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Success with Pre-Pleated Fabric!

kbalinski | Posted in Fabric and Trim on

Back in November, I asked for help regarding pre-pleated fabric.  A number of you offered advice, so I took the plunge and bought 2 yards.  It sat all winter and spring, waiting for the right pattern (and for me to get brave enough).  The April BWOF had the perfect pattern (#122), and my brain finally made the connection last week.  With Sandra Betzina by my side (the book “More Fabric Savvy”, that is) I tackled that poly-blend into submission, and came out with this lovely blouse today.

I used 1/2″ wide tape on every seam allowance to hold the pleats in place, and removed it immediately after stitching.  It held very well, and released easily when removed (except where I stitched through it, but even then I was able to remove every last piece of it).  You can’t use any type of fusible with this fabric, it will press the pleats right out, so tape was my only option!  Also, I used a stretch needle (ballpoint might’ve worked, too) as the Universal recommended by Betzina wouldn’t get through the fibers well enough to catch the bobbin thread!  After solving that problem, it was clear sailing!

If you want more details and photos, you’ll have to see my blog post on it, which is right here.

Thanks to ThreadKoe, Kharmin and Josefly for your tips and advice, I really appreciate it!

Kristine in Michigan


  1. User avater
    ThreadKoe | | #1

    You look so Cute! The shirt looks so good on you! It turned out so well, a really good job on a difficult fabric. Bravo! :) Cathy

  2. Palady | | #2

    How grand of you to take the time to do a follow up post on your inquiry.  Thank you for remembering to do so.

    Sometimes members offer solutions and are left to wonder if any were of value.

    Including a photo was a wise decision as well.



  3. jjgg | | #3

    Love the fabric, and the shirt is great too! congratulations on a job will done.

  4. Ceeayche | | #4

    Congratulations! You tamed this new skill into a lovely top!

  5. Teaf5 | | #5

    Great top!  Thanks for posting your successful strategy--I'm sure that you'll save many others a lot of frustration.

  6. jjgg | | #6

    I enjoyed reading your blog. The twirrly dress is very nice, is this your daughter? she's really cute. Also, thanks for posting the pictures of using the scotch tape on the pleated fabric.I use scotch tape here and there in sewing. When top stitching a zipper, 1/2 inch wide tape is great for a perfect 1/4 inch line on each side of the seam.

    1. kbalinski | | #7

      Thank you, Judy! Yes, that is my daughter, who loves to raid my stash boxes and say, "Momma, this would make a great nightgown... for me!"  I've taught her a little, and she'll sit between my legs and run the footpedal, stopping to remove every pin.  She's tried to help me pin a pattern to fabric, but isn't quite there yet, and I let her cut the fabric once... but my nerves couldn't handle it and I had to take over!  I'm very glad I have a daughter to sew for!  She's also my first judge when I make something new, and I've found that it's pretty easy to please a 6 yr old!


  7. Josefly | | #8

    Well-done, Kristine. The blouse is great - the pattern well-matched to that beautiful fabric. I didn't notice anything about the hems until you said there weren't any. How nice!I also enjoyed reading your blog for more details. Thanks so much for the suggestions as to needle type, etc.

  8. Ckbklady | | #9

    Congrats and well done - lovely!

    I had to giggle when you said your 2 yards "...sat all winter and spring, waiting for the right pattern." Wiat - it sat for two whole seasons? In my house that would be faster than drive-thru service! I have fabrics I've set aside for decades! Of course, half of them I hemmed and called "tablecloths" in the meantime to keep Hubby at bay.

    I commend you for your Speedy Stash Prevention Program, giggle, and your beautiful blouse.

    Sewing & smiling,




  9. User avater
    Sewista | | #10

    You did a terrific job on this. Congratulations! Pic is great! Bunny

  10. woodruff | | #11

    That came out really beautifully! Nice job.

  11. MaryinColorado | | #12

    You're one of those lucky ladies with a fresh natural beauty.  I enjoyed reading about your experience with this difficult fabric.  The top looks great and fits and hangs very well.  Thanks for sharing your results and the photo.    Congrats. 

  12. SAAM | | #13

    Beautiful. I love the print as well as the pleats. Some years ago I bought a piece of pleated fabric, but I never got brave enough to sew it. Now I'm wondering where it is. With your tips, I may get brave enough to tackle it. The fabric I had had pleats going in multiple directions.

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