quinta-feira, 18 de abril de 2013


Here is the tutorial for the pleated A-line dresses I made last week!
The instructions are only for the pleats but you can find patterns and tutorials for A-line dresses all over the internet (just google it!) or you can draft your own pattern using a dress you like (that’s what I did).
These pleats can also be done in other projects such as handbags (here is one) or pillows. And, one day, I will turn them into pockets for a skirt...

Besides the pattern, you will need:
-Fabric (see quantity in the first part of the tutorial)
- Thread matching the fabric color and (optional) thread in a contrasting color,
- Sewing machine and iron,
- Scissors, pins and hand sewing needles,
- Tape measure, ruler and a water-soluble fabric marker,
- Scotch tape (for an unconventional technique...)
CuttingStart cutting the fabric having in mind that, in the place where the pleats will be executed, you'll need a piece of fabric 3 times wider than the final width of the dress in that same area.
This dress will have 9 pleats and each one will be 1cm wide, ie:
3 x 9 pleats x 1cm wide = 27cm
It means that a piece of fabric with 27cm is required, to obtain a final width of 9cm at the place where the pleats will be done.
You can adapt the original pattern to this version of the dress, simply subtracting the total width of the fabric necessary to form the pleats with the final width of the pleats (because that final width is actually already included in the pattern), ie:
27cm - 9cm = 18cm
In conclusion, you will need to add 18cm to the original pattern in order to make the 9 pleats without changing the width of the dress.

At this stage, it is not necessary to cut the fabric in the neck area according to the original pattern. It is better to leave some extra fabric, cutting it in a straight line, and "trimming it" only after finishing the pleats.
For the pleating, you should start by tracing the vertical lines that define all the pleats. Trace them on the right side of the fabric with a water-soluble fabric marker (or use your daughter’s super-washable pens, as I do!)
As this dress pleats are 1cm wide, the tracing should be done like this: starting at one edge, trace 0.5cm, then 2cm and 1cm and then trace alternately spaces with 2cm and 1cm. When you reach the other edge you should have a final space 0.5cm wide.

It is also time to trace the pleats’ height. To do this you will need the dress pattern. Start marking the lowest point of the collar (don’t forget to deduct the seam allowance). Then mark the pleats’ horizontal upper edge, roughly 1cm or 1.5 cm below that neck line mark you did earlier. And finally, mark the pleats’horizontal lower edge. This dress will have 7 folds, 2cm height each, so the total height is 14cm.

Make the pleats folding the fabric (wrong sides together) with the 2cm marks aligned. Pin and sew with running stitch along the traced line of each pleat. Do not forget to finish off the seam at the bottom end. I usually like to handmade this (because I'm kind of picky ...) but it is perfectly fine to finish it with the sewing machine. In this dress, the upper end of the seam does not need to be finished off as it will be cut out later (when assembling the dress this will be where the main fabric and the lining fabric will be sewn together in order to form the neck line).
Repeat this step with all the pleats.
The pleats are made! Now it’s time to "flatten" them. Start by holding the fabric tight to the ironing board with some pins. Then iron each pleat trying to distribute the fabric evenly to both sides of the stitching (if you are using plastic headed pins, be careful not to iron them!). When finished, the pleats should touch each other, without ever overlapping themselves, and have a homogeneous look.

For sewing the horizontal lines that define the pleats you should try an unconventional technique ... Instead of attaching the pleats with pins and marking the sewing line with a water-soluble fabric marker, try using scotch tape. The scotch tape is a "two in one" tool as it keeps the pleats in place and it also works as a guiding line.
You should definitely try this! Cut 7 strips of scotch tape and stick them to the fabric at the exact place where the pleats are supposed to be (use the marks you did earlier with the help of the pattern). Now sew carefully in between the strips of scotch tape, starting and ending just before and just after each pleat. Hand finish each one of the seam lines.

Remove the scotch tape and iron the pleats (this will be the last time you will be able to do it!).

The pleats’ "pitching" technique is all handmade. Start inserting the needle, back to front, in the center of the pleat, then insert it in one side edge and then on the other, and pull the thread in order to join those edges. Then just make a few more stitches to attach those edges tight together and finish it with a little knot at the wrong side of the fabric.
Repeat this for the remaining pleats. It is a bit time consuming technique, but it is also great to see the fabric getting three-dimensional ...

You can now return to the original pattern by putting it on top of the pleated fabric, so you can trim the neck line to the right shape. Then just follow the instructions to finish the dress.

I hope you enjoyed the tutorial and, if you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to tell me!
Have a great time sewing! (Can’t wait to see you’re results!)

18 comentários:

  1. Antes de mais muitos parabéns pela vitória! Sem dúvida que foi merecida :)
    Eu tenho procurado na net precisamente este tipo de molde (A line dress) e não consigo encontrar nada que me agrade e tenho sempre medo de fazer os meus próprios moldes porque geralmente corre mal... Alguma sugestão? Mais uma vez parabéns e beijinhos. Ana

  2. this is ADORABLE! love them both... pinning them asap! :)

  3. This is simply amazing! Such meticulous care you took in constructing these dresses - truly works of art! They will be passed down as heirlooms for sure!

  4. Obrigada!
    Adorei o tutorial e agora já não tenho desculpa para não experimentar!
    Bjinhos, Ana Sofia

  5. Hello !!! I have used your fantastic tuto for the white 2013 dress of my daughter !!!!! Thank you so much !!!! the result is so......superb ! You can have a look at 4petitesgraines.canalblog.com if you want !!!! Thanks again !!!!

    1. Thank you so much for your comment and for sharing your white dress! I love it!
      The silver detail on the pleats is absolutely great!

  6. Hi
    Thank you so much, it's very vey beautifu,l really
    Thanks once more

  7. Thank you for your great tutorial! I combined it with the geranium dress pattern and love it: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jayatri/9055014628/in/pool-geraniumdress

    1. Your dress is beautiful! I love the geranium pattern and I have that fabric on my wish list...

  8. Monisimos me encantan, superbonitos.

  9. So beautiful. I love the bright colors and the pleats, I am going to try it. Lovely!

  10. Fabulous! I love it!

    THANK YOU :)

  11. Adorei este vestido. Fiz um para a minha pequenina seguindo o seu tutorial (http://oqueeutenhofeito.blogspot.pt/2013/10/vestido-com-pregas-3d.html). Obrigada por partilhar.

  12. Esta chevere he aprendido algo más en este día, salí de mi sombra. gracias.