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: Summer DIY Print Mixing

Hello Gems! It's still summer and it's a hot one! I'm not a shorts and t-shirts type of gal, as you all may know by now. That is, unless the occasion calls for it of course! I'm more of a casual chic, flirty two piece, with a little bohemian vibe on top type of gal! So you can find me beating the heat in these last days of summer in this cool and comfy backless tiered flounce sundress. Oh, and let's not forget the puff sleeves!  This whole vibe sums up the summer! And nothing says it better than zebra and tribal print! I coordinated the rayon rugged Tribal print crinkle challis with this rayon zebra print challis. These two prints look absolutely amazing together. They are both very drapey fluid fabrics that fair well as summer garments. They are breathable and feel so light and cool against the skin. Challis fabrics make great flounce and it's not too light weight that you have to line it. I absolutely adore both of these prints. Zebra print is one of those pr

Made by a Fabricista: Fast Sews and Cool Summer Fabrics

Happy Friday everyone! Today I'm sharing a few things made with my favorite summer fabrics - cotton, linen and rayon - and as an added bonus these are all super quick sews. Each of these projects took me no more than 2-3 hours to sew. My house gets too hot to sew some summer days, so projects I can whip up quickly are great for that limited amount of time that I have.  The first two items I made up as a set, but of course they can also be worn as separates. The top is the I Am Patterns Gaia tank made with a stunningly gorgeous cotton challis. Call me naive but I had no idea cotton challis was even an option! I'd only ever seen challis in rayon. This cotton though is simply a dream to work with, and if you run across it I highly suggest snagging some. The top is a simple V-neck with a facing but what makes it special are the gathers at the shoulder, made by simply adding a bit of ribbon or fabric in a tube. The combination of this pattern with this light cotton fabric is the per

Made by a Fabricista: Summer Ain’t Over Yet

All of my fellow Fabricistas have been looking toward starting their fall wardrobes. But this year, I’m riding my summer vibes right until their official end in mid-September, because I’m doing something a little different: going on a beach vacation after Labor Day! Now is as good a time as any to tackle my first swimsuit, and I have to say, it was a great experience. And of course, I’d need a cover-up too. Fabric Mart had everything I needed to try my hand at a swim suit. I knew I wanted a bright, colorful patterned suit that was more likely to hide any construction flaws, so I picked this really fun nylon/lycra and it just screamed summer fun. Since I wasn’t sure which lining would work best, I ended up picking up the plain black swimsuit fabric to line with, since I read that you can line with swim fabric. It ended up being thicker than I imagined, but for me, I felt like this worked great because the recovery of the two fabrics together is excellent. The fabric is great quality. I