5 Pleat Shirt Template

1/4" pleats spaced 1/2" apart

1/4" pleats spaced 1/2" apart

If you like pleat front shirts, sometimes called tuxedo shirts, why spend money on a new pattern?  You can now convert any existing shirt pattern into a pleat front pattern. Using the Diva 5-pleat template you can convert shirts that open in the front, as well as those that don’t, with any neckline. Just follow the red lines on the template for the type of shirt pattern you want to convert.

 

Pleat your shirt from the neck to the hem, or if you like, only sew the pleats part way down.  
For partial pleats, sew the first pleat, the one closest to the center front, down about 14 inches.  If you’re very tall, you might want to sew 16 inches or more. Don’t sew all the pleats to the same length or the shirt will have a very puffy look where the stitching stops.  Instead, sew the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th pleat to 1/2 inch less than the one before it (example: 14, 13.5, 13, 12.5, 12).  This will create a “v” shape at the bottom of the pleats and allow each one to hang nicely.  This technique is best suited for lightweight fabrics.

Directions

step 1 - On transparent paper (gift wrap tissue works well) trace the neck edge of your existing pattern including the shoulder line.  Be sure to mark the center front line and any pattern markings.

step 2 - Download and print as many Diva template copies as required for taping them together to match the length of your shirt pattern.

step 3 - Once the templates are joined, create sharp creases on all solid black lines, then sew on the dotted lines to create pleats with a machine basting stitch.  Fold all pleats flat and to the left.

step 3 - Once the templates are joined, create sharp creases on all solid black lines, then sew on the dotted lines to create pleats with a machine basting stitch.  Fold all pleats flat and to the left.

step 4 - Slice your pattern down the center line.  Put the narrow strip aside for now.

step 5 - Position your transparent paper with the traced neck edge, on top of the pleated template, matching the center lines. 

step 5 - Position your transparent paper with the traced neck edge, on top of the pleated template, matching the center lines. 

step 6 - Cut the template to match.  Be sure to transfer all markings.

step 6 - Cut the template to match.  Be sure to transfer all markings.

step 7 - With the center lines and neck edges aligned, tape the left edge of the template to the pattern from the neck to the hem.

step 7 - With the center lines and neck edges aligned, tape the left edge of the template to the pattern from the neck to the hem.

step 8 - Remove all the stitching lines in the template page.  It’s easiest to do this if you cut the top and bottom thread of each thread line every six inches or so, instead of trying to pull out the treads in one long piece. Iron the template page so it lays flat.  Join the previously sliced narrow piece of your pattern flush (no overlap) to the template at the center line.  Your pattern piece is complete and you are ready to cut out your shirt front.

step 8 - Remove all the stitching lines in the template page.  It’s easiest to do this if you cut the top and bottom thread of each thread line every six inches or so, instead of trying to pull out the treads in one long piece.
Iron the template page so it lays flat.  Join the previously sliced narrow piece of your pattern flush (no overlap) to the template at the center line.  Your pattern piece is complete and you are ready to cut out your shirt front.


Supplies

At Fabric Shop

  • shirt pattern
  • tracing paper
  • painters tape
  • marker

 

 


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