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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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