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17 November 2011 @ 10:31 am
Fork Pleating  
Fork pleating!
Apparently, it’s a whole thing. I just didn’t know about it until the_thread_lady said “Meat fork”  to me in this post.  And thus a whole new world of fuss free pleating was born. The sun shone, birds sang, flowers bloomed. I was almost going to punish myself for being so late to the forking party, but then I realized that not a whole lot of people are actually aware of how amazing fork pleating is. When I googled it, there was just a smattering of sites out there who mention it, even a few brave souls who demonstrated for us, but it didn’t really seem all that well known! SO, I am here to proclaim FORK PLEATING IS AWESOME! Big old meat forks need to be in your sewing kit.  Go get them.
What I learned about fork pleating that no one else seemed to mention out there:
*Use FLAT forks.  A dinner fork is not a good choice here, it’s curved and tapered. It needs to be FLAT to get crisp even pleats.
*Use TWO-TINED forks, like the BBQ or meat variety. This is just an ease-of-use thing, the only tines that matter are the two outer tines.
*The tines need to be LONG for the big projects, like a skirt. Short tines are good for small things, like making pleated ribbon trim or something. The long tines will make your pleats orderly and it’s easier to control the excess unpleated fabric.
*The outer edges of the tines need to be EVENLY SPACED THE WHOLE LENGTH. A tapered fork will not produce crisp even results.
Some enterprising woman who sews invented the perfect little pleating forks for us, for $10 a pop:
I obviously have no idea how awesome they are, because I have my BBQ fork, but this lady seems to love them:
I would totally buy them, as they may be a better choice than a meat fork. Well, only if they are made out of a hard stiff plastic that doesn’t flex at all.  I like the short handles and the absolute flatness of them—things you won’t find on a meat fork.  Anyway, a meat fork is $10 or more anyway. Might as well get the ones designed for the sewing room.
Here are some other  links from around the net I found about fork pleating.  (Hi, Drea!)
Would you like to see me forking with uninhibited abandon? Alrighty!

Here is my sleek new tool, a magnificent 1998 Chefmate 3000, who is probably really happy to not be wasting away in a drawer when not being tortured with fire. Bring on the pleats!

1) Slide

2) Roll

3) Tighten

4) Pin

Voila! Repeat 1000 times and you have yourself a skirt.
starlightmasquestarlightmasque on November 17th, 2011 07:12 pm (UTC)
ACK! The lightbulb over my head just shone like a thousand suns and 'sploded. I just figured out (because I'm a genius, natch) that a multi-tined fork could be the ultimate pleating tool to control the return AND the pleat width all in one swoop. SOMEONE MAKE THIS FORK FOR ME! Thank you.
starlightmasquestarlightmasque on November 17th, 2011 07:24 pm (UTC)
A HAIR PICK!! What about a hair pick?

Do you think the tines are stiff enough? I need to go to the store.

Edited at 2011-11-17 09:50 pm (UTC)
Eleanordame_eleanor on November 17th, 2011 08:08 pm (UTC)
Oh my gosh! That looks so easy!! Gotta give this a try!
starlightmasquestarlightmasque on November 17th, 2011 10:09 pm (UTC)
I know, right? It is easy. Suspiciously easy. I don't think I've ever made pleats that I didn't struggle with. I don't recall selling my soul to a Crossroads Demon for an easy solution, but I may have. I'll call the Winchesters.
Karisdamekaris on November 17th, 2011 10:34 pm (UTC)
I have heard about this mysterious knife pleating of which you speak, but it has eluded me to this day. I am actually a sicko that likes to pleat and have gotten pretty darned good at doing so without measuring in anyway and having my pleats look nearly perfectly even, but this wonderfully magical tool would make it even more enjoyable. Perhaps when I return to the land of making my own stuff again sometime in the unknown future I will have to go find myself a magic fork!! Glad you are having fun finding your inspiration again. I look forward to reading your posts.
starlightmasquestarlightmasque on November 17th, 2011 11:51 pm (UTC)
aaawwwww hugs and kisses and magic forks to you!
(Anonymous) on April 18th, 2012 02:03 am (UTC)
Two Things
There are two things I must say...

1) Oh my god this is so ridiculously easy...

2) I love you. I do think the Winchesters should investigate this thoroughly. It would make a wonderful craft-themed episode XD
starlightmasquestarlightmasque on April 23rd, 2012 06:00 pm (UTC)
Re: Two Things
Ha! Ha! Agreed! *fistbump*
countess_ecountess_e on November 17th, 2011 11:33 pm (UTC)
Hey, suppose some enterprising type out there who can do wood/metal things might actually make us some custom pleating forks? (Darting beady eyes about her.)
starlightmasquestarlightmasque on November 17th, 2011 11:51 pm (UTC)
Wouldn't that just be brilliant? I know I would certainly pay the proper price for a proper tool that did its job and let my brain relax. I am currently writing up a post about how well the hair pick works, but it is still not my dream tool. SOMEONE MAKE US OUR DREAM TOOL!
(Anonymous) on November 25th, 2011 03:27 am (UTC)
Pleating tool
Hi Angela,

Thanks for mentioning my pleating tool. It is made of a hard plastic and does not flex. I would love to send you a sample so you can test it out. Contact me via my site---www.sewityourselfslipcovers and I will send you one.

Angie Knowles
starlightmasquestarlightmasque on November 25th, 2011 07:06 am (UTC)
Re: Pleating tool
Hi Angie! What a pleasant surprise! I would be honored to test out your tool, thank you! Pleating is such a pain, and anything to make it easier is most welcome. I look forward to giving it a go, and I will certainly make an entry about it here. Thank you again!
Merri FordMerri Ford on April 17th, 2012 01:40 pm (UTC)
Is it not amazing how clever and what dual personalities the simple domestic tools can be/have? I marvelled at how simple this is. I like my pleating to be as correct as possible and fuss over them all, especially the second half of a skirt, sleeve shoulder etc, to make it match the first one. This will take a lot of time and worry out of my pleating in future. Thank you for sharing the technique.
starlightmasquestarlightmasque on April 23rd, 2012 06:11 pm (UTC)
Re: Brilliant
You're welcome! I now always check out the meat forks wherever I go to see if there is a new width I don't have yet!
Scyllacatscyllacat on April 17th, 2012 01:51 pm (UTC)
starlightmasquestarlightmasque on April 23rd, 2012 06:10 pm (UTC)
Re: Pinned!
Thanks! I was wondering where this influx of new friends was coming from!
x_creepy_doll_xx_creepy_doll_x on April 17th, 2012 02:18 pm (UTC)
Added you; I need all the sewing help I can get!
starlightmasquestarlightmasque on April 23rd, 2012 06:16 pm (UTC)
Thanks, Creepy Doll! I don't know how much help I'll be, I screw up so much all the time! LOL
x_creepy_doll_xx_creepy_doll_x on April 23rd, 2012 06:25 pm (UTC)
No way you screw up as much as I do! I have issues with patterns stating inaccurate measurements and with women's clothing being proportioned seemingly for men. I don't understand why dress patterns would be made with broad shoulders and no room for breasts, for example. 20 years ago, I would take my measurements and follow the pattern directions and the dress would fit. About 13 years ago the standardization changed across all the brands. Now it's a struggle to determine what pattern size I really need, and then if the shoulders and bust area need to be changed... and how to change them. Sigh!!!
starlightmasquestarlightmasque on April 23rd, 2012 06:34 pm (UTC)
hmmm, what kind of patterns are you working with? Historical or modern clothing? There are a lot of really terrific books available about pattern alterations and fitting, all available for free through your library. They really are very helpful!
x_creepy_doll_xx_creepy_doll_x on April 23rd, 2012 06:39 pm (UTC)
Modern; usually McCall's. I tried buying a book like that a while back but it was too complicated for me to understand. I can afford the books no problem; I just need one that is comprehensible for the mathematically impaired!
(Anonymous) on April 18th, 2012 02:00 pm (UTC)
Fork Pleating
My mother taught me to sew when I was a young child but this idea is just awesome! Thank you so much for sharing it!
starlightmasquestarlightmasque on April 23rd, 2012 05:59 pm (UTC)
Re: Fork Pleating
You're welcome! It is certainly not my idea, but I'm happy to pass it along!
(Anonymous) on August 5th, 2012 07:03 pm (UTC)
Re: Fork Pleating
this is so clever! I'm over from craft gossip!
starlightmasquestarlightmasque on October 26th, 2012 10:39 pm (UTC)
Re: Fork Pleating
Hi! Thank you!
(Anonymous) on April 23rd, 2012 08:21 pm (UTC)
Alternate to fork
I saw this and had a brilliant idea - you can get 2 or 3 tined heavy plastic evenly spaced combs for braiding horse's manes. Any tack store has them and they're only a few dollars.
starlightmasquestarlightmasque on October 26th, 2012 10:39 pm (UTC)
Re: Alternate to fork
oooo that is a GREAT idea! Thank you!
Brittany LinnettBrittany Linnett on April 23rd, 2012 08:23 pm (UTC)
Alternate to fork
I saw this and had a brilliant idea - you can get 2 or 3 tined heavy plastic evenly spaced combs for braiding horse's manes. Any tack store has them and they're only a few dollars.
Kataryna BordersKataryna Borders on August 5th, 2012 10:00 pm (UTC)
this is so awesome, I could cry, lol! Thanks!!!
starlightmasquestarlightmasque on September 7th, 2012 07:18 pm (UTC)
I know, right? When I discovered it I wanted to cry, too, lol!
Desi Wilson on August 6th, 2012 03:43 pm (UTC)
starlightmasquestarlightmasque on September 7th, 2012 07:18 pm (UTC)
Thanks, Desi! I didn't invent it, but I sure am glad I discovered it!
Karen RalstonKaren Ralston on November 14th, 2012 06:24 pm (UTC)
fork pleating
Love this! I immediately made a fork pleater from the plastic hanger thingy that trouser socks come on. I made two widths by cutting various arms off and used the extra arms as handles that I glued on--they look like tuning forks. Then I immediately experimented, and spread the word to all my costume acquaintances, and we are all delighted. Thank you! This is one of those, "Why didn't I think of this?" moments!