Kurta Shoulder Alterations – with Pleats

This easy tutorial is about making even or uneven shoulder alterations in oversized Kutra/Kurti/Kameez by adding pleats based on individual style and design, thus giving suitable style tips.

Namaste Dear Tantu Enthusiast,

This week’s Kurta alteration method is super easy compared to the other methods in the series of alteration of ready-to-wear garments posted so far. If you have been following the series, you would have noted that shoulder alteration with darts is the easier one compared to last week’s shoulder alteration method with tucks.

Kurta Shoulder Alteration - with PleatsIn this Kurta alteration method, the extra shoulder width is taken as pleats at the shoulders.

Kurta Alteration by Pleats – Style Tips

Pleated shoulder style looks beautiful on solids as well as on Kurtas with small overall designs. Better to avoid pleats on Kurtas with emphasising large designs at the neckline and shoulder. This method is also for Kurtas with well fitted armhole and for Kurtas with sleeves as it doesn’t involve armhole alterations.

Difficulty level: Super Easy

Time required:

  • To measure and mark 10 minutes
  • Pleats stitching at one shoulder – 5 minutes

Tools Required:

  • Measuring Tape
  • Marking chalk
  • Scissors
  • sewing Machine

Kurta shoulder fitting for even shoulder with pleats:

  1. First, we would measure the shoulder. Two sides can be measured separately if needed more accurate fitting. Say, shoulder is 34cm wide i.e, approximately 13.25 inch wide. This means, for an ideal even shoulder, each side is 17cm (6.6 inch) wide.
  2. We have to measure the Kurta/Kurti shoulder. Remember to measure the two sides separately. Say, left side is 20cm and right side is 20cm
  3. Note down difference in measurements of each side. In this example, Kurta/Kurti has 3cm extra width at both sides.
  4. Since Kurta shoulder widths are even, we will take pleats to cover up the extra width.
  5. Let us decide the number of pleats to be added. Say, 3 pleats of 0.5cm width (fabric consumption 1cm) each at a regular interval of 0.5cm. Then, we have to mark the pleats between neckline and shoulder end.Pattern - Shoulder Alteration with Pleats
  6. Pleats must be machine stitched as a top stitch at the shoulder. That means, we have to feed the garment shoulder to the machine keeping right side out as shown in the previous image.

Look carefully at the shoulder for the pleats in the Kurti of mine shown in below picture. This triple coloured batik cotton Kurti is shopped at Laxmi road, Pune. This photograph taken by Venu at Mahabaleshwar, Maharashtra.Kurta Shoulder Alteration done with Pleats

Oh Yes! I have specs… 🙂 I wear it always but not while taking pictures, I hate it when light spoils the picture making its appearance on my specs. This one is a rare exception for that 🙂


  • Refer to Taking Measurements for taking shoulder measurement accurately.
  • Pleats can be used when equal amount of fabric is to be concealed on each side.
  • Number of pleats on each side should be equal.
  • Beginners can draw the fold lines with marking chalk and hand tack the pleats before stitching them.
  • In special cases, pleats can be added for uneven shoulder too. Say, if Kurta shoulder is also uneven (left 20cm and right 21cm) for a person with left shoulder 16.5 and right shoulder 17.5cm, then each shoulder side has 3.5cm extra width. In this case, pleats can be added.


Isn’t it a super easy method? Eager to know your feedback for this tutorial post. Will come back with another alteration method next week.

Take care!

Bye until the next post!



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A nature lover and dreamer who expresses herself as an artist, fashion designer and blogger. Persued B.Sc fashion design at Karavali College (Mangaluru University 2003 - 2006) with first rank. Former lecturer for fashion designing at Gloria College, Puttur for five years (2006-2011). Blogger since 2013.

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