Whilst researching last week’s True Confession on linings, I stumbled across an interesting factoid. In a dress lining, it’s a good idea to make pleats in any place where the main shell has darts. This is because lining fabric has less give than fashion fabrics, and you need more room in your lining. I know, it’s totally counter-intuitive. What? The inner layer needs to be incrementally bigger than the outer layer? But, trust me. I’ve learnt the hard way that this is true!
Besides. Given the choice between making a dart and a pleat, I know which one I’d choose. So on my latest make, I decided to put this technique into practice – and share my experiences with you. This is the way I did it. Others may know better techniques. In which case, you know what to do… Leave a comment!
Okay. So I was working with back bodice pieces and midriff sections. The back bodice pieces should have had a dart putting into them. But on my cut out back bodice lining pieces, I was going to make a pleat. How?
First of all, I took my back bodice pattern piece and marked where the starts of the dart would normally be. Yes, it’s a nice green chalk pen, isn’t it?!
Then I folded a pleat right sides together, bringing the two green marks to line up. Not sure if the marks are lining up? Hold your fabric to the light – you’ll see the other mark showing through. I put a pin through the mark, and made sure it was lined up on the reverse also.
I then took a second pin and pinned the pleat to one side.
You can see both pinned sections below. Try to remember to make your pleats consistent on both pieces ie both pleats facing in or out. It’s not the end of the world, but you’ll be annoyed if they don’t mirror each other.
Baste these pleats in place. Then sew your sections together as you would do normally.
I pink my seams on a lining in this section of a dress. I don’t want overlocked edges to add any extra bulk around the bodice. Overlocking uses four different threads – threads that could add bulk. And these seams are all going to be encapsulated in the finished dress – no one will ever see them. But don’t be tempted to leave them untrimmed. As I said, you don’t want any bulk.
A final press (watch the temperature of your iron!) and there you have it – a nice pleat in your lining section, with just that little bit of extra give:
What do we think? Do we approve?
One last question, a propos of nothing – is Bob Dylan a genius or is he a genius? I can’t understand the haters. He can slice straight through to my heart with a single beautifully composed song and that rough dog of a voice. I wouldn’t change a single thing about him. Not even The Traveling Wilburys…