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How to Make a Pleated Frill Cushion Cover - Knife Pleat (Fork Pleat) Sewing Tutorial

Updated: Jan 1, 2022

Brighten up any bedding or seating area with this cute, pleated cushion cover. This technique uses a fork to create the perfect ‘knife pleats’ with ease! The front of the cushion features 3 rows of pleats and the back closes neatly with a zip.

To celebrate a century of style, quality, luxury and expertise, Dunelm have introduced a limited-edition anniversary collection inspired by 10 decades of Dorma designs. These classic prints are ideal for homewares as well as dressmaking and other sewing projects.

This is a 3 tier pleated cushion cover with 3 of the stunning fabric designs using a technique known as knife pleating (but we will be using a fork, you'll soon understand!) Knife pleats are equally spaced folds on the fabric and can be used for many different sewing crafts. If you haven't tried the 'fork pleating' hack yet, have a practice first on scrap fabric to get the hang it before sewing the main fabric.

What you’ll need:

3 strips of fabric measuring 112cm (width of the fabric) x 24cm for the pleats

1 piece patterned fabric the same as the top pleat measuring 42cm x 8cm

1 piece of plain fabric measuring 42cm x 24cm

2 pieces of backing fabric each measuring 42cm x 17cm

40cm zip

40x30cm cushion pad

Tools used:


Quick unpick

Fabric glue pen


Finished size:

40cm x 30cm

1. Sew the 8cm patterned strip to the top of the plain 24cm piece right sides together. Open and press. This will be the top of the cushion.

2. Sew the three fabric strips you will be using for the pleats in half width ways into three tubes. Turn right side out and press.

3. Place the first strip over the patterned top piece of fabric, 4cm above the seam.

To create neat, even pleats, take a fork, with the curved side up, thread the top of the fabric between the first and second prong. Turn the fork over to create the pleat, pin in place as you go and continue across the whole strip of fabric.

4. Sew a top stitch across the top of the pleated fabric.

Repeat with the second and third strips, placing them over the plain part of the cushion cover, with the previous strip overlapping the top.

TIP - line the fabric strips up before starting to sew, so that they are evenly spaced.

5. The front of your cushion cover should now be covered with the pleated strips.

6. To make the back of the cover, sew the two pieces right sides together width ways with a 1cm seam allowance. Press the seam open.

7. Place the zip, facing down, over the seam and secure with a fabric glue pen.

8. Sew along each side of the zip.

9. From the right side, unpick the original seam stitches to reveal the zip.

10. Open the zip and sew the open ends of the zip closed so that they stay in place.

11. Trim the back to the size of the cushion front. Sew right sides together to the pleated front of the cushion, make sure the zip is open. Be sure to sew the sides of the pleats into the seams and tuck the bottom pleat out of the way when sewing the bottom of the cushion.

12. Snip across the corners, turn the right side out and insert your cushion pad.

For the large cushion, I used the same fork technique to create a frill around the edge. This cushion measures 45cm square.

AD | Fabric gifted from The Bee Fabric Co. and Dunelm to create this tutorial


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