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Author Topic: Cartridge Pleating. .A Modern Way to get that "Period" Look.  (Read 18717 times)

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Offline Lady Kathleen of Olmsted

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I know that there has been several threads on doing Cartridge Pleating. Hopefully with many new members that have joined this wonderful community who sew, allow me to assist you. To the "seasoned" sewers, never too seasoned to learn a few new tricks.

Cartridge need not be hard to do. It is time consuming, yes, but so worth it.

Here goes in layman's terms.

1) When doing Overskirts that require Cartridge pleating, decide how many panels of fabric that will be pleated and proper length that also includes 2" for a hem and 1/2" for the top seam. One guide I use is 2 to 3-60" wide panels sewn together or 3 to 4-45" panels. Be sure all seams are serged, hems are done. Less panels if one has a smaller waistline.

2) Fold over each opening end 6", sew 1/2" at the top to make a facing like finish. Do the same at the hem bottom of 2". When folded over, there should be clean edges. Tack down with a Cross Catch or whip stitch to secure the folded over panels.

3) With the 1" wide Gingham, cut 4" long pieces that will be the same as the part of the skirt that will be pleated. Be sure to have each piece be the same. I make sure the first row is of the lighter gingham squares. What I recommend that the 1/2" squares be sewn together at the salvage 1/4". That way, you have an actual 1" square that will be a continuous pattern from end to end.  Be sure to add an additional square at each end to fold over.

IMPORTANT: Be sure to start with a light or dark square and end with the same square. That assures even pleating.

4) Underline with one layer of Cotton Canvas Duck of the same length and width of the gingham for  stability. Baste together and serge all side edges.

5) At the top of the skirt, pin and sew gingham pleating guide. 1/2" seam allowance. I also recommend Under stitching to hold down the bulk of the seam. Whip stitch the folded over part of the guide to the fabric. Whip stitch or do the Cross catch stitch to secure the pleating guide to the fabric. You will be happy that you di



You can see the Under Stitching at the top of the guide and make out the cross catch stitching at the bottom.

6) Depending on which hand you use, make your first row of stitching with a heavy thread on the top of the first row of squares. I sew under the light squares and over the dark ones. Each of the 3 rows of hand stitching should be the same. Be sure to measure enough thread for when you have to pull.



You can see the running pattern throughout. This is how it should look.

7) For your waist band, be sure to underline that also with a layer of Cotton Canvas Duck. The weight of the skirt will need that extra support. Waistband should be at least 2" wide when folded over. I serge the edge. That gives me a good guide to use when stitching the pleats to the waistband. You may need to tie off your ends and save the thread for sewing.

8) Have the waist band facing you. Pin the folded edges in place at each end of the waist band, then ease in the rest of the skirt to fit. Pin in places to secure the skirt. 3 to 4 stitches per pleat of double thread.



This is the finished result. Comes out every time. The fingers are screaming bloody murder. But one gets those perfect pleats every time. Be sure to remove the bottom two rows of  hand stitching once the skirt has been finished to the waistband. That allows the pleats to relax a bit.


How I get the trims onto the skirt? I measure 7 1/2" from the serged edge of the overskirt and mark with a Tailor's chalk. Place the trim along the chalked line and sew.



That way, I leave a bit if the fabric to seperate the trim from the fabric of the Underskirt.

Hope these tips help.

« Last Edit: August 19, 2012, 12:43:11 PM by Lady Kathleen of Olmsted »
"As with Art as in Life, nothing succeeds like excess.".....Oscar Wilde

Offline operafantomet

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Re: Cartridge Pleating. .A Modern Way to get that "Period" Look.
« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2009, 07:07:37 AM »
Cool instruction, I especially like the chequered fabric in the waistband - it shows exactly what's going on and how the end result should look. Very informative!

Offline Genievea Brookstone

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Re: Cartridge Pleating. .A Modern Way to get that "Period" Look.
« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2009, 10:44:12 AM »
Thank you Lady K for the tutorial!  Never would have thought to use the gingham and ease the headache of measuring.

My question is do you  use one continuous piece of thread for each row of pleating?  I always seem to end up with knotty thread and having several start/stops.
Genievea Brookstone
Lost child of the Woods

Offline Margaret

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Re: Cartridge Pleating. .A Modern Way to get that "Period" Look.
« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2009, 10:59:23 AM »
I tend to use one continuous strand of thread per row of stitches.  Yes you do need to watch the knotting, but the results are smoother with less chance of a knot slipping and the pleats falling.

It's funny that some people see cartridge pleating as 'hard to do'.  I have a friend who I am currently trying to dissuade.  I keep telling her that it can be a bit time consuming and tedious, but it is not 'difficult' and the end results look fantastic.

Mistress Margaret Baynham
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Offline bellevivre

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Re: Cartridge Pleating. .A Modern Way to get that "Period" Look.
« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2009, 11:02:23 AM »
Can you visually demonstrate how to sew the pleated fabric to the waistband? that always seems to be my hangup- I had once been told to do it at a 90 degree angle, but that just seemed... wrong...
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Offline Lady Kathleen of Olmsted

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Re: Cartridge Pleating. .A Modern Way to get that "Period" Look.
« Reply #5 on: August 05, 2009, 11:45:11 AM »


1) When I thread the rows, I measure one long continuous thread with a little left at the ends.

2) If the width of the Overskirt is 4 1/2 yards, for example, I cut a thread of 4 3/4 yards. One has to be careful about knotting. I seldom have that problem when using Upholstery or Heavy Button thread.

3) With the waistband facing you, pin the folded front sides first, then ease in the rest of the skirt. Pin in places to hold the skirt to the waistband. 3 to 4 stitches per pleat should be strong enough. I suggest the Blanket stitch. It's a stronger stitch and less likely to come undone.

Hope this helps.
"As with Art as in Life, nothing succeeds like excess.".....Oscar Wilde

Offline Genievea Brookstone

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Re: Cartridge Pleating. .A Modern Way to get that "Period" Look.
« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2009, 01:26:09 PM »
Ladies you are so awesome.  Thank you!  I have learned so much from everyones tips and techniques.  One last question lol do you use double or single strand with the heavier thread?  Single would seem like there would be less chance of knotting?
Genievea Brookstone
Lost child of the Woods

Offline Margaret

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Re: Cartridge Pleating. .A Modern Way to get that "Period" Look.
« Reply #7 on: August 05, 2009, 01:38:38 PM »
I use embroidery floss, the full strand.  Using a big upholstery needle helps too.  Less time spent fussing getting the eye threaded.   :D
Mistress Margaret Baynham
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Offline bellevivre

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Re: Cartridge Pleating. .A Modern Way to get that "Period" Look.
« Reply #8 on: August 05, 2009, 01:42:26 PM »
embroidery floss is a good idea- in the past I used buttonjole twist, but you could always see it...

what i mean about my waistband question:

are the waistband and the pleats butting against each other? or does the waistband come down on either side of the top of the piece of fabric like an ordinary skirt? this and arms-eyes always drive me batty!
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Belle the Kat

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Offline Katie Bookwench

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Re: Cartridge Pleating. .A Modern Way to get that "Period" Look.
« Reply #9 on: August 05, 2009, 01:55:48 PM »
I use embroidery thread too - but halved - three of the six strands --to attach the skirt. I've never had a problem with my pleats tearing out.

I use the curved apolstery needle-- I use the 5" size. My good friend Wayward Wench turned me on to them. It takes a little getting used to, but once you get the hang of it, it works great!

I've found though, that you need to pull each of your stitches TIGHT so that they're less visible from the outside.

I have a trick for keeping the knots on the pleat (guide) lines from pulling out. I tie a pretty bead on the end of the line. Once I finish sewing the skirt to the waistband, and adjust the pleat lines, I tie a matching bead on the other end(s) of the line. They make a pretty touch to the skirt once I'm done.

Katie O'Connell - Hollygrove Library
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Offline Katie Bookwench

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Re: Cartridge Pleating. .A Modern Way to get that "Period" Look.
« Reply #10 on: August 05, 2009, 02:09:05 PM »
embroidery floss is a good idea- in the past I used buttonjole twist, but you could always see it...

what i mean about my waistband question:

are the waistband and the pleats butting against each other? or does the waistband come down on either side of the top of the piece of fabric like an ordinary skirt? this and arms-eyes always drive me batty!

The finished edge of the pleats sit against the outside of the waistband.

For instance - I put my skirt on the table, right side facing UP, and place my waistband over the top edge of the skirt, right side DOWN (so, right sides facing), I sew the top edge of the skirt to the bottom edge of the waistband.

Looking at the table from the side, it looks kind of like this:

_________________________________________  <-- waistband (bottom edge)
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^  <-- skirt pleats (top edge)
************************************* <-- edge of table
*************************************

« Last Edit: August 05, 2009, 02:15:18 PM by Katie Bookwench »
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Offline Margaret

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Re: Cartridge Pleating. .A Modern Way to get that "Period" Look.
« Reply #11 on: August 05, 2009, 03:11:26 PM »
Yep - Katie's got the way of it!

I have a skirt that I need to pleat and then sew to a waistband.  Just let me know if I should post photos of it, or if Katie's graphics did it for you.
Mistress Margaret Baynham
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IWG #1656 MCL
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Offline bellevivre

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Re: Cartridge Pleating. .A Modern Way to get that "Period" Look.
« Reply #12 on: August 05, 2009, 03:17:28 PM »
If you dont mind? particularly of the actual connecting stitches- i dont know if I'm just doing mine in a stupid way or what...
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Belle the Kat

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Offline Margaret

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Re: Cartridge Pleating. .A Modern Way to get that "Period" Look.
« Reply #13 on: August 05, 2009, 03:18:56 PM »
No problem hun.  I can do it when I get home.
Mistress Margaret Baynham
The Sweete Ladye
IWG #1656 MCL
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Offline Blue66669

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Re: Cartridge Pleating. .A Modern Way to get that "Period" Look.
« Reply #14 on: August 05, 2009, 03:40:20 PM »
See, this is why I'm getting my gown made for me...
Blaidd Drwg

 

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