Pleating Plus!

Many times I have posted my pleater in action. I started out my pleating on Miss Lily's dress today fully thinking you have seen it enough and need no more. Then I heard that awful crunch sound. It is the nasty noise of an expensive needle breaking and oo, how I hate that sound. So I thought I would post about how I fixed it. I removed the bar first. Then I pulled out the broken needle. I rethreaded a new pleater needle with the broken needle's thread. Sometimes I am able to rethread the needle back into the fabric but the fabric was not cooperating. Plan B is to replace the needle into its slot and bypass the skipped pleats. I had to do some jiggling to get the needle properly seated. Once there the bar went back on and I was able to finish pleating the dress. The skipped pleats fall right in line like soldiers to the pleats above and below so there is no problem with counting and accuracy. I did pleat VERY VERY slowly. Bishop dresses generally have french seams and the bulk of the seam can make the pleater balk. It did. The other three seams went OK thank goodness. I was seeing more broken needles as I came up to them but the made there way thru the pleater. Yippee!

Once the bishop is pleated it needs to be blocked on a neckline blocking guide. These are usually provided with the pattern. This was and I traced it off and pinned it to the blocking board. Then the pleated bishop was arranged on the board with sleeve seams matching the lines on the board etc. Once on the board, my method is to spray the pleat area till wet with spray starch and leave it overnight to dry.
So here it sits. Blocking smocking is a rather controversial issue. There are many who don't do it at all. I like to do it. I like being able to "train" my pleats before I start smocking. It's akin to basting. For years you couldn't pay me to do it and I sewed pretty well. Now you can't pay me not to do it. It just gives more control and that is how I feel about the blocking. So tomorrow I will count my pleats and then begin stitching. I am excited.


I have a new project in the que and actually started. Since Lily''s jacket is all done except for more handwork, and all I have in the cue is handwork, it was time to start another "machine" project. I spent some time today going thru patterns and found this beauty that I have been aching to try for a while.
I am going to do View B. I really like this design. There will be no muslin. After measuring the pattern I know there will be plenty of room for moi. So I dove into the cutting and will be able to start maybe tomorrow. It will be made in the green linen I just bought. I may do some hem stitching, not sure yet. I had a Vogue blouse almost just like this some years back and I loved it. I wore it till I wore it out. Hopefully this reincarnation will make me just as happy.


  1. Ooh, pretty blouse! I think this will look great on you.

  2. I hate that sound too! To me it sounds like ka-ching, ka-ching. :( It seems I am always breaking needles. I wish I was able to get my pleater to work better.

  3. My MIL has a pleater, as she is the one who smocks. She doesn't use it often, but it is quite a machine. I don't know if she blocks before stitching. If I did smock, I'd probably do so, it makes sense to have everything just how you want it before making is permanent.

    The blouse is pretty, I can see you wearing it.

  4. Glad to see your post about smocking! Yes, it's hard to find others that smock--our local chapter of SAGA is rather small. I learned to smock just a few years ago and I'm addicted! I can't wait to see how the dress turns out!

  5. That sound is just awful! I always block before and after the hand smocking. It makes the construction so much easier.

  6. Lovely pattern. Looking forward to seeing your progress on that one.

  7. One of the ladies in my guild made gorgeous garments, and her smocking was beautiful also, but . . . I always thought her bishops had the dreaded "tunnel neck" look. I don't think she blocked and certainly didn't use starch (something I didn't do, much - the starch bit that is) When/If I start smocking again, I'll have to remember to starch also.
    I have that same blouse pattern, and am not sure what fabric to make it out of. Looking forward to seeing your version.

  8. ayyya ver yo de esto muy poco.. asi que a ver si me tiens paciencia si.. pregunta 1
    todo eso que esta alli es una pieza
    ? digo es un rectamgulo que se le saca las mangas o son piezas y se unen? puedess mmostarme mas fotos de cerquita.. tu diras y pa que ... jijiji tu sabes estoy aprendiendo contigo... que yo solo te miro y me saco he ideo patron...
    aja y el cuello se conforma de un rectangulo fruncido? y los brasos son unidos?¿ es decir que vas a brodar son cuello y mangas?
    ya te estoy preguntando mucho.. aja y el borde que has mostrado arriba es de esta tela? no pudes mostar mas zoom entendi bien, hiciste zig zag para pegar el torchon?
    besotes nela


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