How To Sew Cartridge Pleats – A Tutorial

How To Sew Cartridge Pleats - A Tutorial

In this tutorial you’ll learn how to sew cartridge pleats.

In the early Victorian era, skirts were often attached with cartridge pleats (or gauging) to the waistband. Cartridge pleats help to give the skirt a dome shape which was fashionable in the 1840s – 1860s. Here’s a picture of an 1850s petticoat, and of an 1850s dress with cartridge pleating.

victorian gathering fabric with running stitch

At the top of your skirt, turn the seam allowance to the wrong side of the fabric. Gather the fabric with running stitches (about an 1/4 inch wide or more, depending on the fabric thickness and amount of fabric). To secure the ends of the gathering thread, wrap the thread a couple of times round a pin in a figure 8.

Draw the thread tight, gathering the fabric.

You can do more rows of running stitches if you wish. For this petticoat I’ve made just one row of running stitches.

victorian fabric gauging tutorial

Lay your gathered skirt and waistband right sides together. You can space the pleats evenly or gather the fabric more at the back of the skirt.

Stitch each pleat with a whipstitch to the waistband.

diy cartridge pleats sewing

I’ve stitched each pleat with two stitches for extra security.

Inside view of cartridge pleats
Inside view of cartridge pleats

cartridge pleats tutorial

Continue till all of the cartridge pleats are attached to the waistband.

I like sewing cartridge pleats as they’re fast and easy to make.

This cartridge pleating was for my Victorian tucked petticoat.

2 thoughts on “How To Sew Cartridge Pleats – A Tutorial

  1. Hello. Lovely tutorial on cartridge pleating.
    Two questions about sewing each pleat to the waistband In the photos here, is the white woven band shown the final, finished waistband? How is it fastened: button? ties?

    I’m stumped: what is that white, woven waistband called? Is it an interfacing thing? I know I’ve seen it but can’t think where or how to ask for it by name. Do I have to handmake that too?!? Just kidding.
    Thank so very much.

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