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Pleated skirts are a staple of a large segment of anime cosplay - nearly every genre within anime as well as a bunch of video games feature school uniform designs and/or daily wear with pleated skirts. I don't get contracted often for them, maybe once a year, so every time I get a new order for something that has a pleated skirt in the design, I find I need a quick refresher on the methodology. Not the technique, no, but the math. How long of a rectangle do I need to cut and sew to fit into the waistband?

The problem is, most tutorials online are missing a tiny yet crucial piece of information: that the size of the pattern piece is entirely dependent on the quantity of pleats that will fit into the waistband. And the quantity of pleats, in turn, is entirely dependent on the size of those pleats. In some cases, there's also the extra variable of the type of pleat that throws your math completely off. Most tutorials don't take any of that into account, and thus, the math is completely wrong for most people.

Most tutorials assume you only want 1" knife pleats in your skirt. For a very basic uniform skirt, or a professional-looking daywear skirt (or a couture skirt, fashion skirt, etc), this will do. In that case, the general math of 3" of fabric per 1" of waistband is accurate enough. But what happens if you look at your character and 1" is way too tiny of a pleat? What if you need 1.5" or 2" pleats? Worse, what if you want box pleats instead of knife pleats? You're screwed, right? No you're not!

Have a better tutorial to take those variables into account! )
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..how to do.

This is a more detailed version of the "Ten Things" panel that I have presented at cons before. It is by no means a required list, but a suggestion, though most of these techniques and tricks are pretty basic for anyone regularly building their own garments from scratch. Integrating these techniques into their repertoire is how any costumer/cosplayer can take their stuff to the next level, to start building costumes that dazzle and wow, fit and flatter. Because let's face it, we all like to look good. No matter what kind of costume it is, a well-made costume shows. Eyes pop and cameras flash, and you simply feel better when you look your best. These ten areas of sewing knowledge are crucial for anyone making cosplay a long-term hobby and wanting to improve their skills, whether for the satisfaction or the attention.

Ten Things every cosplayer should know how to do )

So there you have it. Go forth and learn and be beautiful!

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