Obviously, I'm not sure of the exact pleating depth--I didn't have a ruler along--but it wasn't extremely fine. If 1/2" looks wrong to you, try 3/8", but I wouldn't go much finer than that. (And actually, I'd say as long as you get a pleated fabric, any pleated fabric, it will look ok. ) For the jacket, I'm not sure what you mean by that "top part is lower than the upper" part. ? As far as the jacket pattern--kimonos have slanted fronts (which wrap around to form the associated V-neck), so if you use a kimono pattern, you'll need to delete that slant. (Check the picture--the bottom front corners are nice right angles, not the acute angles you'd get with a kimono-type pattern.) Good luck to anyone making handmaiden dresses, and post pictures of your finished products!