Make a Pocket Bed Skirt

Practical and pretty, this pleated cotton skirt stores away petty items in its oversize pockets.

What You Need

  • White cotton fabric that measures the width and length of your box springs plus 1 inch
  • Cotton fabric for side and foot strips
  • Straight pins
  • Contrasting fabric for pockets and flaps
  • Tape measure
  • Thread and needle or sewing machine

How to Make It

Your dimensions will depend on the size of your bed and the depth of your box springs as it rests on the frame, but we will provide instructions for our box springs, which measured 53 x 74 1/2 inches with a 15-inch drop to the floor.

  1. Make the adjustments to your bed skirt after measuring your box springs' width, length, and height from the top edge to the floor.
  2. For the top (the piece that fits between the springs and the mattress), cut white cotton fabric 54 x 75 1/2 inches.
  3. Set it aside.
  4. Cut and piece one strip of fabric to 144 x 16 1/2 inches for the foot of the bed.. Cut and piece two strips of fabric to 202 1/2 x 16 1/2 inches for the sides.
  5. To avoid ending up with an unsightly seam on the top of a pleat, we recommend adding an extra 12 inches to each length. This will allow you to cut and repiece lengths to hide the seams behind pleats. Pleats should measure 9 inches wide with 2-inch spacing between pleats.
  6. You will need 9 inches to either side of the pleat so that you fold the pleat back 4 1/2 inches and then flatten it against the other 4 1/2 inches.
  7. Before pleating, we put straight-pin markings in our strips of fabric as follows: 2 inches in to begin the side strips and then at 9 inches, 9 inches, 9 inches, 2 inches, 9 inches, 9 inches, 9 inches, 2 inches, and repeat.
  8. Once all pins were in place, we pinned in and steam-pressed five pleats for the foot of the bed and seven pleats for each side of the bed. We did not stitch them in place yet. Also, leave 2 inches at the foot-end of the side strips for the corners and 2 inches at each end of the foot strips.
  9. To make the pockets, cut 9-x-9-inch squares of a contrasting fabric.
  10. Fold in and press 1 inch all around to make a finished 7-inch square. Topstitch all sides. (We turned the pockets in a full inch because they will be used for storage. The extra fabric ensures strength and durability.)
  11. To make the flaps, cut 8-x-3-inch strips of fabric.
  12. Turn all edges under 1/4 inch and again 1/4 inch and press.
  13. Topstitch all sides.
  14. Open up the pleated and pressed strips, being careful not to flatten the pressed seams. Measure and sew the pockets in place starting 5 inches from the bottom raw edge of the bed skirt.
  15. Overlap the flaps about 1 inch on the pockets and stitch along the top edge to secure.
  16. Press all pockets.
  17. Fold under a 1/2-inch hem and fold under again 1/2 inch on all strips; topstitch.
  18. Press the hem.
  19. Hem the sides of all pleated strips.
  20. Now repin all pleats and press again if necessary.
  21. Then, with right sides facing, attach the strips to the large white cotton base piece and sew all pieces together, using 1/2-inch seam allowances.
  22. Put the bed skirt on your box springs top, between it and the mattress, and then remove all pleat pins. This will keep the pleats neat and tidy until you get the skirt in place.


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