Thank you to Sandie of Sleepy Owl Studio, who commented on yesterday's post and enlightened me (and maybe you, too) with the real name of the pleat texture technique shown above: twisted pintucks. Oooooh, I even love how it sounds! Feels too fancy-schmancy to talk about twisted pintucks on a random Tuesday in February; they seem ultra special occasion-y! Well, lucky for us, they're not as high-falootin' to create as they sound. Infinite possibilities for a single fabric shadow effect or, for two or more fabrics, interesting color play with either tone-on-tone or high contrast fabrics.
I'm not going to get into specific sizes for projects. I'm simply sharing the process. You'll need to try it out to see what your choice of fabric widths, lengths, pleats and stitching yields. Keep notes as you go so you can determine how much you'll have to cut & sew for your project.
How to Make Twisted Pintucks
If you're using one fabric, follow a simple tutorial for making the pleats, like this nice one at Make It and Love It. Then, skip to step 4 to incorporate the twists.
If you're using 2 fabrics, start with step 1 below.
Cut strips of fabric. Sew the strips, right sides together, alternating fabrics as you go. Press seams to sides and press pieced fabric from top to get all sections nice and flat.
In the pillow photo above, both fabrics are 1-1/2" wide. I used a 3/8" seam allowance, but I would recommend 1/4" instead. Much less bulk!
The fabric that you'd like on top will be referred to as the pleat fabric. Press your pleat fabric in half, so wrong sides come together in the back. You can do this by matching up your seams from step 1 or matching up the edges of your seam allowances from step 1. This is where patience and using a systematic approach will make all the difference!
You may pin the pressed pleats into place, if you feel more comfortable. I didn't because I don't like pinning, and I felt it diminished the maneuverability of the pressing as I went along. Maybe it will be different for you...
With your pleats pressed in half, stitch in the ditch through both sides of the pleat, as shown in red above. Be mindful to move the extra fabric out of your way as you go.
Press all your sewn pleats in one direction. Sew a scant-edge stitch along both edges - going in the direction of your pressed pleats. Shown in red above.
Determine how many twists you'd like in your design. You'll need an even number of sections and an odd number of stitch passes. You're going to make all your "in direction" stitch passes first. Then, you'll make all your "opposite direction" stitch passes, which willl give the pleats their loverly, loverly twist.
For an 8-section, 9-stitch twister, fold and press your piece in half (2 sections). Fold and press those 2 halves in half again (4 sections). Stitch the 3 creases you made in the direction of the pleats. Shown in green above.
Fold and press each of the 4 sections in half again. Stitch those 4 creases in the opposite direction of the pleats. Pull the pleat back by hand if your presser foot doesn't automatically push it toward you. Shown in yellow above.
If you want more or less twists, adjust the number of folds you make up or down, respectively. If you measure and mark your stitch lines instead of folding, just remember you need an even number of sections & an odd number of stitch passes.
That's it!! Will you incorporate this technique into a project? Tablerunner, handbag, curtain? I'd love to know!