I did my pleats straight onto my fabric and just used pins to check it was right first then i placed it around my waist to make sure it fit okay. Once It was all sorted I stitched a basic tack stitch lightly into the top of the skirt which could be easily removed but still kept the pleats in place then I stitched straight over the pleats.
For the waistband at the top like someone said make it larger than you actually need on the width by like an inch and then fold the two edges in and iron in place( i find ironing easier but if not do the tack thing again) and then sew in the two sides. The waist band should be with in a centimeter of your waist size so it fits you without falling down as there sin't any elastic. The sip should then keep it up.
I have a skirt with the exact waistband if you want a pic or two of the inside!
In the name of the moon, I will punish you!
Will do commissions if anyone is interested...