Time to Count the Pleats!

I finally got my christening gown all pleated. Whew, was that nerve racking! You can see it here with the pleats waiting to be counted and spread out properly, and then blocked.

Dear blogger, Martha, of Southern Matriarch, and heirloom sewista extraordinaire, commented the other day that I should not baste the lace overlay to the dress before pleating. Now, you need to know that every book I have read says to do that. Martha, with her great wisdom and experience, told me to feed it thru without basting. I told her I would give it a try my way first. Well, dear Martha was so right. I had Y pleats all over the place. I also was not happy with the placement of the lace on the dress. I really wanted a deeper lace ruffle and had seen something I liked in an As&E book. So my problem became an opportunity to get it right the way I wanted it to be. I moved the lace down about an inch and a half and then stitched it with heirloom (very fine) thread to the dress. Then I fed it all through the pleater. I really like the way it looks now.

Next came the choice of the threads. I wanted a slight hint of color. I decided on DMC 225, a very pale shell pink. There will be lots of texture in this stitching and I did not want to lose that in a total matchup of fabric and thread or a big contrast either. And, since it is for a little girl, just a slight hint of pink will be lovely.

Right now it has the pleats counted, has been sprayed with spray starch, blocked on the board, and will be ready to stitch in the AM once dry. I will be taking this on the road to work with me to get it done by the October baby delivery. That shouldn't be a problem.....................Bunny


  1. It looks great!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And I must admit it is not my wisdom, its Gail Doane's. I want to sew like her when I grow up. :) Can't wait to see it when it is done.

  2. Bunny, I love the work you do. Are you telling me you actually count those pleats? Why? Obviously I don't know the first thing about it.

  3. Yes, Sherril. Counting the pleats is a critical step. A stitching pattern will be superimposed on top of them and it must line up perfectly row after row for one. You also need to know where your exact center front it and exact center back so that stitching design is placed perfectly. So yes, count you must. I count my work pinned to the padded pressing board and sticking a pin in every ten pleats. I then recount each ten before I move on to the next ten. You can't imagine what a nightmare it is if you are one pleat off. If you face that problem it is pull out the stitches and start over. After I have the pleats all counted I put a little thread tie at the two CF and CB pleats just to help keep my bearings as I stitch. Thanks for asking, Sherrill.


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