Monday, May 3, 2010

Knife – Edge Pleats Tutorials (Deployment Projects #78 –80)

When I made these sweet pillows for a friend of mine I knew I wanted to add some knife-edge pleats to the edge of them, so I thought I would take pictures as I went and make a little tutorial for you.  I’m all heart like that!!
I love me some pleats!
I used them on this chair…
This one too…
On these pillows…
Even as trim on this dress.
So, if I use pleats so often, they must be fairly easy to do!  You know - I don’t do anything that is too time consuming or too detail oriented!!
The trick to knife –edge pleats is this little tool right here:IMG_5190
It is a ruffler attachment for your sewing machine.
I found mine at Joann's, I believe it was right around $20 - - of course I used my 40% off coupon - - but it is definitely worth every penny I paid for it!  They fit on most any machine - -you just need to know if you have a short or long shank.  You may want to check with your machine manufacturer and see if they have a specific one for your brand of machine, but this one is a general one that fits on all my machines.
To attach the ruffler, remove the screw that holds your presser foot ankle in place.  Set your presser foot to the side.
The ruffler attaches with the forked bar on the right side of the foot, around the needle clamp screw, and then the presser foot screw gets put back in place to tighten the ruffler to the machine.
IMG_5194 IMG_5195
Now that the ruffler is attached, it’s time to get our fabric ready!
Cut your fabric in 4” strips - - remember you are going to need about 3 times the length of your final product, so cut lots of strips!  I try to error on the side of making more than I need!
I find it is easiest to attach all those strips and make one long strip.  The easiest way to do that is to overlap your fabric (right sides together) at a 90 degree.IMG_5198
Then sew them together in a diagonal line from corner to corner.  Trim off the excess fabric.
Now you will have one LONG strip of fabric!  Take that strip of fabric fold it in half  and iron it.  So you will have a super long 2” wide strip.
Start with one end of your strip and slip the fabric between the feeder and the base of the ruffler attachment.  (Your fabric will not be against your machine)
Now you let the machine and your ruffler do the work!   This is where you can choose  the length and depth of your pleats.  You can choose to have a pleat made every 1, 6, or 12 stitches.  By adjusting your stitch length you can adjust how long you want your pleat.  There is a screw on the front of the pleater, and by adjusting that you can adjust the depth of your pleats.  It is something you just have to play with a little bit to get the look that you want.
IMG_5207  IMG_5209
When I am putting my fabric through the pleater, I try to keep my left hand on the pleats that are being formed.  It helps the fabric run through smoothly and holds the pleat until your machine stitches it in place.  Make sure the fabric you are feeding in is very loose - -it will not be able to pleat if it is trying to pull the fabric up to your machine.
 IMG_5211 IMG_5212
Aren’t they pretty?  :)
The very last step is to take that long strip of pleats and iron them so they are nice and crisp.  Make sure you set them on your ironing board so that the pleats are facing to the left and your iron can just run right over them.
Easy huh?  I told you it wasn’t hard!   Tomorrow, I am going to show you how to make a bolster pillow, using your knife-edge pleat for trim!!


Melodie said...

Why on earth have I never known about this tool before now?! I have alwas painstakingly done my pleats by hand, measure, measure, measure, iron, iron, iron...thank you for saving me from future stress and aggravation!

Anita said...

That is such a cool tool! Why have I not seen this before? Thanks so much for posting about it. Andything to simplify the process!

Maridith @ Strictly Homemade said...

I have seen that foot before but NEVER knew what it was for. That is amazing. Does that fit on any machine? I would love to make those delicate pleats for a slip cover I am making. Thank you so much for showing us how!!

Atelier de Charo said...

I never see one of that!!! So perfect rufflers.

AtOneWithHim said...

Will somebody please teach me how to use my sewing machines??? I have an old Singer and an old Kenmore.. help
I'm so jealous of all of you ladies who sew. I don't know anyone in my area. is there a book or videos or prayer or...

Thanks for sharing, I love the stuff you do!

Rozi said...

I'm always learning something new with you :-D

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much Amy! I can't wait to try those today!! My daughter and her friend will be tearing up my house and I won't notice a thing...just in a serene place, making my ruffles. :) Stacey

the gypsy magpie said...

This tutorial rocks! Thank you for showing us not only WHAT you use, but HOW to use it. The step-out sure makes it looks simple... I hope it really is! Gotta try this right away.

Pine Tree Home said...

I just found you and am so excited. I am a new sewer and just slip covered my camper couch. I am eager to try new things and am truly happy you share so many tips.

coryshay said...

This is so great! Silly you always want to sew down the middle of your strip? Or can you sew closer to the edge? Thank you so so much for this!

Midnight Rambler said...

So happy to find this tutorial. I bought one of those feet a couple years ago on eBay, but hadn't the slightest idea how to use it, so it's sat in the box it came in. Now I can pull it out and give it a go! Thanks for that! :o)

Ginnie@allie~millie designs said...

Thanks Amy, for this tutorial (and ALL your other amazing ones!). I bought this same foot today and I was wondering if you have any tricks or tips as far as stitch length, etc. and which setting did you have the foot on for the ones you did in the tute(12 or 6). Mine just don't look as good as yours or maybe I'm just impatient and need to play with it more!
Many blessings,

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