Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Sewing pleats, darts and wishes

It's been a beautiful day. I've been out with the dog, out for a run by myself and, I've been sewing. No tantrums today, just smiles so I've been having a good time making progress.

I thought I'd share how I do pleats and darts.

Transfer the pattern marks for pleats or darts to the fabric. This being silk, I used tailor tacks but usually I just use dressmaker's carbon and a marking wheel.

Thread a needle and knot the end of your thread. Sew a ladder along the markings. The ladder rungs go on the fabric's right side and the ladder's vertical sides go on the fabric's wrong side.

Ladder rungs - fabric right side

Ladder sides - fabric wrong side

Once you've sewn the ladder, carefully pull on your needle to tighten up the stiches. This will pull the dart or pleat together. Be sure you don't gather the fabric.

Zipping up

The zipped ladder leaves your stitching line

Machine sew along the ladder. Pick out the basting and press flat. If it's a dart or side pleat, press to the side according to pattern directions. If it's a box pleat, press so that equal amounts of fabric go to either side of the pleat. Then sew in the ditch from the right side to help the pleat hang properly.

 Finished box pleat

You're done! And so am I, at least for today. I'm relieved the dress is going together so well. Hope our special day goes even better!

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