How To Add A Pleat To A Pattern


How about a little Pinspiration, today? Is there a Pin you see ALL the time (EVERY time) you scroll Pinterest? Well, I’ve got a few. But, there is one in particular that always catches my eye, and I always think to myself, “I could totally make that!” So, I did! And, I am going to show you how with my latest tutorial: How To Add a Pleat To a Pattern. 😍

Use An Existing Pattern

The first thing you need is, you guessed it…a pattern. Since I am recreating the top in this Pin, I am using the Dublin Dolman from New Horizons Designs. It’s not an exact match, but darn pretty close. Plus, I just love the Dublin Dolman! Such a quick sew with great results every time. 😍 But, you should be able to use this method with any shirt pattern. So, use what works for you 😉

The main feature of this Pinterest-inspired top is that adorable asymmetrical pleat, adorned with buttons. The process of adding a pleat may seem intimidating. Especially on a curved neckline. But, fear not! I will show you how easy it really is to achieve this look 😍


BTW: Normally, I take step-by-step photos for my tutorials. But, since I am using someone else’s pattern here,  I hand-drew them this time (so as not to infringe on any copyrights). Hope they all make sense….. 😍

How To Add a Pleat To a Pattern

First, determine where you want your new pleat. 😍 To recreate this look, I am doing an asymmetrical pleat on the front of my shirt. So, I took the ‘front’ pattern piece, measured 3 in. over from the middle and cut straight down.


Next, join the two pieces again at the bottom. This way, the hem line stays the same (important to consider if the pattern you are using has a band, as this one does). Use a piece of tape to hold it together. Determine how wide you want your pleat to be and double it. “Fan” out your pieces to that measurement. For example: I am only doing a 1/2 in. pleat, so I spaced mine 1 in.

Tip: You may want tape a strip of paper behind the pattern, to hold everything in place and give yourself a surface to draw out the next step… 😍


Time to draw in your pleat. Because this pleat is placed on a curved neckline, I added an extension (just like a dart) 😍 to give the finished pleat a smooth finish. To draw the extension, I measured up 1/2 in. from the center of the pleat, then drew connecting lines to either side.

Now, decide how long you want your pleat to be, measure down the center of the pleat, and draw a dot to mark the length. The pleat in my Pinspiration goes just passed the tah-tahs. Based on the pic, I measured down 8 in. However, I am fairly small in the boob department (A-cup). 😍 You may need to play around with this measurement for your top.

Tip: It is easier to add more length to your pleat, than to having to un-pick too much length (especially with knits). So, go short and add length if needed once you try it on. 😍

Your new pattern piece is done!

Time to Sew!
Pattern Placement: 😍

To sew a single asymmetrical pleat, the fabric can no longer be cut on the fold (as the original pattern indicates). Otherwise, you would end up with a pleat on either side. Instead, lay your fabric out (unfolded) and place the original pattern piece and your new (pleated) pattern piece together so they meet in the middle.

😍 Now that your fabric is cut and ready to go, let’s sew the pleat. Fold your fabric (right sides together) down the middle of your pleat and pin. Sew a straight line from the top, down to your measured length.


Unfold your fabric and press the pleat up, towards the shoulder. Baste in place.

The pleat is done! Assemble your top, following pattern instructions. Once you are done, simple sew buttons onto your pleat. The shirt in the Pinterest pic has 5 buttons, so that’s what did. But feel free to do as many as you want.Enjoy your trendy new top! 😍


***This post may contain affiliate links. This means, if you make a purchase through one of my affiliated links, I earn a few pennies. This helps feed my fabric habit, which leads to more blog posts for you to read and enjoy. It’s a win, win. So click away 😍

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