Purfylle: Fast Easy Box Pleats

Recent Posts

Fast Easy Box Pleats

I made a start on the Blue challenge for HSM this morning which is very exciting because the month isn't even half way through yet!

I cut out the tampico style bustle from the new fabric which I have in both Alice blue and a pale ivory. They are meant to be the same fabric however the ivory has a softer hand then the blue.

Easy Box Pleats


Although I had intended to use the ivory for the body of the bustle and blue for the binding I have switched them due to the difference in stiffness even after washing.

The fist thing you'll notice with the tampico bustle is all the pleats. This time I am only using 6 rows of pleats, the same as the bustle at the Met Museum. I am doing 12 pleats per strip. That's 72 box pleats in total.

fabric strip to be pleated

I'm going to show you the fast, easy way to make box pleats in just a moment, but first I want to mention it is far to hot for ironing so please forgive my lack of pressing.Of course you will press yours for a beautiful finish.

This is how I used to pin box pleats.

Don't do pleats like this.

Carefully marking up each pleat pining and pressing everything perfectly into place. All the math would hurt my brain.

If you do this for 72 box pleats you will probably go mad or at the very least be a gibbering mess under your ironing board about half way through.

But don't despair there is a faster way.

Let's get started


First we're going to mark up knife pleats using a spacer. You can cut a sapcer out of cardboard or use whatever you have on hand. I'm doing 1 inch box pleats so I am using my ruler which is 1" wide.

use a spacer to make knife pleats

To mark the first knife pleat wrap your fabric strip around your spacer and pin as close to your spacer as you can. I started 3" from the edge of my fabric but you can start in the middle or wherever works best for your project. 

The folded edge will become the centre of the box pleat. You will see how that works shortly. 

To mark the second box pleat use the first pleat as a spacer, put your ruler underneath the fabric and position it against the folded edge of the first pleat. Fold the strip around the ruler and pin top and bottom as shown.

marking up box pleats the easy way

Rinse and repeat


Here's a top down view. 

marking up box pleats the easy way

You don't have to pin the top and bottom but your fabric will curl all over the place if you don't as pictured below, this will drive you crazy when you try to baste the pleats in place. 

what happens if you don't pin top and bottom

Very quickly you will have a lovely long strip of pleats.

lots of knife pleats ready to become box pleats

 It helps if you fluff the folds open at this point.

knife pleats fluffed open

Baste 


Set your machine to a long stitch - I generally set mine to 3 - push each pleat open then flatten and baste into place.

baste pleats into position

A seam gauge is very handy to slip into the pleat and push the folds into place if any small adjustments are needed as you're sewing.



That's it! Easy.


22 comments:

  1. I've never done this type of pleats before but you make it look easy. Also, I've never thought of using calipers in sewing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's just a flimsy metal ruler not nice and strong with fancy measuring bits like a calliper, but you could totally use them!

      Delete
  2. I wish I knew how to sew, so I could make it
    You make it look easy :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. What a great tutorial!! Thanks for sharing on My 2 Favorite Things on Thursday! Hope you come back and share some more!! Pinned!

    ReplyDelete
  4. This is really a great tutorial! Pinned! Thank you for sharing such clear tutorial!
    Hope you have a wonderful day!
    Hugs and love from Portugal,
    Ana Love Craft
    www.lovecraft2012.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Ana, I'd love to see Portugal some day. Hello back from Australia!

      Delete
  5. Great tutorial! I look forward to trying this method soon!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Nicely done! It seems so easy looking at you do it. I have to say that using that ruler as your guide would save a person a big headache for sure! www.thatblackchic.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're right, less math = no headache.

      Delete
  7. Wow. Speechless again. SUCH a great idea! Thank you so much for sharing this with us at Treasure Box Tuesday- pinned!! :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thanks for sharing on Monday Madness, I just wish I could sew!

    ReplyDelete
  9. This looks incredible! I love this. Pinned and tweeted. Thank you for taking the time to party with us. We hope to see you tonight at 7 pm. It wouldn't be a party without you! Lou Lou Girls

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Kim, always a pleasure to party with you girls.

      Delete
  10. Wow, I really need to do this! I'm trying to develop my sewing skills. Thanks so much for sharing it with us at Totally Terrific Tuesday! I hope we see you again this week. Party starts tonight at 10pm!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good luck with trying out the pleats!

      Delete
  11. Excellent tutorial on box pleats! These pleats come in handy for so many different projects. Please come share your blog posts over at the Home Matters Linky Party! We'd love to have you for a visit. The Door is OPEN. http://lifewithlorelai.com/2015/03/05/home-matters-linky-party-27/ :)

    ~Lorelai
    Life With Lorelai

    ReplyDelete
  12. Fabulous tutorial! Thanks for linking up at the Stitch It, Blog It, Share Link Party. I hope you’ll join us every Sunday night at 7 with more of your creative sewing projects.
    ~Bonnie @ Behind the Seams Sewing

    ReplyDelete