Thursday, May 12, 2011

The Crucible? Annie Get Your Gun? Help me Tim Gunn!

I'm such a Project Runway junkie. There was an unfortunate cartridge pleating incident in Season 8 and I keep giggling about it and flashing to it. A fashion moment running over and over. Sort of like a song stuck in your head. I've been pursing my lips and muttering, "No woman would want to wear that. No one wants to add to her hips." Well, not a modern woman anyway. Cartridge pleats? You're out!

Perfectly perfect for the fashionable Venetian and Elizabethan though, right?

I'm 20 pleats into the 80 or so I need. I've taken them out I don't know how many times for a variety of reasons. I've done them with no padding, with light felt, with heavier felt, and with cotton batting. I've restitched them multiple times trying to get the pleating more even, my stitches nicer, the pleats rounder and better shaped, and the lining more crisp and evenly exposed so it looks on purpose rather than a terrible accident. I've tried a depth of one inch and an inch and a half. The current ones are two inches, but I'm almost thinking they should be deeper. I think I've hit the point where they just aren't going to get better on this particular project, however, so I'm just going to leave them alone before I throw the whole skirt across the room. They could certainly be better, but I'm not going to do a better job on them right now. I think I just need to finish them and vow the next project will be better.

Besides, I might give myself some sort of rotator cuff injury throwing this thing across the room. I tossed it on the scale just to see and it weighs about 11 pounds. I still need to trim the hem, but I also need to add the guards and felt and cord for the hem so it could get worse.


  1. I think you just might be stressing too much over the pleats! The ones in your pic look beautiful. I prefer a light felt for puffing them out, but that's just my favorite.

    11 pound skirt?!?!

  2. I agree with Miss Jane. I usually do one inch pleats, marking the four main points - back center, sides, and front center, then eyeball attaching the pleats. I usually have slightly more fabric in the back than the front, which is A-ok, and my pleats have (in my opinion) looked just fine. I do not pad velvet pleats with anything but extra folded-over velvet and some interfacing... but I'm short enough to lose panel length doing that. has some pictures, but sadly none that are closeups of the pleats themselves.