Saturday, February 3, 2007

A photo tutorial for making knife pleats in skirts

Marjorie asks:
Do you know of a tutorial that shows how to make knife pleats for a skirt?

First lets take a look at what knife pleats are for our readers who may not be familiar with them.
Knife Pleats are considered one of the most basic types of pleating, and are used even today in skirts and gowns. It can be definitely dated to the 16th century, though earlier use is likely, and has been commonly used for basic gathering purposes. Smocks were gathered to neckbands using this type of pleating. Petticoats and skirts were gathered to waistbands. Some large hanging sleeves were gathered to an armscye in this fashion. You've seen knife pleats if you've ever seen a cheerleader's skirt or the uniforms for parochial schools.

Knife pleats produce a smooth line down from the gathering point. In other words, a knife-pleated skirt doesn't "spring out" from the waistline, but rather falls straight down.

The "classic" knife pleat has a 3 to 1 ratio: that is, three inches of fabric will make one inch of finished pleat. It doesn't matter how wide or narrow the pleats are; the 3: 1 ratio will remain the same.

That said I have found you a wonderful photo tutorial at a pirate wench's blog called Slightly Obssessed.

Hope this helps!

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