Monday, February 10, 2014

Pleating Gingham...with success!

I think one of the most challenging types of fabric to pleat is gingham, especially if you are {like me} a perfectionist. Pleating gingham can cause you all kinds of fits, out-bursts and can almost cause you to lose your religion. Really, just ask me! Nothing is worse than pleating gingham and having it get off course. You have to stop, take out the roller, remove all the needles and thread, put needles back in, replace roller and thread needles again. After about 3 or 4 times of doing that, sometimes you just have to walk away, take a deep breath and calm down before you throw the pleater out the window! Yep, I've been there!
I've learned a few tricks thru the years in pleating gingham that have very successful results for me. My hope is that my tricks will help you perfect your gingham pleating with success!
One of the most important things in this process is to make sure your fabric is torn on the straight grain. If it's not, it will be a disaster!
Roll your fabric on your dowel as perfectly straight as you can. If your fabric isn't perfectly straight, your pleating won't be perfectly straight.
It's very important to make sure fabric gets started perfectly even vertically and horizontally. Line up torn edge with a groove in the roller - for me, that is one groove past my last threaded needle. Make sure your fabric edge follows that groove the entire width of the fabric, on the vertical as you pleat. It's equally important to watch your fabric the entire length, making sure it goes thru the pleater evenly on the horizontal.
Engaging your left hand is very important as you pull that fabric thru, keeping it taut as you pleat and making sure the horizontals of the gingham are not getting off grain as it pleats. In the insert photo your needles should be all following the same "row" of the gingham the whole width of the fabric.
If you follow my steps, then your pleated gingham should turn out like mine! All your pleating guide threads should follow the same line of the gingham the entire width. You will also have very little moire effect if you keep everything perfectly straight as you pleat.
I hope the next time you pleat gingham you can do it with success and that my tutorial has been a helpful tool! :)

1 comment:

Rebecca said...

Thank you so much for all of the awesome smocking tutorials and videos you share. They have helped me immensely in my smocking endeavors. As a budding young smocker/heirloom seamstress, You are one of my heroes ;)


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