Friday, January 25, 2013

Bishop Pleating

I recently had a friend ask me about how I pleat up a bishop dress. She wanted to know if I pleat the sleeves before I construct or after. I really don't think that there is a "right" or "wrong" way of doing it, but it's probably more of which way you learned. Most people probably pleat the sleeves before construction, but I'm not like most people...I have my own way of doing things and it's what works for me. I have created a tutorial of my steps in pleating a bishop.
I construct the bishop dress, then pleat the sleeves.
 No need to roll sleeves on a dowel, just
feed the sleeve into the pleater
 Pleat the sleeve
 When you finish the first sleeve, go ahead
and feed in the 2nd sleeve - this method
keeps you from having to re-thread the pleater.
 Another close-up of feeding in the 2nd
sleeve and pleating it right after the 1st sleeve.
 When you pull off the sleeves from the pleating needles, you will want to pull out enough thread to separate the sleeves and for the sleeves to flatten out. Cut pleating threads between the two sleeves and tie off both sleeves.
Leave threads long enough to flatten the sleeves out
as shown above. This will make it easier to pleat the neckline
and it makes it easy to finish off the lower edge of both 
sleeves before you smock them.
Roll bishop up on a dowel - or just roll it as shown above.
Proceed to pleat the neckline of the bishop.
That's all there is to it - that is how I pleat a bishop dress. I sew all the shoulder seams, pleat the sleeves, then pleat the neck. I like this method better, because I don't like dealing with the pleating threads while I am sewing shoulder seams and I can do all the pleating at once.
Proceed to block the neckline to the correct size and smock. I leave the sleeves for last and finish off the sleeve edge with lace or a narrow hem, then pull up the pleats and smock.
I hope you find this tutorial helpful for the next time you pleat a bishop dress!

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