Want to know the secret to keeping your finely pleated trim and garment areas looking crisp and perfect for years? Use this simple tip and you’ll soon say: “Oh that’s how they made it look that way!”
The above bodice is an 1873 reproduction made from a mix of a Truly Victorian bodice pattern with the sleeves from an Ageless Pattern and the trim modeled after a Godey’s plate. The bodice was made in March 2003 with the photo taken in February 2011.
And look at those pleats on the sleeves and neckline! Perfect after all those years and numerous wearings.
About this time I got my hands on a Perfect Pleater. Oooh! for beautiful, perfectly spaced pleats. And how absolutely ideal for bustle trimmings.
My first set of those teal sleeve ruffles was challenging to say the least. After fiddling with the fabric in the grooves of the Pleater, I pressed then removed.
… And all my pleats came out. What the heck?
So I then carefully tried to reconstruct the pleats by pinning the strip to my ironing board and pressing again. Better, but still I could see the pleats loosing their straight pressed edge after bouncing around in the dress for a few hours.
Turning to my bookshelf I perused my general sewing books and came across a gem of a tip that has completely changed my sewing of pleated things.
Yep. That common household liquid that cleans and freshens everything from vegetables to toilets. The sewing tip was to use white vinegar when pressing garments. huh, Really?
So into a spray bottle with water and a bit of vinegar I poured then squirted it right on my fabric pinned to my board. I pressed again. Then let cool.
…OMG! Look at those pleats! Those aren’t going anywhere.
I then began using this simple solution on every pleated thing – even older projects. I couldn’t believe the results and that I never knew of this secret solution.
To get your pleats to come out fantastic too:
- Use anywhere from a 2:1 to 10:1 ratio of water (more) to vinegar (less amt.)
- Fill a spray bottle first then add the vinegar.
- The strength of the scent of the vinegar will depend on how much you use but the smell will fade over time and within just a few hours.
- Pleat up the fabric or trim in the Perfect Pleater, with pins or cards.
- Spray solution directly onto cottons or linens.
- Spray solution onto a press cloth and lay the cloth over the pleats.
- PRESS pleats with iron on the fabrics heat setting; do not ‘iron’ the pleats by moving the iron – press down and hold
- LET COOL! This is the one best hint to pay attention to.
- Move trim out of the pleater and/or unpin the pleats; press again if desired
- Apply to your costume and look beautiful!
Leave a comment on how this simple solution has worked for you.
What projects have you used a vinegar solution on?