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Pleated Bedskirt

minidriver | Posted in Quilting and Home Decor on

Does anyone have suggestions for getting professional looking results in making a pleated bedskirt? I’m using a decorator fabric (Calico Corners) and have a Vogue pattern which shows adding strips of bedskirt fabric to the base muslin (the part that goes between the mattress and boxsprings) but I’m concerned about puckering seams, or maybe needing interfacing to back my decorator fabric. Any suggestions, websites, or blogspots specializing in Home Dec?

Thank you.


  1. Teaf5 | | #1

    I was just about to post a discussion about my second weekend of wrestling with a second try at a bedskirt when I found your question. Now that I have battled with two of them, maybe I can help you to avoid some of the pitfalls I encountered.

    Measuring carefully did not help me very much on either project; the box springs and mattress are not exact anyway. I took the mattress off, laid the base fabric down, and marked it to cut it approximately 2" smaller than the box spring all around, put it back on the bed, and marked the middle of each side on the base muslin for reference.

    Then I measured the drop of the skirt (14", added the 2" plus a 1/2" seam, and then added enough for a doubled hem-3"). I tore rather than cut the lengths for the skirt, in one case lengthwise on the fabric, and the other widthwise because of the design. I stitched those together and hemmed the entire length--a very tedious, time-consuming step!

    Then I safety-pinned the hemmed strip onto the base muslin, taking care that the hem met the floor just as I wanted it. It was easier to pin and stitch just one side at a time, as a queen bedskirt involves about 6 or 8 yards of fabric overall, and it all looks alike when bunched on your sewing machine. I was putting pleats only in the middle of each side and the corners, so I left those areas unstitched until the other sides were completed. Again, I put the skirt back on the box spring to shape and pin the pleats before stitching.

    If the fabric is transparent, there will be show-through if you use a single layer. In my guest room, only the foot end would be obvious, so I could just layer a single panel between the skirt and springs without stitching it to block that shadow. On the other one, I used an inexpensive fabric for the skirt and doubled it rather than hemming it; it looks very full and rich, like a balloon hem, and was much faster overall.

    Although I love the look and quality of my homemade bedskirts, the experience sewing them made me realize why they are so expensive to buy; they take a lot of time and effort!

    1. Ceeayche | | #2

      I have had a good deal of success using old fitted sheets for the base.  I place it on the box springs and mark the edge of the matress.  Then measure 3-4 inches in from the edge and mark all the way around the sheet.  This becomes the stitching line.

      I measure from the stitching line I created to the floor to figure out my finished length of the ruffle.  Next I add a generous seam allowance above and hem allowance below (the depth of the hem is dependent on the type of fabric for the ruffle.  In some cases I'll use tulle to give soft fabrics some body.

      After finishing the ruffle (pleated or gathered), I place the ruffle so the finished side is facing the center of the sheet and match the seam allowance to the line I drew earlier (it's easier to do this with the sheet on bed so you can adjust where necessary).  I then attach it to the sheet by stitching the foot of the ruffle first and then the two sides, overlapping a couple of inches. 

      Then I place the sheet on the bed and flip the ruffle down. If I need to make any adjustments I do this now. Then I remove it from the mattress and one second row of stitches 1/4 inches from the first and I'm finished!

      Hope it helps.

  2. Tatsy | | #3

    You're brave to take this on. Doing the project on a serger with a differential feed should eliminate the possibility of puckered seams.

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