Tutorial: Pleated knit trim

After my last post, Faye asked me if I could post a tutorial for how I did the trim for the Shakespeare On The Green top. So here you go, Faye…sorry it took me awhile to get to it!

1. We’re going to pretend that the folded piece is the neckline of my shirt, and that the strip actually has edge finishing, ok? For the actual shirt, I had sewed it together in its entirety, including neckline facings. (Depending on the style, you might not need to sew it entirely, but since this one was more or less a raglan sleeve, I needed those sleeve parts for the neckline to be complete.) I also finished the edges of the fabric strip with a rolled hem on my serger. The strip is about 1.25″ wide. I also cut it so that the grain was running vertical on the strip so that it wouldn’t stretch much as I was pleating it. (For the sleeve trim, I cut the strips on the horizontal grain because I figured it might need a little more give there.)

2. Fold the strip width-wise, like this. I tried to keep the depth of the fold somewhere around 3/8″ to 1/2″…don’t think it always worked, but I didn’t see any parts jumping out as ridiculously huge. So don’t feel like you have to measure everything–I measured the ones that looked overly big, but I mostly just eyeballed it.

3. Pin this fold down on the neckline, so that one edge slightly overlaps the seam between the neckline and the facing. Then make a fold in the opposite direction, so that the folds underneath match up in the center.

4. Pin the new fold down. Then make a third pleat so that the folds on the upper part of the trim meet up in the middle.

5. Continue folding and pleating like this, alternating directions and pinning to the shirt as you go. (The “rectangles” showing at the top of the box pleats ended up being approximately 7/8″- 1″ between the folds.) If you look at the trim from the side, it should have a bit of a zig-zaggy look, as seen in this post. (Though it won’t be nearly as obvious as in the pic, since it’s all pinned down.) If you run out of trim, you can just cut a new strip, fold the raw edge under, and pin that fold adjacent to the last fold of the old strip. (I trimmed away the excess to cut the bulk, too, when this happened to me.)

6. (No pic of this step, sorry!) Once you’re done pinning it all the way around, sew a row of straight stitches down the center of the strip, all the way around. If you do a rounder neckline, you’re probably done after this. Since I did a V-neck, I also had to add a little bit of the trim in the middle front in a new piece to cover up the ends. Then all you need to do is make sure all the pins are out, press it a bit, and voila!

I hope this was helpful–let me know if any steps were confusing and I’ll clarify as soon as I get a chance.

Sadly, the pics for this tutorial are the closest I’ve gotten to sewing in about a week and a half. I’ve thought about it…just haven’t had a chance to sit down at the machine, despite having a skirt cut out and ready to go. Things have just been super-busy lately, and with no sign of letting up too soon. (I’ve also thought about changing this blog’s color scheme around a bit so that it’s not so clashy, but no time to do that either! A good chunk of it has been work-related–the school I teach band at one day a week had a music competition this past Friday and I had to do some extra things in the evenings to get everything prepared, I had an all-day Saturday rehearsal and a concert on Sunday, I got home late from teaching today and had to deal with some music hunting and laundry, etc. Oh, yeah, and on top of all of this, some jerk decided to hack into my Facebook account about a week ago while I was at work and tell all of my friends that I had been mugged at gunpoint in London and needed cash wired to me so I could get home. So in the ensuing chaos, I had to make a new Facebook account, shut down my old one, and am in the process of re-friending everyone I actually wanted to stay in touch with and uploading my photos that I still wanted to keep up there. Doesn’t look like it’s going to let up for at least another week, either, though that’s mostly due to social stuff. And the fact that I’ll be out in the middle of the woods backpacking this weekend with no electricity, let alone outlets to plug a machine into! (My machine is waaaaaaaay too much weight to shove in my pack anyway!) And I’ve got church-related stuff going on for the next 3 days. And plans to have dinner with a friend next Monday night. And more plans for the next 3 weekends straight, although I may be able to cram some in on Mother’s Day weekend depending on when my family does stuff and if my mom and I do end up working on her flower garden that weekend. Maybe, just maybe, I can sew some on next Tuesday night since I have less teaching than usual. As long as I get it in before Lost–that is one of the few shows I cannot sew during!

I did, however, make a necklace on Saturday night–my friend C. was over so we could watch the season premiere of Doctor Who together, and she’d asked me to fix a couple of necklaces for her, so I had the jewelry stuff out already anyway. It’s the next necklace in my “Elements” series, for water, and I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out. No earrings or pictures yet.


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