Vintage Sewing

Pleat Troubles

May 4, 2009


Hi all, I’m working away on my Vogue dress, Pattern #2903, it’s the vintage Vogue reproduction pattern of a 1957 pattern, please see my blog for pictures.  I’ve been basting the pleats down as I thought the pattern stated to do but now I’m concerned I’m making the pleats wrong.  I know a few of you around here have made this dress.  How did you interpret the instructions for the pleats?  I’ve been ironing on the lines like the pattern said and then basting the pleat to the actual skirt.  I’m sure this is not how it is supposed to be done.  I can’t figure out how to really do them though.

The instructions state:  To make pleats, on outside, crease along lines of small circles.  Bring creases to lines of large circles; baste.  
Past these short instructions, there are no more references to the pleats until the very end when it is time to create the hem.  
NOTE:  If desired, rebaste and press pleats at lower edge, or leave unpressed. 
  1. I can’t read the instruction sheet, so I can’t give you any specific comments, but here’s some general ideas to start off with. Basting is generally a temporary step – there should be some “stitching” later. Often you baste the pleat closed, either all the way down or just along the top to hold it steady for the stitching. The three thicknesses have to be attached together somehow in the end. Then the basting can be taken out.

  2. If you can find a vintage sewing book from the time period that often helps.

    Generally, basting the pleats down is done with hand basting and silk thread (one can usually press over silk thread and not leave a mark) Basting is used to control the pleat crease and backing; to hold the bulk in it in place as kwovens mentioned until construction is comleted, then basting is removed.

  3. I made this dress, and the way it turned out, I believe with the basting, was that the pleats open lower and there is a channel up to the top of the pleat – making a slimmer silhouette.

    I only basted maybe the top quarter or third of the pleat. You may want to look through the rest of the directions and see what they want you to do with this later.

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