I recently needed to make a large pleated table skirt and was not relishing the tedious process of calculating, measuring and pinning such a large piece of fabric. Then inspiration struck.
Following the illustrations below, you can make your own tool or create one for your unique circumstances:
The Pleating tool is simply two pencils taped together with a spacer of varying thickness between the shafts. You can vary the spacer thickness, or use different size pencils, dowels, or even knitting needles if you desire a different size pleat.
Measure and mark the position of each pleat. It is easiest to mark all the locations at once, and then start forming the pleats.
Insert the fabric between the pencils. Position the chalk mark so that it lies in the gap. Where exactly this mark lies is not vital, as long as you do the same thing consistently for all the pleats.
Rotate the pencils, smoothly wrapping the fabric. Do not rush, uniformity and accuracy is vital. Slight deviance will stand out in the final product!
Pinch the cloth and slide the pencils out of the pleat.
Hold the pleat tightly after removing the pencils.
Pin the pleat you made.
Sew directly across pleats, being careful not to strike the pins.
Now that’s simple, easy, and cheap… (Same way I like my women.)