut it.  I would have had to make an extra cut to accommodate my fabric width.
Cut 5-  8"(3/4 of a pleat)+10 1/4"(pleat front)+10"(whole pleat)+10 1/4"(pleat front)+5"(half a pleat)+3"(double 1 1/2" side hem)=46 1/2".
Those are the cuts for the front of this bed skirt.  Now for the left side pieces.
Cut 6-  3"(double 1 1/2" side hem)+5"(half a pleat)+9 3/4"(pleat front)+10"(whole pleat)+9 3/4"(pleat front)+8"(3/4 of a pleat plus seam allow)=45 1/2"
Cut 7-  3"(1/4 of a pleat plus seam allow)+9 3/4"(pleat front)+10"(whole pleat)+9 3/4"(pleat front)+5"(1/4 of a pleat)+3"(double 1 1/2" side hem allow)=40 1/2"

Whew!  I hope after a while you could see and understand the series of the cuts and why they end up the size they do.  Your bed is not going to be the same size as mine, so it's important that you understand how the pleats and the fronts are joined together so you can figure your own cuts.

Now we have to figure the length of our cuts.  Since my bed skirt is going to finish at 17" long, and I wrap my face fabric to the back by 2", this is how I figure my cut lengths.



I also add a banding to the top of my deck out of the face fabric.  This banding keeps the white lining from ever showing if the bed skirt shifts.  So cut 5 pieces the width of your face fabric by 3" long.

All the math and cutting is done, now we can begin to sew!

Step1- Stitch your bed skirt pieces together.  Since mine has split corners I will not sew them all together.  Instead I will sew pieces 1&2 together, then 3,4 &5 together, then 6&7 together.  But if you don't have split corners, all your pieces will be stitched together to make a really long strip.
Stitch all your lining pieces together to make one really long strip.
Stitch all your banding pieces together to make another really long strip.
Step 2- Pressing-  I try to do as much pressing as possible every time I go to my pressing station.  Press the skirt seams open.  Also press your skirt lining seams open.  If you're doing a day bed like me and you have a flap, press double 1/2" side hems.  Press the banding seams open and the press 1/2" up along one of the long edges.


Step 3- Stitching the skirt fronts to the skirt lining.  With right sides together, stitch the bottom edge of your skirt fronts to the bottom edge of the skirt lining using 1/2" seam allowance.
And since you're at the sewing machine, top stitch the side hems of the flap. And set it a side for now.

Step 4-  More pressing- Lay your skirt/lining right side down on your pressing surface and press the seam allowances towards the lining.  Then bring the top edge of the lining up to meet the top edge of the face fabric, wrong sides together.  Pin along the raw edges up top and press the bottom hem nice and crisp.
Once you have that upper edge all pinned together, it's time to press the side hems.  I obviously have a lot more side hems to press since my bed skirt has split corners.  If yours doesn't have split corners you will only have 2 side hems to press.  Press up double 1/2" side hems.  I press up 3" first, then open it up and fold my edge to the first crease line and press again.  I also press the very bottom corner of these side hems up diagonally, this helps take the bulk out of the bottom corner of our hemmed edge.
Step 5- Using a blind stitch, sew the side hems of the skirt.
Step 6- Attaching the skirt to the deck
I round the corners of my decks because box springs have rounded corners and we want this to fit really nice.    I use a 5 1/2" circle template to round my corners.  Just draw it on the deck corners making a slight mark where the exact corner is and cut out around the curve.
With wrong sides together, pin your skirt to your deck.  Yes, I said wrong sides together.  Pin in all your pleats and 1/2 pleats.  If they are off a little, you can fudge your pleat depth a little, no one will ever know.

Once you have your skirt pinned to the deck and in my case my flap pinned too, lay the banding on top with the right side down.  Turn under 1/2 at the beginning of your banding.  Stitch using 1/2" seam allowance.  When you get to the end, cut off any excess banding allowing 1/2" to under at this edge too.

Step 7-  Top stitching banding.  Open out your deck and skirt and push the banding over the right side of the deck.  Top stitch close to the folded edge.
Step 8- Final Pressing.  Give your bed skirt a good final pressing.  Be sure to press those box pleats nice and crisp.
 Pin It Pin It

50 comments:

  1. This is very good and detailed tutorial. I use a cheap white fitted sheet when I make bedskirts. This allows the bedskirt to not shift when putting on new sheets weekly. I just put the fitted sheet on the box, draw a pencil line where the top of the skirt would need to be sewn, and then remove and sew the skirt to that line. Simple and more stable.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. terry,
      this is a great idea to use the fitted sheet. thanks for sharing!
      judi

      Delete
    2. Great idea Terry! I will have to try that method out soon!
      Jules

      Delete
  2. Julie, thanks for doing this tutorial. I will need to study it a little bit but it is so nice to have every detail laid out. Now I feel like I can make one too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Nancy, This tutorial was done with you in mind! I remembered you asking for a Box Pleat tutorial! So glad you liked it and I really hope it helps! If you need any help just shoot me an email and I will be glad to answer any questions!
      Jules

      Delete
  3. I am so impressed! You might need to come over and help me :) You are talented and this is a great tutorial. Thanks for sharing on "Cowgirl Up!"
    :) Samantha @ Crafty Texas Girls

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Samantha, Thanks for hosting. I love your blog and the name of your blog is adorable!
      Jules

      Delete
  4. I'm also impressed this is one of the best tutorials i have ever seen. Really professional with great detail. I have always wanted a box pleat bed skirt. I am now in the beginning of a master bedroom makeover, and will incorporate into our bed linens. Thanks so much for a great tutorial. Thanks for sharing your creative inspiration at Sunday's Best.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cathy, Thanks for hosting! I just noticed you featured it....Thanks so much!!! It means a lot! Good luck with the Master Bedroom makeover! If there's anything else you want me to do a tutorial on, just let me know.
      Jules

      Delete
  5. this is an excellent tutorial. i so appreciate the detailed info. as i may be making one for a parade of homes house in the fall. this will be bookmarked for future use!
    i also love the idea of using the fitted sheet idea by terry so it doesn't move around.
    judi

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Judi, Glad you liked it, sounds like you might be making several of these. If you run into any problems shoot me an email and I will try to help in any way possible.
      Jules

      Delete
  6. Wow! I'm totally impressed...Love the bedskirt!!!! I would love for you to link up at my party going on now at Jillify It!

    I'm a new follower!
    Jill
    www.jillifyit.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jill, See you at your next link party!
      Jules

      Delete
  7. Thanks for the amazing tutorial! I never would have been able to put that together! I would love for you to share with my readers on Blog Stalking Thursday Linky Party!

    http://thecraftyblogstalker.blogspot.com/2012/03/blog-stalking-thursday-32.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Katie,
      Just added you to my Thursday Link Parties, so I'll see you Thursday! Thanks for the invite!
      Jules

      Delete
  8. That is some seriously impressive work! You did a fantastic job...it's awesome!

    Carolyn
    {my simple messterpiece}

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Carolyn, It really means a lot!
      Jules

      Delete
  9. This is a great tutorial! I know that explaining boxpleats isn't easy. I have a drapery workroom too, so I'll be interested in following along with you! I just found your blog over at Chic on a Shoestring. I'm your newest follower and will sign up for email updates too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Suzy,
      Love that you have a drapery workroom too! I don't really know any other workroom owners and it would be nice to share and learn from each other!! I'm so excited to meet you!!
      I just added a "subscribe by Email" to my blog since some people were requesting it.
      I'm looking forward to getting to know you!
      Jules

      Delete
  10. Oops! Just noticed you don't have a subscribe by email choice. Is that something you might consider adding? Thanks and have a great weekend!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just added it, let me know if it doesn't work.
      Jules

      Delete
  11. Thanks for this detailed tutorial!! Thanks for sharing at Things I've Done Thursday. www.bearrabbitbear.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Always fun to join your party over at bearrabbitbear!
      Jules

      Delete
  12. Visiting from Transformation Thursday! I love this project! Such a great idea and you are truly talented!

    Thanks for the inspiration.

    blessings,
    karianne

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Karianne, So glad you liked the tutorial! Stay tuned for more upcoming tutorials!
      Jules

      Delete
  13. LOVE your tutorial and diagrams! They actually make this look doable for someone like me who is not a seamstress!
    I'm going to follow so I can learn more from you. THANKS!
    -Revi

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Revi,
      If you can sew a straight line, you CAN do this!! Do you have a sewing machine and what have you sewn in the past?
      Thanks for following,
      Julie

      Delete
  14. This is a super tutorial! One of the best I've ever seen. Thanks so much for your hard work! And your bedskirt is awesome!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Toodie, Thanks for the kind words!
      Jules

      Delete
  15. Wow! It's absolutely beautiful! Your tutorials are awesome!
    Melody

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Melody,
      Glad you liked it! Thanks for the encouragement!
      Jules

      Delete
  16. What I wouldn't give for a sewing machine! I love this! Can you make me one? :-)

    Thanks for sharing on Show Off Saturday!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Meg, We need to get you a sewing machine so you can try some of these projects! You just need a basic sewing machine...straight stitch, zig zag, zipper foot.
      I just may make it my goal to get you sewing!
      Jules

      Delete
  17. Simply wish to say your article is as surprising.
    The clarity in your post is simply great and i could assume
    you're an expert on this subject. Well with your permission let me to grab your RSS feed to keep up to date with forthcoming post. Thanks a million and please keep up the rewarding work.

    my web page :: Cheap Dental implants

    ReplyDelete
  18. Very shortly this website will be famous amid all blogging
    and site-building people, due to it's nice articles

    My site :: www.courtneyahammonds.Com

    ReplyDelete
  19. What's up to every body, it's my first visit of this blog;
    this web site carries remarkable and really fine material in
    support of readers.

    Check out my blog post: costs of dental implants

    ReplyDelete
  20. What's up, just wanted to mention, I enjoyed this article. It was inspiring. Keep on posting!

    Feel free to visit my site :: cost of dental implant

    ReplyDelete
  21. Aw, this was a vеry niсе pοѕt.
    Taking thе tіme and аctual effort to pгoduce a supеrb аrticle…
    but whаt сan I say… I hеsіtate a lot and never seem to get аnything donе.


    Reνiew my webρage :: nigen biotech the hcg solution

    ReplyDelete
  22. Why visitors still make use of to read news papers when in this technological world everything
    is accessible on web?

    Feel free to visit my web-site; Learn More

    ReplyDelete
  23. This post gives clear idea in favor of the new users of blogging, that truly how to
    do blogging and site-building.

    Here is my web blog Learn More Here

    ReplyDelete
  24. Very quickly this site will be famous amid all blogging people, due to it's nice articles

    My weblog :: link

    ReplyDelete
  25. I've been browsing on-line greater than three hours these days, but I never discovered any fascinating article like yours. It's lovely worth
    enough for me. Personally, if all webmasters and bloggers
    made good content material as you probably did, the
    web shall be much more useful than ever before.

    Also visit my webpage: Sac a main Guess

    ReplyDelete
  26. Great work you have done.

    Also visit our website: Flap Boxes

    ReplyDelete
  27. This blog is so much inviting.
    Thanks for sharing it with us.Top quality furniture company

    ReplyDelete
  28. May I ask about how you handled the banding at the corners?

    ReplyDelete
  29. I totally agree with you.
    I am running a bedding store and mostly get sale of Tailored / Box Pleat bed skirts and that is in Cotton white or Black. Mostly People like decent patterns and colors rather than going to some different or unique color based on my experience of sale in my store www.LinensnCurtains.com

    ReplyDelete