The pleating is much easier than it looks – it just takes a little time... You also need more fondant that you would if you were to cover a tier in the traditional way.
1. Roll out your fondant to the size you would normally need for covering a tier (ie, top diameter, plus height of both sides).
2. Cut this to a circle of the right diameter (or near enough). I used another cake pan of the right size, or if you have the Wilton fondant mat you can use the guides on that. You'll end up needing more fondant than you would to cover a cake in the normal way plus I roll slightly thicker than normal too.
3. Then cut this circle into sixteenths, like you would cut up a pizza. First cut in half, then quarters and so on. Try to get them pretty even, but you don't have to measure, or anything.
4. Lay the first pizza slice piece of fondant on the cake so that the 'crust' edge is level with the bottom of your cake. The pointed end should finish in about the middle of your cake. Work in a clockwise direction (so you will lay your next slice on the left of the first). Don't stick the right hand edge of your first slice down onto your cake as your last piece will have to slot under it. Leave it turned up if you can. Hope that makes sense!
5. Lay the next slice on top of the first (to the left). The more you overlap the more fondant you'll use and the more slices you'll need to cut. However, you need to overlap enough so that your slice still overlaps as it gets narrower towards the point. You'll see what I mean when you try it. I covered about half of my previous slice each time, but you don't need to do that much.
6. If the point of your slice ends up overshooting the centre, just pinch it off. This technique requires that you put something over the join in the centre (flowers, or the last time I did it, luster dusted balls of different sizes).
7. Each time you lay a slice on, rub gently with your finger on the right hand edge so that you smooth the fondant down and it starts to look like a fold rather than a slice. (Don't do this for the first slice yet. You'll do that at the end.) I also use the back of a knife and sort of push the edge in a bit, so that the smoothed edge sticks out a bit more than the edge touching the slice underneath. I bet you're really confused now! Depends how much time you've got and if you can be bothered!.
8. Continue working round your cake until you have just one slice left (but you will have lots of cake left to cover). For me, this happens about two thirds of the way around. Roll out your excess fondant and using your last slice as a guide, cut out more slices. It doesn't matter if these don't have the rounded edge of the others, in fact, it's better.
9. When you come to your last gap, you need to ease the left edge of the final slice under your first slice (if you've worked in a clockwise direction).
Smooth all your edges down and you're done!
Let me know if anything doesn't make sense and I'll try to explain a bit better!