Skip to main content

Reader's Pick Sew Along #2 - Bodice Pleats

On Monday when I introduced Step #1 - Cutting, Alterations and Thread, I mentioned about lengthening and shortening the bodice piece. Since then, the person that asked about this tried it out, using the directions from Handmade by Heather B, and it worked! So if you haven't cut out of your good fabric yet and need to do this step, give it a try!

Since we are working with knits, it is important to make sure you have a STRETCH NEEDLE. One thing I found when I was starting to sew with knits, was that my seams and hems would break because there was no give. Knits stretch with you, the thread does not. Some sewing machines have a knit stitch. (Check your manual for this info.) If your sewing machine doesn't, set your machine to a straight stitch, but modify your zig-zag stitch ever so slightly. (Or use the zig-zag, but on a very fine zig-zag, almost straight! This setting depends on your sewing machine.) I have a Bernina and it comes with a knit stitch. I don't care for it, so I use a straight stitch with a slight zig-zag. 

Here is a photo of my settings: 

I do tug slightly on a knit when I'm sewing with it, but not too much. You don't want fabric ripples!

So today we're going to make the pleats for the bodice. I'm not going to go through every step they tell you to do, because that would just be repetitive, but give you hints, reminders and suggestions that go along with the step. 

When making your pleats you may fumble around with matching up your lines and sticking the pins into place. Starting from the end of the fabric, I pierce the pin through the line and then through the line on the other side of the fabric. This ensures that you've got one section all lined up. Then go back into the line with the pin and match up the line again. 



When sewing your pleats, be sure to keep the other pleats out of the way! You don't want to sew them all together! 

Listen to the directions with they say press and baste your pleats up or down! It definitely helps the dress look great in the finished product!  


 After your pleats are in place, use some seam binding to stabilize your shoulder seam. I used a transparent seam tape called, Seams Great Binding by Dritz.


That's all for today! This step was easy. The next couple of steps get more complicated. 

Share your fabric choices on our Flickr page! Some of you have shown us what you are using and we'd love to see more! 

Any questions or suggestions? Comment below. 

Comments

  1. Thanks for the great info. :) I want to add that I definitely stabilized the neckline bit, too, so that it wouldn't stretch out of shape when sewing it up. My muslin is far from perfect, but that darn neckline looked great. I *think* I may have used stay tape...

    When is the next part of the sew along set to go? I want to make sure I stay in step with you all and don't get behind. I have a few projects over the next few weeks, so I have to prioritize my sewing tasks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Dina, the next step will be posted on Friday. You will have all weekend to work on that. And for people catching up, they have the weekend to do also!

      Delete
  2. No wait, the neckline has stretch, so I must have used some kind of knit stabilizer. Will check my notes and dress muslin a bit further to see what I did to stabilize the neckline...

    ReplyDelete
  3. Okay, last comment, I promise. I just checked the neckline, and it appears I didn't use a stay tape or stabilizer of any kind. Sigh. What I think I did was staystitch the dress neckline to prevent stretching, but then used the "lightning bolt" stitch on my Bernina to get stretch on the finished bit of the neckline.

    I only remember this part so clearly because so many reviews of this pattern mention making sure to not stretch out the neckline or else it will gape. And that is the last thing I wanted from my finished product.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I did notice the neckline comment brought up a lot in other reviews of this pattern. We will talk about this in the next step, which will be posted on friday!

      Delete
  4. How do you feel about using clear elastic on the shoulder seams instead of stabilizer? I've used it and like it, but are there times stabilizer would be preferable?
    Thanx!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Sharon,

      I think that clear elastic would be fine, as long as you don't pull on it to the point of puckering your seam. If you are comfortable with it, I would say go for it! The thing I liked about the seam tape I used was that it did not stretch, therefore I didn't have to worry that it would pucker.

      Delete
    2. That makes sense. Thanks for the reply!

      Delete

Post a Comment

Thanks for leaving a comment! All comments are reviewed before posting to help us eliminate spam. Your comment will be posted within 24 hours.

Popular Posts You Might Like

Made By A Fabricista: College Inspired Cardigan

Happy Monday All! It has been a while since I wrote a blogpost and it feels great to be back! Today I am excited to share my daughter who hasn’t graced the blog for quite sometime. Now that my children are older, I have to always get their permission to take photos and share. It took a lot of convincing to get my daughter to rock this FAMU (Florida A & M University) inspired cardigan. I originally planned to make the Blackwood cardigan using the orange and green ponte knit for myself to represent my alma mater FAMU but then realized I cut the wrong size.  I was a bit disappointed at first that I cut a medium instead of a large but knew my daughter would rock it. Additionally, even if I wanted to squeeze in the cardigan, it just could not even pass my elbow when I tried it on. It was definitely a learning experience because I now know that you cannot add a non stretch ribbon around a fitted knit garment sleeve. It must be added to a loose sleeve as the ribbon stops the fabric from s

Made By A Fabricista: An Outfit for First Snow

We had a marvellous autumn in western Canada with warm dry days and just a couple of hints of frost. When I was perusing Fabric Mart Fabric's site in October, I was tempted to focus on pretty florals for blouses or dresses but part of me knew that ... (da dah dum ... ) winter is coming . Fortunately, Fabric Mart was stocked with a huge selection of fabrics that are perfect for winter or holiday sewing. Over the past several months I've been planning my sewing projects so I have pieces that work together. To stick with that theme, I decided to pick a print fabric for a top, and a solid for pants, using navy as the neutral. Pants For the pants, I selected Navy Poly/Nylon/Spandex Stretch Corduroy. This fine 14-wale corduroy is warm enough to wear outdoors but will be especially comfortable indoors. It also has a bit of drape which makes it nice for trousers. And who doesn't want some stretch?  I selected Vogue 9181 (Custom-Fit Bootcut Pants) because it is designed for stretch

Made By A Fabricista: Velvet for the Holidays

Are you getting ready for the holidays?  I am.  From past years, it gets so busy in my household around this time of year, so it is never too early to start my holiday sewing.  This year I decided to sew velvet, a fabric I had not sewn for many years but I think it is luxurious.   As luck would have it, FM’s poly rich black velvet flashed on my computer screen and I bought lots.  I thought it would be pretty for a one-shoulder gown, which I had never worn before but admired on others.  The following week FM’s multi-colored one showed up.  It was a poly embossed Bohemian print velvet with jade, yellowish, and crimson colors; it screamed fall and family get-togethers.   I just had to have it!  When the fabrics arrived, the deep colors did not disappoint. I chose Butterick B6557 for both dresses, View B for the knee-length printed dress and View C for the maxi dress. It was perfect for velvets; the front was one whole piece and so was the back.  I cut the fabrics with the nap going down