*(disclaimer: Waverly and J0-Ann have provided me with free product and is compensating me a fee, but this idea
is my own, to include any sewing mistakes and ripped out seams.)
“How to Make a Box-Pleated Chair Skirt”
I love to sew. I have not sewn a “real” project in several years.
Mainly because my machine went to sewing heaven. It had been a faithful
and trusty friend for many years.
I wanted a new replacement machine, but honestly – I didn’t think I would
Maybe because I was putting in 70+ hours a week at my job????
Several months ago, Jo-Ann had a huge Sewing Machine Sale.
A cute little Singer came home with me. But, sadly – it sat all alone and
abandoned in the corner of the bonus room. Unused. Unloved. Undusted.
Then, along came Waverly and Jo-Ann, offering me 2 yards of fabric
and a chance to show off some of my wicked sewing skills for the
Waverize It! contest. I signed up immediately.
And then I panicked.
Was sewing like riding a bike?
Could I even remember how to fill the bobbin?
Did my newly purchased “friend” which I had abandoned in the bonus
room have a bad case of Rejection Syndrome, and not perform for me?
I will say – when I first started out, I felt rusty. But, I am proud to say I
only had to rip out one seam during the entire project. Hopefully, my
instructions make sense and you will not have to sit for a half hour ripping
out tiny little stitches while swearing like a drunken sailor.
Here is the fabric that Waverly and Jo-Ann sent me. It’s called Groovy Grill
and the color is Spa.
Isn’t it beautiful. I knew as soon as I opened the box, it would look
perfect in my Living Room. I had been wanting to make a little skirt for
my desk chair for some time. So, I grabbed my new machine, talked gently
to it – said a prayer – and off I went.
The hardest part for me was making the pattern. I used brown craft paper.
You could also use muslin as a template.
You will need five pieces: the seat section, and four sides for the “flaps”
of the skirt.
Measure the chair seat, and create a pattern – adding 1″ all around to allow
for seam allowance and hemming.
Decide how long you want the drop of the skirt to be. I chose 10″ but it can
be any length you want. Add 1.5″ all around.
Once you have all of your pattern pieces cut out, lay them on the backside
of the fabric and mark the edge. I used painter’s tape to help hold them in
place. I tried to think of the fabric’s pattern, and how it would look best.
I centered the seat pattern to take advantage of the design.
I used a fabric pen to mark all around the pattern pieces, then cut them out.
A strip of painter’s tape on the backside marked with the name of the fabric
piece helped me know which strip was which.
Next, I hemmed the bottoms of all four of the side flaps. Turn your fabric
in about 1/4″, turn in another 1/4″ and sew. (you can iron down the seam
first is needed.)
Let the pressure foot help you create a straight seam by running your fabric
along the outer right side. Keep your fabric pulled taut and keep
tucking in the seams as you go.
Once all four side flaps have been hemmed, do the same for the back of the
chair seat piece.
Now it’s time to create your box-pleats.
I measured the center of each side flap and the front flap, and made a mark.
Then, I measured two inches out from the center mark, and marked those,
too. (#1 and #3) Repeat on the other side.
The object is to fold in the fabric towards the center mark so that you create
a pleat, as shown below.
Once I had the first pleat, I used a hot iron to sew it down. Repeat on the
other side, and you should end up with this…
Again, use an iron to create crisp pleats. I did not box-pleat the back flap,
but you can choose to do so. Once you have all the side flaps pleated, you
need to sew the front flap and the side flaps together so you have one
continuous, long flap. Now if you note on my chair below…
My armless chair only had two back attachments. But, if your chair
has arms, you will not be able to attach all three side panels together
as you will need a break between each flap for the arm attachments to
the chair. I will show you later how to deal with that.
Next, pin your long 3-Part flap and the back flap, right sides together, to
the seat fabric, as shown below.
Sew the long strip along both sides and the front. Make small snips around the
two corners so they will not pucker when turned right side out.
Finally, attach the back flap in the same way.
For strictly decorative purposes, I added two small tabs of fabric at each
corner, which wrapped over the legs of the chair. This was created by
hemming a long strip if fabric on both sides. This is what I would
recommend doing all the way around if you are creating a skirt for a
I used two small pieces of velcro to hold them in place, so the skirt would
be easily removable.
Here is a close-up of the box-pleat…
As an afterthought, I whipped up a small kidney pillow for the back of
the chair. A “B” monogram was added with fabric transfer paper to the
So there you have it. How to Make a Box-Pleated Chair Skirt.
Now, I will admit, this is probably not a beginner’s project. But, I
would suggest you practice with some leftover fabric or inexpensive
muslin. Once you have your measurements, it’s just a matter of sewing
a series of straight seams. Nothing fancy.
Thank you to both Jo-Ann Fabric and Waverly for the opportunity to share
this project with you, and for providing me with the beautiful fabric, too.
I have a great surprise for you. Waverly is celebrating its 90th Anniversary.
Between September 1st-22nd, Waverly and Jo-Ann are sponsoring a Facebook
contest and the ultimate prize is $1000 in Waverly Fabrics and a
$250 Jo-Ann gift card. Is that amazing or what? $1000 of fabric!!!!
It is open to everyone.
Just create your own project using a Waverly fabric, and upload your
pic at the following Facebook Page.
Judges Announce Winners
So break out your sewing machine, which is hopefully not
abandoned like mine was – and whip up a fun project.
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