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!!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!!