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Topic: messy pleating? - how do i do this. *UPDATED* w/ pic tutorial  (Read 5638 times)
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« on: October 25, 2009 05:12:27 PM »

i'm looking to figure out how to make sort of messy pleats. like these:

can anyone tell me how to go about doing this? thanks!
« Last Edit: December 03, 2012 02:19:24 PM by jungrrl - Reason: please do not hotlink images » THIS ROCKS   Logged
« Reply #1 on: October 25, 2009 07:49:08 PM »

so it turns out they consider it 'ruched'. Can anyone show me a good tutorial for ruching (preferrably w/o elastic)? I've been searching but I come up with little, mostly just people trying to sell things that are ruched.

« Reply #2 on: October 26, 2009 09:18:22 AM »

It looks like regular pleating that has been pressed sloppily.
« Reply #3 on: October 26, 2009 10:57:56 AM »

hmmmm......i'm thinking that it is regular pleating but done randomly, meaning the pleats are not evenly spaced or going in the same direction, then they are pressed which ever way they fall. Does this make sense? For example, typical pleats are spaced the same distance from each other, say 1", and they all go in the same direction, like right over left. You could get this messy effect by spacing the pleats 1" then .5" then 1/4" and so on........then on some of the pleats change direction and go left over right....etc.
« Reply #4 on: October 26, 2009 10:58:58 AM »

ok, so this post got a lot of looks and I figured it out on my own, so if anyone is interested in knowing what I did, here goes.

I took my fabric and did what they call a basting stitch (loosest setting) with my sewing machine, one on either side of the fabric. holding on to the top thread, I pushed the fabric down toward the bottom (my fabric had a 'grain' which i learned the hard way, if you go against the grain you won't get the pleats, you'll get more of a ruffle effect - so check first). do this to both sides and then pull it taut to see if you like the effect. you can mess around and have smaller ones or larger ones, but the farther away the two lines of stitch are, the looser the pleats get in the middle. when you're finished you just iron, the more stretched you can get it the better the pleats will come out, it might be easiest to pin it to the ironing board. I'm going to be doing this again so I will try to take some pictures for reference.
« Reply #5 on: October 26, 2009 12:36:09 PM »

Great! Can't wait to see the pics. Thanks for posting the solution.
« Reply #6 on: October 26, 2009 09:50:09 PM »

mine isn't quite as good but for a first attempt i think it's not too bad. I apologize for the bad lighting/coloring in the pics - this fabric and the color is hard to photograph. anyway here goes with the tutorial:

To start, like i posted above, make sure you go 'with' the grain on the basting stitches. otherwise you'll get a ruffle, which may be an effect you're looking for but it won't give you the pleats. Also, if you're going to do this, make sure you allow for probably 2x the length of fabric as it is obviously going to be smaller when you're finished.  Wink I don't know how to do this without a sewing machine, so here goes.

1. make a line of basting stitches (my machine goes up to 4 so I used that setting) all the way from one end of the fabric to the other, i can't say how far in you should do them with your seam so you'll have to experiment with it.

(sorry I edited this photo too small I think)

2. on the opposite end of your fabric, make another line of stitches parallel to your first.

3. Take the top string of your stitches between two fingers, and then sort of bunch the material up the thread. This is where your own creativity comes into play because how wide/messy you want your pleats depends on the way you bunch, you just have to play around with it to get your own desired effect. Do both sides the way you want them, and then when you're done, tie knots on every top and bottom thread to hold the bunches where you want them.

4. I recommend pinning the fabric to your ironing board. pin one side and then if your pleats run horizontally, pull it very tight horizontally, then pin the other side. This is also a good time to adjust pleats how you want them. After you iron they'll pretty much be stuck, unless you pull it all out and start over.

5. To iron, I started by just patting the iron rather than gliding it across the fabric. I wanted to make sure I got them a little choppy so I did it this way first. then when everything looked all right I slid the iron in the direction of the pleats. (I had to use a fabric over the material, just because of the material I was working with - make sure to mind your material and it's ironing requirements).

this is what it looked like when I was finished ironing:

And this was my finished product, sadly I cut through on accident at the very last minute.  Cry

anyway i hope this helps someone.

« Reply #7 on: March 14, 2010 05:33:32 AM »

so nice!!!! thank you!!!
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