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Subject: Pleats

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Date Posted: 17:51:58 08/14/03 Thu
In reply to: K 's message, "Contruction Problems-Technique & Tips" on 15:45:15 03/10/01 Sat

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[> [> Subject: Inverted Pleats construction

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Date Posted: 17:56:07 08/14/03 Thu

Is there anybody out there who could step me through inverted pleats? I"ll be honest...I don't even understand some of the sewing lingo. But, I have made a number of dresses (which look ok if you don't go too close LOL) and want to attempt inverted pleats.

-I will try to walk you through it as best I can. I have made one split front panel and it uses an inverted pleat and this is how I did it. I will walk you through how I inserted the front pleat for the split panel. It works the same no matter what style you are doing.
1. Cut all pieces to size. On the two front panels I inserted the vilene and boning as normal.
2. Cut the inverted pleat as normal. Cut one full layer of vilene and then cut a second layer that will fit between the fold lines of the pleat. This is the area I used boning--from the fold to fold to hold the lining stiff.
3. Sew the pleat into the two panels. Fold to shape and let sit with some books on top of it overnight or use a press cloth with a good iron to get a good stable line for folding later.

Finish constructing the rest of the skirt as usual. Add lining and fold all pleats. Baste aross the top of the pleat to hold in place while attaching to the bodice. I hope this has helped a little. It is much easier to do that we try to visulize it. Take it one step at a time and do not let it intimidate you!! - Necia

-My method for inverted pleats, fast becoming my favourite sort of pleat!
1. I cut out the pleat in fabric and stabiliser, with fold and seam lines drawn on stabiliser. Overlock all edges.
2. I straight stitch along the fold lines with sewing machine.
3. Cut out 2 pieces of fusible stiffening - 1 for each of the narrow side sections, with the pieces 0.5cm less wide on each side than the section it has to be fused to.Iron on to stabiliser side of fabric with a steam iron.
4. Cut out 2 pieces for the middle section of the pleat, again 0.5cm less wide on both sides like before, iron them on one at a time with a steam iron. (This section needs more reinforcing than the sides)
5. I then attach the pleat to the front panel and side panels with 1" seam allowances.
6. When I attach the lining to the skirt I stitch down the fold lines of the pleat, going over the stitching line of before.
7. I hand sew the pleat in place securely at the waistline before attaching the bodice to the skirt.

I found that by following this method I did not have to press the dress at all for the pleats to sit perfectly.The secret is in the little gaps between each piece of stiffening. They are sitting so well that I can't see a need for any boning at this stage. However, it is a small size dress, so my method may change for a larger size. This has been the easiest dress to make so far! I love inverted pleats! - Alywen

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[> [> Subject: Reversed back pleats like Gavin D

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Date Posted: 09:34:02 11/08/04 Mon

I was noticing this at Garden State Feis Sunday. Instead of the center back going over the sides, the side goes over the center. Am I making sense? It was almost like the panel was flipped inside out (construction wise)

Also I observed that the side seams of the skirts are not in the "center" of the side of the dress, they are pushed forward so the front panels were flat across the front and the back panels sort of wrapped around the sides of the dress. A mom and I were discussing his construction and how the skirt sits well, which is why I paid particularly close attention. Very interesting...and I wonder if this is what makes the dresses sit so nicely.

-I had posted below about this and am about to attach a skirt like this on the dress I am finishing this week.
-It was like the whole back section of the dress was flipped inside out and the panels were extended so the back skirt met the front skirt more toward the front of the dress. I don't know if there is less movement or not. The girls have no problem dancing in them...one of our champs won and places often and she has one. You may be right though. I don't know it just seemed strange to me to have the back like that. I can see how pushing the seam forward may make the skirt sit more straight across in the front though. OP

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[> [> Subject: Shaped pleats by Jess

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Date Posted: 15:30:29 09/30/05 Fri

The front panel is shaped as usual, with the pleat "flap" underneath. Side panel is also shaped, but with no flap. I then put the pleat back onto the center front pleat flap as usual. All edges are bound, then I pin the side panel in place onto the pleat back. I then sew the two together along the existing embroidery lines.

So a cross between having the pleats fully shaped, doing the "fax panel", and having a mock, appliqué side panel... this gives a better illusion of the shaping as the side panel IS shaped - you have the depth between the stitching and the pleat backing piece. Yet the pleat does not flap open - it sits the same way as having the center front as a box pleat.

I know of at least one other dressmaker, very well known, who does her shaped pleats this way - I stole the idea from her ;) – Jess

--...so your front panel and "inside pleats" are one piece that you sew the side panel to with the bound edge running along the inside of the side panel "shaped" edge? I altered a dress a while ago that was done like that, I think it was an Eileen Plater. I'll have to try that, it seems so much better then my way. Right now I do the full inverted pleats and by the time I get to the second side panel I have so much skirt to work with it's very hard to handle.
---- Yes, spot on! --Jess

-- I've been wondering about trying something just like that! Didn't realize anyone had done it already....Do you make the bit of the pleat under the centre panel a bit bigger than for a box pleat, so that the "inverted" pleat opens nicely? Or do you leave it small and neat so the skirt doesn't flap around? Hope that makes sense!
--So Jess, does that mean that you can see the embroidery line along the lining? And do you bind only the centre panel? I'm still trying to visualize what you do?
----On the center front panel, I add the "flaps" for the pleats as normal and shaped & stitched along the edge. Then I add the pleat back, and bind the seam on the front panel edge of the pleat back.

I then also bind the side panel side of the pleat back - though it is not seamed to anything.

With the side panel, I have no flap, but the edge where the pleat goes is shaped and stitched. I then lay out the front panel with its pleat backs sticking out at the side, and lay the side panel over the flap so everything lines up. I pin in place.

Then with satin stitch I go along the existing lines of embroidery - though all the layers, to attach the pleat back to the side skirt. I don't re-embroider the whole side skirt, just certain long ways lines that will secure the pleat in place.

From the inside you can see the underside of the satin stitching, but the obviousness of this is minimized by setting the machine tensions so the bobbin thread and top thread go just to half way each.. That way the front shows no under thread, and the underneath shows little or no top thread. Also best if you can use a thread in the bobbin that matches the shade of the skirt lining. When you see the skirt flip up on stage you don't see it.

When I was first considering this I looked at the dresses I knew were made that way and looked for those satin stitched lines on the lining, and couldn’t find them!

As I said, another far better known dressmaker than me uses this technique! I've been doing skirts like this since just after the worlds, and have not had a single complaint or query from customers about how the skirt looked. –Jess

Another explanation by Jess, same method:

Cut the back skirt as normal (normal for me includes a pleat at the side seam - you will need to add this if you don't already). Stiffen & line and finish your hem as preferred.

Cut out side panel, with the shaping on the side edge. But no flap for the side pleat Stiffen, line and finish hem as preferred.

You'll notice that the back skirt has a flap for a side pleat now - but the side skirt doesn't. You need to make that extra flap for the pleat as a separate piece. So from my "normal" skirt pattern, I'll trace off the side pleat section of the side skirt, with shaping to match the side skirt itself. Cut out in stiffening (normally one piece only) add dress fabric to the outside, lining to the inside and then finish of the bottom edge (all my dresses have satin stitched shaped hems so I just satin stitch the bottom edge of this piece).

The flap is then pinned, and then straight stitched down onto the side panel - lining side to lining side. Then edge it same as you would for a shaped pleat.

Once that's done, the back skirt is sewn to the flap of the side skirt as normal, and the raw edge inside the skirt bound.—Jess

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