Mini Pleater – For Doll Clothes

I love all the tiny pleats that are on many of the vintage doll clothes, but it takes so long to make them that I decided to make a mini pleater to make it easier. There are commercial ones available, but they are very expensive. I thought some of you might like to make one too, so here is how I did it. I actually thought about making them for sale, but when I discovered it takes about three hours to make one, then I decided everyone could make their own mini pleater! LOL

3/8" strips of cardstockHere is how I made a 1/4″ mini pleater with a 5/16″ return. First I printed out one sheet of 1/8″ grid paper and one sheet of cardstock from this site. I set the border to 0.25, and 8 lines per inch. Then I stacked the grid paper on top of two sheets of white cardstock and cut 42 – 3/8″ strips.

Stitching strips to graphThen I sewed the strips to the cardstock graph paper, every 1/4″  stitching close to the edge. It is easy to see because you just line up the strips to the line on the graph paper.

When you have covered the cardstock with evenly spaced strips, then prepare the cloth cover. I chose a 100% cotton batiste for my cover. Cut a piece 8.5″ X 40″, then iron it to lightweight WonderUnder. When the fabric has cooled, peel off the backing paper and begin to pleat it into the grooves on your pleater. I used a small, thin plastic ruler, but you could use a credit card also.Insert fabric into grooves Work to keep Pressing cloth into the groovesthe fabric pressed evenly across the louvers. Do half the mini pleater, then go back over each louver with your plastic piece and iron. Do the second half the same way. Tuck about a half-inch of the fabric to the back and iron in place. Then cover the back with a piece of fabric with WonderUnder on it. I stitched each end, then ironed it down.

mini pleater

Take your pleater back to the cutting board and using your rotary cutter, cut off about 1/4″ off each side. Voila! Now I can make pleats quickly and easily for all my doll clothes.

I also make a 1/8″ pleater using the same graph paper. I cut 1/4″ strips for this one.

Now I have two sizes of pleaters. It took a day, but it will be worth it. I hope you can make your mini pleaters easily too. If you have any questions, just ask. 🙂

If you look at my patterns, you will see where I used the mini pleater. 🙂