Tiny Pleats

How to flute without a Fluter


Fluting looks like fabric or lace that is wavy. It is a nice variation from tiny pleats and gathering and gives a different look than either. One advantage of fluting is that your lace will hang properly instead of standing out, and on tiny cuffs it looks completely controlled.

For small dolls you will need about 2 ½ times the length of the area you need to cover and a fine tooth comb that is 4”-6” long.

Using a comb to fluteFlute the lace using a fine toothed comb. Weave the lace in and out of the teeth of the comb, keeping the finished edge of the lace even with the bottom teeth of the comb.

To set the tiny pleats add ¼ cup white vinegar to ¾ cup of water and put in a spray bottle. Spray both sides of the pleated lace, and then dry with a hair dryer. The combination of the vinegar and the heat will give you nearly permanent tiny pleats.

Securing a fluted edgeCarefully remove the lace from the comb by pulling the lower edge free, then sliding the lace off the comb. Run a gathering stitch through each fold close to the edge.

Flutting front of dressIf you are doing fluting down the front of a dress, then hem both ends of the lace, and then pin the lace down the center of the dress.

Use an overcast stitch to catch every other pleat, and be certain to catch the gathering thread in each stitch.

Tug the lace back and forth into gentle folds down the front. Use your fingers Gentle folds in laceto press the lace down. You may also lightly steam the folds. Or barely touch them with the tip of the iron so they don’t stick out.

Make another length of fluted lace for the collar and attach to the neck edge the same way. To keep the collar from sticking up, stitch in the valley of the folds about 1/8” from the neck edge.

Attaching flutting to sleeveMake another length of fluted lace for the cuffs. Cut this length in half, one for each cuff. I found a marker that was just the right size to stick in the sleeve to make the stitching easier. Stitch the fluting to the cuff edge the same way that you did for the collar, then stitch 1/8” from the cuff edge to hold the cuff in place.

Flutted ribbon or lace can also be used as trim along the edges of a jacket or the hem of a skirt. It also makes a nice trim on hats. Tiny pleats really add to small doll clothes.