Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Pleating Accomplished!

Today's "Stitching Blogger's Question" was suggested by Dianne ( and is: If you have stitched for a while, can you usually pick out the DMC colors you need from memory when you go to your LNS? (For example, you know that 610 is a brown.)

Well, it's been a couple of years since I've bought any DMC floss - my stash is very adequate for almost any project that would call for it - but as I have expanded into hardanger, now I'm adding perle cottons to my collection. And since I've been stitching off and on for 23 years now, my answer would have to be, yes!

Now, on to my pleating today!! I finally feel like I have really accomplished a great deal on a project - it's been a long time since I have. I started out the morning getting out my serger and connecting pattern pieces: back to sleeve, to front, to sleeve, to back.

Next I had to lay out the newly connected pieces out on my table and roll them onto the dowel. The first dowel I tried was small in diameter, but the garment was just too much for it. So I got my thick one out of the closet and rolling the fabric was much easier.

Now the fun really begins! The smocking pattern calls for 13 half space rows, so I moved the needles in my pleater. Then I grabbed a piece of waxed paper and ran it through the pleater to coat the needles to make the fabric go through easier. The needles are then threaded and the fabric on the dowel goes behind the rods. I place the fabric at the proper place and note where the edge of the fabric should be throughout the process. Then I carefully line up the edge of the fabric evenly where the rods take it in and carefully turn the knob to catch the fabric. YES! It went in straight :)

This fabric is a little heavier than the usual batiste or lawn that I usually pleat, so I turn the knob of the pleater very slowly and pull the fabric off the needles often. The seams are especially hard to get through the pleater and the last thing I want to do is break a needle! As I see a seam coming I position the fabric carefully so it goes through as straight as possible and oh so slowly rock the fabric through. Praise the Lord! Every seam went through and no needles were broken and I was able to keep the fabric straight throughout the pleating process! Phew!

Now I pin the pleated dress to the blocking guide, lining up the seams and the center of the front to the appropriate spots on the guide. The pleating threads are then drawn up so that the fabric fits the guide and they are knotted off. The pleats are then given a good steaming with the iron to set them in. There it will stay to dry overnight. Tomorrow I can choose the floss I will use to smock the pattern and begin my favorite part of the process - smocking!!


Barbara said...

"Color" me impressed! (to tie in with the SBQ - I'm a sucker for puns!). It looks magnificent!

Lelia said...

von: fabulously interesting! so cool when everything turns out well!

Carol in Pa said...


I used to smock back in my "Martha Pullen" days, lol. Loved doing it, but don't have anyone to do it for. Little girlie things are just so cute smocked. I ended up selling my pleater. That and lots of other things that I knew I just wouldn't get back into just because of lack of time. I still keep at my favorites - soapmaking and cross stitch. I hope you'll be posting pics of the finished piece!

Carol in Pa

lena-lou said...

Thanks :) I have read and am now enlightened :-)) I didn't know such a thing as a pleater existed . Looks a cool way to do it !