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Help with a box pleat

rwboyer | Posted in Pattern Discussion on

I have a pattern I am really stuck on how to complete one component.

It’s a jacket and the back has a reverse box pleat in the center back of the jacket.

The back is composed of two sides with a middle seam. On the pattern there is a pleat fold line on each half but no placement lines at all. To complicate matters there’s a separate “pleat underlay” pattern piece. If I lay that piece onto the sewn together back the stitch lines on it   match up with the pleat fold line on each half of the jacket back. See attached picture of pattern, jacket back, and pleat underlay.

Need some help as I am completely lost reading the pattern instructions which are:

“Below seam mark, baste pleat closed along pleat fold line. Press seam allowances and pleat folds open. On inside, lay pleat underlay over pressed-open allowances and pleat folds and stitch long edges together.”

1. Baste pleat closed along fold line???  To where? There doesn’t seem to be a placement line nor guidance.
2. Press seam allowances and pleat folds open… given I am lost at #1 I have no clue what seam allowances are being discussed? What folds? open? closed?  
3. On inside lay pleat underlay…. inside of jacket? inside of pleat which is non-existent.

Refer to attached image to see what I am working with here…


  1. FrancesC | | #1

    VernonMcGee, what the heck are you doing posting this on sewing site?
    Threads, please delete this.

  2. FrancesC | | #2

    I think the pleat fold should be placed on the centre back seam. But I admit that I don't understand the rest. I think it would help to see the drawing/photo of the completed back.

  3. User avater
    DonMcCunn | | #3

    It looks like you are suppose to sew the center back seam first, Then fold the left and right sides good side together and baste along the pleat line. Then layout the fabric so that the center back seam is on top of the basted pleat fold and press. Best to do this on the wrong side of the fabric. This will give you a nice clean reverse pleat.

    I don't know what the pleat underlay is suppose to be doing. But once you follow the steps above, maybe it will be clearer.

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