Friday, 21 September 2012

Freeform pleats

I wanted freeform pleats inserted as godets into the skirt I was making for the mini-wardrobe. Here are the steps. It could easily be used as a way of introducing texture to a section of a a piece of textile art you are developing.

I could have created pleats which would move with the skirt - like this example, but I wanted to try the idea of the pleats being texture.

First I formed the pleats on the fabric and pressed them into place. While they look pretty regular, they aren't precisely measured or stitched or fused into place. (The stitching here is from a step further down. I didn't get a photo of this step)

Next I attached a shaped piece to the hem and turned the seam to the inside.
The godet shaped piece was cut from cotton lawn and works as interlining or a stabiliser to keep the shape. If you were doing this for an area of a garment or art quilt in which you did not want to include the hem, you could just skip the hem part.

The turned back cotton lawn piece was positioned and then tacked into place with a long stitch on the machine. (This is where I held it up in the first photo to see if the pleats behaved like I wanted them to.)

Then trimmed.

Here are 2 pieces, one for each side of the skirt.

Each piece was treated as a normal godet and inserted into the side seams of the skirt.
Any good sewing book will give instructions for doing this. But the best one I have found is from a Threads magazine article on sewing godets. Not that I can remember which issue!

Because the pleats are not permanently attached to the stablilising shape, they are flexible texture. I am counting on the creasing from the construction stage softening with washing. They shouldn't become too loose because the ends of the pleats are caught into the sides of the godet. If you were doing a shape in an art piece and the ends of the pleats were not caught into the edges, you might want to catch the top layer down from the back here and there in the hidden parts of the folds.

I am linking to Off the Wall Friday at Nina-Marie's. Go check out what creative things some of the other participants have been doing. If you have come from there, Welcome! and do post a comment!

No comments: