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Message Board > Bridal and Formalwear Sewing > HELP me PLEASE - chiffon pleats ( Moderated by MissCelie)

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HELP me PLEASE - chiffon pleats
dreamdesigner

dreamdesigner
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Date: 10/29/12 4:41 AM

Please help!!! I'm quickly running out of time!!!
Of course (as usual) I decided I could recreate this dress
I've got everything done, and ready to put together. Drafted that tricky bodice part myself too (pat on the back) BUT . . . . . . I can't figure out how to put the pleats/gathers/tucks in the fabric. I'm (unfortunately) using Polyester chiffon, and here's what I've tried so far:

1. Cutting a piece of fabric that's twice the length (i.e. height of the back bodice - which I modified to be solid BTW) and then running basting stitches along each side - this creates a puffy piece of fabric inbetween the "gathers", so next I (thought I) had an ureka moment and

2. Decided to run it thru my smocking Pleater (which since my youngest is 16, I haven't used in eons) however, since I have only a 16-row pleater, it's only about 6 inches, and I needed to run it thru twice - thread the 16 needles twice! roll the fabric on the dowel ( you get the picture) Well that method was turning out to be quite time-consuming, and that's when I remembered an article I had read on how to simulate smocking pleats, so that's when I tried

3. Just stiching multiple rows of basting stitches. . This method is similar to the option #1 above, but helps with the puffiness. HOWEVER! it also leaves (lots of) needle marks in the fabric. And that's also the problem with option 2 as well.

Since I'm trying to make such small pleats I don't think a pleating board would work, but I'm considering trying that if no one can think of something else for me to try. Please, Please help!!!

-- Edited on 10/29/12 4:55 AM --

MaryDB
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MaryDB  Friend of PR
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Date: 10/29/12 11:31 AM

What a beautiful dress! I, too, have struggled with chiffon ruching at the last minute, so I feel your pain.

This is how I've done it while burning the midnight oil: Cut your chiffon pieces on the bias; double may be a bit too wide. Cut "stay" pieces - a pattern piece for each ruched area (are you doing princess seams? that will be easier I think) out of something stable and fairly sheer. I use silk organza. Baste each side of the chiffon pieces, gather, and stretch as tightly as you can, forming the ruched pleats you like. Tack and baste to the stay pieces. It's important to pull the chiffon as tightly as you can, even if it bows the stay piece and there's extra fabric hanging off the sides. If you have time, you can tack the little ruched pleats down by hand using an embroidery hoop to stretch.

Here's another method. I have not tried this, but I have heard that this can work in a pinch: make your stay pieces out of light fusible interfacing, and fuse it down when you get the ruching you want.

Good luck!

dreamdesigner

dreamdesigner
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In reply to MaryDB <<


Date: 10/29/12 12:52 PM

Oooooh Thank you so much Mary!
Going to try the bias method AFTER I try using my smocking pleater one more time WITHOUT THE NEEDLES! Keeping my fingers crossed. And if neither of those work ?! May have to re-work my design.
Thanks again.

ConnieBJ
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ConnieBJ  Friend of PR
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Date: 10/29/12 12:58 PM

Poly chiffon is really hard to ruche properly. It just doesn't want to hold its shape. I agree with the previous poster. Cut a stay piece about the shape of the finished piece. It doesn't have to be exact at this point as you will be making a finished piece of fabric to cut the pattern out of. Actually cut 2 - one out of fusible interfacing. Find a piece of cardboard, foamboard - any thing that you can stick pins into. Place the stay piece right side down and the interfacing fusible side facing up on the board.
Hand or machine gather the pieces you want ruched. They should be about twice as wide as the stays.
Now go to your board and start pinning the ruched chiffon on to the board and fabric. Pinning to the board will help keep your fabric taut. When you are done, lightly press the chiffon to the interfacing. Hopefully that will keep your rushing in place.
Baste all the layers together, pin your original pattern piece onto the ruched fabric and hand or machine baste along the cutting line.
I've done this successfully with silk chiffon many times, but not tried it with poly chiffon. Hopefully this message makes sense- I've had to go back and forth in a couple if places to clarify it!
Hope that helps a bit! Good luck.

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Connie Bontje

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Desperately trying to keep ahead of my pattern, fabric and dressform collection!

MaryDB
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MaryDB  Friend of PR
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In reply to ConnieBJ <<


Date: 10/29/12 2:21 PM

I'm actually working on a dress with a silk chiffon ruched bra-top bodice now, and I'll for sure try the fusible and pin to a foam board method. Thanks!

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