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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.
http://www.elizabethancostume.net/pleats/  (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.
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!