Back Pleat with Lining

Very rarely do I look for something on the internet and don’t find it, but that was the situation when I needed a tutorial for a kickback pleat with lining.  I eventually worked out what to do by staring intently at a RTW dress of mine and scratching my head.  

Here’s the tutorial.  Enjoy (no need to hobble in that pencil skirt no more)!

How to Sew a Back Pleat with Lining

In this demo, I’m using scraps but on a dress or skirt, you start here after you’ve attached the centre back zip but not yet sewn the seam below.  The lining is loose and should be some 4cm shorter than the outer fabric.

1 Apply fusible interfacing to the pleat seam allowances of the outer fabric and lining.  With the lining, you only need to interface the seam allowance, not the body of the pleat (this is why it’s a good idea to keep scraps).  Use light to medium interfacing. 


2 Hem the lining


3 Apply tailor tacks at the point where the vertical and the diagonal stitching lines intersect.  Sew centre back seam to the tailor tacks.


4 Clip to 2mm of the tailor tacks


5 Pin lining to outer fabric, wrong sides together, matching seams and tailor tacks.  

6 Press under seam allowances of fabric and lining on left side of pleat only (i.e. right side of garment)



7 Pin and stitch


8 On the right side of pleat (left side of garment) flip fabric and lining right sides together and stitch down from the tailor tack 


9 Clip corner and turn right side out.


10 On the inside, place both extensions to the right (garment left) and stitch along the diagonal through all thicknesses.


11 On the left, hem so the fabric fold meets the lining.


12 Finally, hem the right side taking care when pinning so that the final fold faces down (out of view) and not to the left


13 Done And the outside:

32 thoughts on “Back Pleat with Lining

  1. Well, how sweet is this? You have done all the work for me! I wanted to do my next pencil skirt with a kick pleat and now I’ve got a great tute to follow! Awesome work too!

  2. Oh, but if the pattern doesn’t have a kick pleat I could just add that little extension on to one side? Your lining fits so nicely too. And is that a Liberty print by chance?

    • Yes, you basically extend the seam allowance on the bottom of the centre back seam. My extensions are 5cm wide (added to the 1.5cm, i.e. 6.5cm from seam) and from the top of the diagonal line to the hem is 21cm, including 4cm hem allowance. If in doubt, make the extensions longer rather than shorter, especially if you’re tall or long legged.

  3. Just happen to be making a jacket with a back pleat at the moment – perfect timing – thank you so much. And I love your fabric – Liberty?

    • Can’t wait: you always make such beautiful jackets. If you’re using a pattern, I wonder how the instruction will differ from above?

      Yes, the fabric is Liberty (bargain bucket) and corduroy. Perfect for a cold spring. Post and dress soon!

  4. Thank you very much for this tutorial. It will be a very useful reference point for me as I always forget how to do it.

    • I know, it’s very easy to forget what to do when it’s not done on a regular basis. A lot of the tutorials here are for my own benefit 🙂

  5. Thank you for this – it has worked beautifully. I finally finished a lined cotton/linen day dress that I had put aside last summer because I couldn’t figure out how to do the blasted kick pleat thingy. Now smugly trying on my fab new dress!

    • Oh wonderful! Thanks so much for letting me know. Hopefully your comment will encourage others to try my tutes.

      That’s me off to bed with a happy smile!

  6. Could the same method be applied to a long men’s coat with a center vent and an inverted pleat? Also, there are buttons on the inside of the pleat which can be used.


    • I guess so if the pleat looks like my kick pleat. My best advice is to try it step by step out on a “dummy piece” (I used some 50cm squares from my stash) and if you’re satisfied with the result, you’ll probably make an even better job the second time round on the real thing. Good luck: it sounds like an interesting design.

  7. I had searched and searched for just exactly this type of tutorial, a million thanks to you. I even emailed Susan Khalje in the Craftsy class and she suggested couture dressmaking books, I searched them too, nothing simple like this. Just popped you into my Feedly, thanks so much.

    • Oh, you’ve made my day!

      Glad I could help and it’s so lovely to get feedback: that was one long tutorial to make!

      But yes, it’s glaringly obvious that a narrow skirt needs an opening and unless you line that skirt, it’ll ride up your tights all winter long 😡

  8. I’ve been looking for weeks for a tutorial for this very thing! thank you so much 🙂
    I just couldn’t work out how to attach the lining and everything be all smooth and neat.
    I can finish my dress now!

  9. This looks very professional. I’m making a dress that doesn’t have a waist seam so will this method still work? Thank you for your time and helping to solve this technique

    Kind regards

  10. I’ve used 2 other methods with less than perfect results so thank you too. I wanted to get a better look at the drawings of Steps 12 and 13 but I can’t get them to enlarge like the rest of them. Is there a way to correct it from my end? Thanks so much.

  11. THANK YOU. Beautifully clear instructions and clear pictures. I now have (a) a tweed skirt with a rather nifty orange silk lining and (b) very high smugness levels

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