Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The Joy of Pleating

Do you have a lot of fabric you want gathered in one place?  Do you want something full and floofy but don't want your sleeves getting tangled or caught?  Then pleating is for you!

I wish I had understood this wonderful concept earlier.  Pleating used to scare me as I would divide my fabric out into halves, quarters, eighths, etc and pin it to the other fabric at certain spots, then keep pinning in small pleats.  It took awhile, but it was the only way I could think of doing pleats.  I thought gathering the material with a thread and needle was too much work and wouldn't create a nice pleat, partly because it never worked for me before.

The trick to cartridge pleating is to create a second line of running stitches and gather them both at the same time.  This made no sense to me previously, why waste time on a second set of stitches?  Then someone showed me an example and explained WHY the second line of stitches is so important.

The second line, identical to the first and set a small distance away, extends out the pleat and makes it easier to deal with.  With one line, your pleats just bunch up and aren't very clean, which would be why I thought they were hard to do.  Cartridge pleating on the other hand, is wonderful and really easy to add to a waistband.

It also gives me some practice in making even size stitches.

Once you are done with your stitching and gathering, you'll want to sew it into a waistband or to a piece of bias tape or something similar to make sure your gathers don't shift around. 
Here are some links with more detailed instructions:
The Renaissance Tailor
How to Cartridge Pleat a Skirt

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