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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:
 
http://sewityourselfslipcovers.com/blog/
http://sewityourselfslipcovers.com/marketplace/
 
I obviously have no idea how awesome they are, because I have my BBQ fork, but this lady seems to love them:
 
http://www.muchtodowithnothing.com/2010/10/new-tool-to-make-perfect-pleats.html
 
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.
 
http://www.ket.org/tvschedules/episode.php?nola=MASR++001210
http://www.carolinabelles.net/vb/showthread.php?t=6273
http://www.elizabethancostume.net/pleats/  (Hi, Drea!)
http://sewing.patternreview.com/review/review/1026
http://costumes.myblog.de/
http://trulyvictorian.com/FAQ.html
 
 
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.
 
 
 
Merri FordMerri Ford on April 17th, 2012 01:40 pm (UTC)
Brilliant
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!