underlining pleats

I hadn’t made any progress on my Burda pleated summer dress for a week because of a streaming cold. I’d got as far as setting up the machine and then cutting the underlining I’d belatedly realised was needed, but hadn’t actually sewn a stitch of the dress. So today I made an effort to get started.

Sewing the darts went fine, and then I realised that making pleats in underlined fabric was going to be somewhat tricky. Luckily both my fashion fabric and underlining are cotton, and so don’t shift around too much, but still more than enough to cause problems. My sewing books didn’t have anything to say about this, so in the end I basted the layers together down the centre of the inside portion of each pleat, working from the centre out to try to avoid wrinkles.

That seemed to work pretty well and my pleats came out nicely. However when I joined the pleated centre front of the dress to the side fronts I discovered another problem – I’d obviously marked up my underlining incorrectly on one side and the whole thing was asymmetic. You make a pleat at the join by sewing the two pieces together both at the normal 1.5cm seam allowance and again much further in, and my leftmost pleat was noticeably narrower than all the others. Cue muttering, seam ripping, and basting the offending pleat back together by eye.

Apart from that it’s looking pretty good so far (the photo isn’t great, unfortunately)

I love the nice little rows of folds on the inside of the pleats.

I’m lining it so the next stage is to construct the lining and then sew them together at the neck and arms. My lining fabric is flimsy china silk which promises to be…interesting to sew with. Although as it’s so fine I should be able to get away with turning it out through the very narrow shoulder tunnels which will give me a much better finish than my previous version of this dress. Fingers crossed.