Monday, June 15, 2009

Customizing Your Pleater

I am going to be pleating a new Doodle cloth today. This is a Kona Cotton insert that I practice picture smocking on.

I wanted to show you how I have customized my pleaters.

The first thing I did was put my name on it. As with Scissors when I go to the Smocking Convention there will be several ladies there with the same pleater. My 32 row pleater just has a return address label.

You can barely see it but on my name plate there are the word "R.S. up". This is to remind me that the right side of the fabric should be up when pleating. But you can see there is also something scratched out.

This use to say right side down. The reason for the confusion is my Salley Stanley pleater pleats the same on both sides.

The next thing I did was add a ruler to my pleater. This is the press on sticky back rulers that you can add to your sewing or cutting table. The only problem is it come in a length of 45" and I only need about 10-13 inches depending on the pleater.

The main reason for adding the ruler is when I know I need to pleat an insert with 13 needles I can measure my fabric and see that my fabric will be about 5 1/2" or 14 cm wide.

Here is a close up. I wanted to show you that I lined up the ruler with the edge of the roller bar.
Looks like I might have a bent pleater needle. I will check it out when I align my pleater needles before I pleat.

When I store my extra needles I place them in a metal tin. This one is an Altoids Mint tin.

To make sure I don't lose pleater needle I placed a business card magnet on the back right side of my pleater. They come in a pack at an office supply place. They are for turning a business card into a refrigerator magnet. You just peel the paper off the back and stick it to a business card or in this case my pleater.

When I am setting up my pleater I can lay a pleater needle on the magnet and I know it is not going anywhere.

And when I am ready to put my pleater away, I place the metal tin that is filled with my extra needles on the magnet. Now I know where my pleater needles are and they won't be flying around in the box as I am transporting the pleater.


  1. Great ideas!! I will be using these!! I probably don't need my name on mine because I only use it here at home, but I love the ruler and magnet ideas

  2. I just love your blog! Thank you for all of the great ideas. I hope to get into smocking very soon as I am just getting into heirloom sewing! I have a niece who will be here soon so she has given me an extra push. Now, how about a little lesson on pleating the fabric? I know that might be too much to ask! I really have enjoyed your blog!

  3. Janet, this is a wonderful post! Thank you for the great ideas!!!

  4. Thank You so much for your kind words.

    Jennbenn, what do you want to see pleated? Insert, Bonnet? What type of fabric? Cotton,batiste corduroy, velvet? ~janet

  5. I bought a used Sarah Durand "Miss Muffett" 24 row pleater but I can't find needles. Do you know what needles would work for me?

    1. do you have find this needles? i'm interesting to find this too

  6. A Durand pleater can use the Read 16 row needles. You should be able to find those needles if you do a Google search. Hope this helps.~janet

  7. I have ny moms durand 24 row pleater and 16 row read needles. They do not dit and just fall out. Spent $40. a@any other ideas?

  8. Cort, have you removed the front bar? The front bar is removed (look for a latch on the sides or pins that hold the front bar in place). The needles are placed in the grooves then the front bar is replaced.

    Make sure you have the pleater needles for the correct pleater. They are not interchangeable.