Sunday, March 13, 2011

Pleating Fun on Sunday

First Communion time is approaching in May.  Time for a special dress for a special grand-daughter. [NOT mine...a customer] So she is planning on doing a beautiful dress she found in Sew Beautiful last year. It needs 26 rows pleated on silk [backed with German Interfacing]. Both items available in the shop.  AND I have a 32 row Read pleater [for the 26 rows of pleating.  Fabric and interfacing purchased.  Now it's up to me to pleat this dress front.  [cue music/Julie Andrews] OH HELP.

Creamy white Silk with German Interfacing ready for pleating
..rolling on long curtain rod.
Now, in the course of discussion, it was noted that grandma is doing a size 12 dress, for a large 8 year old.  So we decided that since the bodice is 13 inches/plus we need to pleat all 32 rows, and this is along a 2 1/4 yard length of silk. [81 inches the pattern said!].  Have any idea how much silk that is?? to roll on a long dowel.  sheeshhh.


This is the 32 row Read Pleater
Notice the missing Handle on the left?

The handle messed up the feeding of the
fabric...scotch tape to cover the 'dirty' threads!

Everything started just fine! and look how nice and even it is going !

Remember my NEW FRIEND...this is why!! Grabbing that little bit of selvedge was not happening in those tight quarters with my fingers!! The picture is fuzzzy since holding tweezers and taking a photo...well you try it...;-) But those little tips sure worked wonders!!

Well it went on and on and on...a little bit of shifting up at the top edge.
.but seriously, not a bubble, or any split pleats, missed pleats for the majority of the area!!

Another really goofy shot, but can you see the missing threads here?? TWO slipped out of the needle...even though I had long long tails . The fabric grabs those threads and as I pulled off the needles..the threads stayed in the fabric instead of slipping along...geez...Well..lucky it is on the lower/skirt side...near the side seam...and I was able to rethread the needles and finish.
My customer will just have to play with four or five pleats there when she works that area...
I don't want to redo 'silk'...the holes would be nasty.  

Just about at the end of the fabric!! LOOK>>>it is almost perfectly even at the end. 
Fabric shifts when you pleat. and when one person is controlling over 14 inches of fabric,
 32 needles, one handle, tweezer, and is a challenge!
And finishing with only a 1/3 of an inch difference from top to bottom??
I think that is purdy dagum good.
[Not really the words I was muttering earlier in the pleating...this fabric should be blushing some...LOL]

THIS is what 81 inches [2 1/4 yards] of silk looks like pleated with 32 rows!!
It covers just under 18 inches and should look absolutely great when smocked!!
Yes there is a dip up/down along the top is the nature of the gears and how they drive the fabric. The piece hangs straight!!

I love challenges. I also fear THIS PARTICULAR challenge each time I work it.  
But it took some patience, thought...
LOVE MY NEW FRIEND...[the tweezers]
and  now I will no longer consider 32 row pleating [solo] impossible. 

One last shot...see the roll of fabric on the curtain rod...propped up with some books so it stays level with the pleater....a big key tip for this 'solo' pleater today!!
Maybe in all my new found free time after the shop closes, I will pleat a piece for me to make a pretty communion dress for a 'someday' maybe grand daughter.  We shall see...

The dress will be a version of Janice Gilberts dress in
Issue 128 [?] of Sew Beautiful, 2010.
  It uses the Pasquale Pattern designed by Laura Jenkins Thompson. 
I hope to see photos of the finished product...I will share I promise!


Kathy said...

You done good, Karin. Pleating 32 rows is hard even on easier fabric like batiste.
I love the Pascal pattern; this should be gorgeous when it's completed. See if you can get your customer to give you a photo to publish for us.

bubbygigi said...

Karin, you did a great job. Reading about it raised my blood pressure. I can't imagine doing it. See you some time this week, I hope.