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Pleated Paper Bag Skirt

Added Nov 7, 2009

by ginasophia

New York, New Yo...






This is quick project I thought up to use the remaining half yard of denim from my Monday trousers. I have added a tutorial on it (because it is just that easy!)
I was inspired by a skirt from Christian Siriano’s (Project Runway!) Sp09 line.(see last photo) Naturally my version is far more casual and wearable. I have added belt loops and am planning on adding “inseam” pockets (although there is only one back seam!)
All you need to know how to do for this is sew a straight line and make box pleats (easy!)

Material Notes

half yard of denim, tailors chalk, ruler, needle and thread, pen and pencil/calculator, closure eg zipper.



Related Techniques


Garment Type

32 Comments Sign in to add a post

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    Oct 5, 2013, 07.07 AMby Karen Jackson

    Loved your tutorial. Finished my Paper bag skirt from some left over denim. Tried it on, but I’m not sure it is me. Will try it again with makeup hair and shoes!

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    Jul 20, 2013, 12.02 AMby alanballjr

    You make it look so simple. I never thought making something like this could be broken down into such easy steps. Thanks!

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    Jul 20, 2013, 12.02 AMby alanballjr

    You make it look so simple. I never thought making something like this could be broken down into such easy steps. Thanks!

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    Jul 2, 2011, 12.14 PMby kelerabeus

    I love your tutorial! It took me two days to make my skirt, but that’s due to my extremely slow sewing :) (and taking some photos of it gonna go even slower, but I do plan to post it eventually :)) I love it, thank you for sharing.

    1 Reply
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      Jul 3, 2011, 03.52 AMby ginasophia

      i am very happy you liked it!! I cannot wait to see yours!

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    Apr 5, 2011, 10.04 AMby candyjoyce

    You made a lovely skirt and a great tutorial and I just wanted to say thanks for inspiring me with this tutorial. I made my own version at the weekend and I love it.

    Cheers, Candy

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    Jan 25, 2011, 03.15 PMby dani524

    I’m not sure why but when I downloaded the instructions, all the images are blown up so large in the pdf that I cannot see but 1/4 of the image. Did this happen to anyone else? I’m about to attempt to make this beautiful skirt for my friend’s birthday but being a very visual person, I’m a bit confused by the lack of images. Help?

    1 Reply
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    Jul 28, 2010, 04.57 AMby webbieeexx

    It is so cute! Love this design and will certainly try it out.

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    Jun 8, 2010, 06.57 AMby smartalex999

    I like this a lot! Great job!

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    Apr 12, 2010, 08.05 AMby davee09

    loving it!!!

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    Mar 31, 2010, 02.22 PMby kerriann

    i can’t get it right, sending me crazy.

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    Feb 27, 2010, 02.18 AMby sodiva23

    My pleats are coming out wrong…good thing I did a basting stitch…could you please show a close up or how to do them—-i confuse myself when i get to like the third or fourth one.

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    Jan 24, 2010, 05.31 PMby Natalia *

    Im not usually a fan of the paper bag skirt, because I think it looks rather messy but this one looks fantastic. Well done.

    1 Reply
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    Dec 23, 2009, 07.14 PMby jlanaux

    Ok…I am doing something wrong. I can’t seem to get the box pleats right. My daughter’s waist is 29 1/2. I rounded up to 30, but I still can’t get the pleats to come out right. Anyone who made this skirt….can you help me?


    1 Reply
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      Jan 25, 2010, 01.36 AMby ginasophia

      I am (somehow) only just catching this question. I hope everything has worked out, if not please let me know and Id be happy to help

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    Dec 4, 2009, 01.37 PMby ler28

    I made it the night before last. It hardly took me any time and I got so many compliments for it when I wore it yesterday! Thank you x

    1 Reply
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      Dec 4, 2009, 09.20 PMby ginasophia

      I am so happy to hear that! I hope you upload some pics soon, I cannot wait to see!!!

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    Nov 29, 2009, 01.36 PMby Laura Jane

    i did it

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    Nov 22, 2009, 03.44 PMby frkbustad

    This is perfect! Thanks for sharing the tutorial. I have so much light-weighted wool, and wanted a skirt like this for the winter. No I know what it shall look like!

    1 Reply
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      Nov 23, 2009, 02.38 AMby ginasophia

      So happy I could help!

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    Nov 22, 2009, 10.44 AMby Laura Jane

    thankyoou for this i was doing the pleats wrong so now i know what to do! :P

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    Nov 16, 2009, 02.27 AMby ink

    So beautiful. Such a simple beautiful floral form!

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    Nov 15, 2009, 03.42 PMby mbeara

    Love it, can’t wait to make this, I have just the fabric too, looks great with the belt, thanks!!

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    Nov 11, 2009, 05.03 PMby gypsylov1

    1/2 yard? really? it seems like so little fabric! if this is for real you just gave me a way to use up all those extras laying around!

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    Nov 11, 2009, 02.44 PMby carottesauvage

    A perfect example of ‘less is more’ Great choice of fabric

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    Nov 10, 2009, 10.56 PMby reichan

    It’s really simple and classy, I love it!

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    Nov 10, 2009, 09.04 PMby nova-1

    Thanks for this tutorial! I’m really enthousiastic and I wanna start with it as soon as possible. I also love your outfit! And this may sound a little weird, but what colour where your shoes with this outfit?

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    Nov 9, 2009, 03.31 PMby nutmeg1

    Thank you for this! I have been wanting to try a paper bag waist for a while now, and decided I had to do it because of an episode of Project Runway couple of weeks ago actually, with the paper bag waist pants.

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    Nov 9, 2009, 07.09 AMby peachypanda

    i looove this! thanks so much for the instructions

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    Nov 8, 2009, 01.19 PMby misssylver

    It looks much better on you than it does on that poor model in the runway piccie. The poor thing looks like she would eat her family!

    1 Reply
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      Nov 8, 2009, 02.10 PMby ginasophia

      hahaha! well thank you

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    Nov 8, 2009, 10.48 AMby marcy75

    Great! I have been watching to Project Runaway too to draw inspiration :) So many ideas and young fresh stylists! And Cristiano is very creative! Here in Italy, on tv, we have stopped to the third season.. I’m waiting for the next seasons!!

    1 Reply
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      Nov 8, 2009, 02.13 PMby ginasophia

      Oh well I am jealous! I wish I had more to watch.. We are just about to start the finale of season 6! (I still go back and watch old seasons when I am bored or uninspired!)

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    Nov 8, 2009, 07.25 AMby juebejue

    woo, time for winter short skirt! thanks!

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    Nov 8, 2009, 03.40 AMby tangerinesamurai

    Love this! This is definitely on my list to try. Thanks for the instructions!

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    Nov 8, 2009, 01.24 AMby tessarifkin

    love the way this looks! I can’t wait to try it out!

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