How to Hem a Pleated Skirt. A pleated skirt remains a fashion mainstay in the closets of many girls and women and at some point you may want to add a hem to alter the length of the skirt. However, different techniques are used to hem a pleated skirt, depending on whether you're actually making the skirt, or whether you're tailoring it.

Tailor a Skirt By Adding a Hem

Trim the "allowance" (the amount of fabric above the existing hemline) to a quarter of an inch. Create an overcast edge, which is simply a single-fold edge that folds from the outside to the inside of the skirt.

Re-stitch the side seams, stopping when you're 6 inches above the overcast edge of the newly folded hemline.

Create the hem in the front of the skirt and then the back of the skirt. Sew them into place separately rather than all at once. Ensure that you match the hem at the seams before completing them.

Trim any leftover material away.

Hem a Skirt As You Make It

Create the hem after sewing the side seam into place. Trim away the fabric down to your seam allowance in the area where you're going to create the hem and fold it at the seam so it's square with the pleat.

Pin the hem into place, about a quarter of an inch from the edge of the skirt, and finish sewing the hem into place. Don't forget to clip the seam allowance, bringing it up just above the hemline.

Fold your pleat to the point at which you want it to set and pin it in place about a quarter of an inch from the edge of the skirt. Sew it into place using a running stitch technique.


Seam lines can make adding a hem to a pleated skirt a little tricky, particularly since the seam sometimes splits open at the hemline. To prevent this from happening, sew the pleat together about a quarter of an inch from the edge, press the skirt, and then overcast the seam edges so they cover the hem.


Always have the person who will be wearing the skirt try the skirt on before you add a hem to ensure proper fitting. Also, double-check to make sure that your baste (pin) markings are absolutely accurate before you sew them into place.