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General Category => Fabrics => Topic started by: Moes2blackcats on February 21, 2018, 07:09:14 AM

Title: Micropleated fabric
Post by: Moes2blackcats on February 21, 2018, 07:09:14 AM
I'm attempting to sew a blouse with micropleated fabric.  The last time I attempted, I stretched the fabric out.  What I'm trying right now, is sandwiching the fabric between stabilizer, using a walking foot, sharp needle, small zigzag stitch.  When I put it between two layers of stabilizer, I'm first putting the pattern piece on the section I'm about to sew, to make sure it isn't stretched out of shape.  Then I use lots of pins to attach the stabilizer to the fabric.  Will this work?  Any tips?
Title: Re: Micropleated fabric
Post by: Administrator on February 21, 2018, 11:55:33 AM
Micropleated fabric is very beautiful but you have to get used to working with it, and some never do.

The zig-zag stitch and sharp needle are essential as you already seem to know. The walking foot should help as well.

What type of thread are you using? Keep in mind that micro pleated fabric doesn't work with cotton thread. You can use polyester, but it really was created for the use of silk thread (yes I know, expensive.)

Try to stitch the seams in the "valley" of one of the pleats. Then press the seam as it was sewn (to meld the stitching) and trim to a narrow width of inch or less. Overcast by hand or with the zigzag stitch. You could also create your seams with a three-thread serged stitch if the stitching does not show through to the front side. Test your fabric first for best results.

Note that hems are best avoided in this fabric. Cut your garment so the hem falls on the selvedge of the fabric. If you must clean-finish a hem, cut bias strips of the fabric and press them as flat as possible. Then use these strips as a narrow edge binding.

Hope this helps, many seamstresses won't touch micropleated because it can be difficult to work with unless you do so properly.
Title: Re: Micropleated fabric
Post by: KariH on February 21, 2018, 11:56:31 AM
I sewed a micro pleated skirt for my Mom with this type of fabric.  It had an elastic waistband so fitting was not an issue.  I have miles of leftovers left that I have not used because I could not figure out how to work with it either.  I thought about using tissue paper to stabilize it while cutting the pieces out, and staystitching.  That is about as far as I got.
Title: Re: Micropleated fabric
Post by: oddesy on February 21, 2018, 11:56:59 AM
This thought balloon may get too complex as I write it, but it sounds good at the beginning... please bear with me...

1) pre-pleated fabric, spread out straight and square on your work surface

2) thin tissue paper - no wrinkles in it

3) quilter's "spray-tack" ~ I know I've seen or read about this, but have no idea what it's actually called. It's intended to help keep quilt sandwiches in place while you work on them, but not a firm grip. Also leaves no residue on the piece you didn't spray.
Annie ~ am I hallucinating?

* Spray the tissue paper, NOT the fabric.

* Float the tissue onto the pleated fabric; gently press it in place.

* Proceed to layout and cut your pattern - maybe even trace it onto the tacked down tissue?

Good luck with that beautiful fabric!
Title: Re: Micropleated fabric
Post by: Amanda Bush on February 21, 2018, 11:58:03 AM
You've come up with some good instructions for cutting the fabric out. I've hesitated to use pleated or crinkled fabric because I couldn't imagine how to sew it without pushing the pleats out with the presser foot, thus stretching the fabric. But maybe Wonder Tape, which is water soluble, is the answer. Exactly how to use it in this case I don't know - I suppose put it inside the seam allowance, just along the seam line, temporarily fusing two pieces that are to be stitched together. But then you can't separate those seam allowances until the Wonder Tape is rinsed out. It just sounds like a lot of trouble, but maybe it's worth it.
Title: Re: Micropleated fabric
Post by: MWagner on February 21, 2018, 11:58:54 AM
I sample stitched a few pieces.  Where I tried to press the pleating in place, it seemed to flatten them down in all directions, an effect I did not care for, but then I am really picky.  I have looked at RTW in similar fabrics, and they have the same thing happening.  Yet there must be a way to deal with it.  I had not tried a temporary spray.  That might work better as I could direct the pleating.
Title: Re: Micropleated fabric
Post by: Administrator on February 21, 2018, 12:00:27 PM
The spray might work, but I'm skeptical - the spray would hit only the top parts of the pleated fabric, and that might not be sufficient to keep the pleats in place as they move under the presser foot.

The greatest problem is stitching seams perpendicular to the direction of the pleating/crinkling.
Title: Re: Micropleated fabric
Post by: Moes2blackcats on February 22, 2018, 08:43:58 PM
I read about cutting it out so the hem falls on the selvedge of the fabric, but it was too late - I had already cut it out.  I've also read to do a rolled hem on my serger.  I've never done one before, but don't think it will be too difficult.  I have purchased a blouse made of this type of fabric with a normal hem, and one with a rolled hem.  I figure if the big guys can sew a hem on it I should be able to as well, but I may just opt for the rolled hem.  I have some scrap that I can practice on first.  I remember the lady at the fabric store telling me to use a stabilizer.  That was after my first partially failed attempt with this fabric.  I didn't even know what it was.  I've since figure out what it is, and have used it a few times for other projects.  So far, I've done the staystitching around the front neckline and it seems to have kept it's shape.  I also thought about the spray, but wasn't so sure it would work either.  I also read to lessen the thread tension and presser foot tension - which I did as well.  Is stay tape the same as wonder tape?  I have some of that, but it stretches, so I'm afraid if I iron it on, I'll wind up stretching out the fabric still when I sew it.  I've also read not to use fusible interfacing (read that too late also), and not to iron the fabric at all.  I'm going to have to hit it with the iron at some stages of the project though, but I'll limit how much fabric is ironed.  I'm very hesitant on the next steps for fear of stretching it out. I'm using polyester thread.  I'd have to go out of town or order on line for silk thread, so hopefully the polyester works OK.  I also read about using the strips of fabric cut on a bias, but can't see how I could sew that on the blouse without stretching it.   I'll try and keep you all posted, and your suggestions are appreciated. 
Title: Re: Micropleated fabric
Post by: Administrator on February 22, 2018, 09:39:50 PM
It definitely takes some getting used to working with it. If you have good results be sure to post them or send them to me to post them! I look forward to hearing how it turned out. All the best to you on it.
Title: Re: Micropleated fabric
Post by: Moes2blackcats on February 23, 2018, 08:22:08 PM
I will post when I start sewing some of the difficult areas.  I'm sure it'll be a while though.  This is definitely going to test my patience. 
Title: Re: Micropleated fabric
Post by: Moes2blackcats on March 12, 2018, 08:18:21 PM
I've got most of this project done and so far so good.  I just have to do the hem and button holes & buttons.  Here's what I've done, which may be overkill, but it seems to be working so far.  I've used a size 10 sharp needle, polyester thread, walking foot, loosened the tension on the presser foot and thread, small zigzag stitch, and used stabilizer (Sulky, Solvy - water soluble stabilizer, light weight).  Prior to stitching, I laid my project out on my cutting table.  I laid the pattern piece on top and made sure the fabric wasn't stretched out.  I put stabilizer on the top and underside of the fabric, then laid the pattern piece on top just to make sure the fabric wasn't stretched out.  Then I used lots of pins.  One more time I made sure it wasn't stretched out prior to stitching.  Yes overkill, or paranoia, but I thought for the extra time this took it was better to be safe than sorry.  Nothing has stretched out at all.  To press the seams, I made sure it wasn't stretched out and just laid the iron on briefly - no sliding at all.  That seemed to work as well.  I'm posting this prior to sewing the hem on purpose.  This part is going to be the challenge of all challenges.  I hope I don't blow it at this point.  Fingers crossed.
Title: Re: Micropleated fabric
Post by: Moes2blackcats on March 14, 2018, 09:09:33 PM
I finished my blouse today and it was a success.