Bridesmaid Dress #2: Sewing with Pleated Fabric

Lessons in Sewing with Pleated Fabric

In the last post I described the process for making pleated fabric I stopped short of showing you how it was used on the dress top.  The pattern seemed to lend itself to placing the pleats on the neckline.

Dress top

I wasn’t sure how this would look with the darts but for the lines contrast nicely and the darts fall in place.

Now for the lesson you can learn from my experience.  This reminds me of my friend Kathleen, who often says “Why is it that I expect my (teenage) children to learn from the mistakes of my youth”.  I expect better from my readers however.

Anyway, for the lesson learned:  When I pleated the fabric, I went all the way to the edge, leaving about 3/4- 1″ of unfolded fabric including the overlocked edge.  In fact you can see that the left front has a smaller edge that the right side.  These both came from the same piece of pleated fabric – just shows that I’m not as accurate as a machine.   If I were to do it again I would leave about 2″ of fabric on this side of the pleating as it gives a little more flexibility when you decide how to use the piece of fabric.

Dress top - the light fabric is the silk underlining

Dress top - the light fabric is the silk underlining

You can also see a the selvage of silk organza peaking out from under the unfinished seam line. Below is another photo from the back.  This was very important as the pleated fabric has some stretch, probably made worse by the fact that the horizontal line of the top is cut on the bias.

Silk Organza Underlining

Silk Organza Underlining

This dress has been basted together and went along to Wisconsin with my husband this week as he is helping to care for our grandchildren.  This dress belongs to their mother, Angela.  I’ll let you know how he does in fitting the dress!  Really, his role is to take photos.

Have you used pleated fabric in this way?  What lessons can I learn from you?

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