I’m stuck on the pleating. Can’t figure out a simple equation for determining how much fabric should be in the pleat and how much between each pleat. My petticoat is 184″ around the hem. It will have a pleated flounce at the bottom. I sewed together all the strips for the flounce, and it measures 456″ long. I want to pleat this strip so it fits the petticoat hem.
I tried a bunch of things last night. First, I thought the ruffler/pleater foot on my sewing machine would make it a cinch. Hah! That foot is a PITA. It only sometimes works, and even then only works on one setting — a tight ruffle. Too tight both for my taste and for the lengths involved. After spending two hours futzing with the foot (which involved a screwdriver), and gave up and tried marking pleats on a fabric scrap to test. My guesswork didn’t work. After another hour, I gave up on that. Then I went to the pleating guide that came with the pattern.
Why didn’t I just use this to begin with, you ask? Especially when I used the pleating guide on the dress skirt, and it worked beautifully? Well, I made the petticoat and flounce according to no measurements. I used the length from the pattern, but just cut from selvage to selvage on both — I love using selvages for straight seams because it means no fraying. But this all means that my final measurements are a little bigger than the pattern. If my calculations are correct (and they never are), I’d be short about 3″ if I used the pattern guide.
Now, I did consider adding more length to the flounce… but I’ve already put a nice, tidy rolled hem on both long edges. It’d be messy, though I guess I could hand-rolled-hem the joins. Hrm… maybe that’s the better solution? Add length, then use the pleating guide?