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Eleanor with Contrasting Inverted Box Pleat

Updated: Jun 3, 2023

To add a little something to an A-line dress like our Eleanor (sizes 6mo -14) or Aprons (sizes 6mo-4) consider this darling adaptation by Lezette Thomason where she adds an inverted box pleat with a contrasting fabric. To add this darling ruffle neck, see Susan’s blog Ruffle Collar Lee.


Children’s Corner Eleanor or Aprons pattern

Drafting Instructions

1. Make a copy of dress front.

2. On left-hand shoulder measure 1/3 of the way down shoulder line and mark. Draw a line from this mark to bottom of dress that is parallel to Center Front line.

3. Cut pattern on this line. Tape extra drafting paper to each cut edge. Add a 1/4” seam where pattern was cut. Lay these two new pattern pieces aside.

4. Contrasting pleat pattern: On drafting paper draw a rectangle 2” longer than dress front pattern and at least 7” wide. Measure over on the short or top side and mark center. Draw a perpendicular line to bottom of rec-tangle. Measure from this center line on each side 2 1/2” - 3” and mark. ( 2 1/2” for sizes 6 months to 3 1/2” for larger sizes.) Draw lines from these marks from top to bottom that are parallel to center line. Then on each side of the last two lines drawn, add a 1/4” seam allowance. Cut one piece of contrasting fabric from this pattern piece. Mark pleat lines.


1. With right sides together stitch pleat piece to big piece of dress front, allowing pleat piece to extend 1/2” at bottom and 1 1/2” at top.

2. With right sides together stitch pleat piece to smaller piece of dress front, making sure pleat piece extends exactly 1/2” at bottom to match other side.

3. Finish seams with a serger or a machine overcast stitch. (There is a File on this Called the Wire Foot on the Sew Classic Facebook Group.) pleat seams toward dress pieces.

4. Fold each side at seams on each side to center line of pleat piece and press. Pin in place at top and bottom.

5. The pleat piece will extend at bottom and at top. Stay stitch across folded in pleat at dress bottom and down should seam at shoulder.

6. Trim excess pleat piece fabric that extends at dress bottom and dress top. Remove stay stitching only at bottom of dress. Remove pins.

7. Complete dress following pattern instructions.

Adaptation by Lezette Thomason

Click the printer icon below for printable version.


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