How do I make this large pleat?

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#1 nathancarter on 2 years ago

I'm working on the silver/salmon robe and crimson drape that Elrond wears in the council scene of Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring. This is my first garment that's NOT from a commercial pattern, and it's going well. The yoke and collar have been difficult but I finally got it working.

There's not much reference for the back of the robe, but here's a different elf in a similar robe. How do I make this large pleat? (box pleat? is that the right description?)

Note that there's no horizontal seam at the waist; there's a vertical seam up the center of the back, and the back pieces are solid panels from shoulder to floor. I plan to line the entire robe, so the visible material of the inside of the pleat can be either the outer fabric or the right-side of the lining.

If there are any readily-available commercial patterns, those would be fine. Or pictures of a work-in-progress, or a website that describes how to do it, I dunno.

[url]https://www.alleycatscratch.com/lotr/Elf/Male/Elf_Male_10451_TORN.jpg[/url]


Here's where I'm at with the collar/yoke and the rest of the garment.

[url]https://www.facebook.com/nathan.carter.7545/posts/1363860540349720[/url]

#2 lunaflora on 2 years ago

[QUOTE=nathancarter;5059517]I'm working on the silver/salmon robe and crimson drape that Elrond wears in the council scene of Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring. This is my first garment that's NOT from a commercial pattern, and it's going well. The yoke and collar have been difficult but I finally got it working.

There's not much reference for the back of the robe, but here's a different elf in a similar robe. How do I make this large pleat? (box pleat? is that the right description?)

Note that there's no horizontal seam at the waist; there's a vertical seam up the center of the back, and the back pieces are solid panels from shoulder to floor. I plan to line the entire robe, so the visible material of the inside of the pleat can be either the outer fabric or the right-side of the lining.

If there are any readily-available commercial patterns, those would be fine. Or pictures of a work-in-progress, or a website that describes how to do it, I dunno.

[url]https://www.alleycatscratch.com/lotr/Elf/Male/Elf_Male_10451_TORN.jpg[/url]


Here's where I'm at with the collar/yoke and the rest of the garment.

[url]https://www.facebook.com/nathan.carter.7545/posts/1363860540349720[/url][/QUOTE]

So to make the pleat, you basically take the center back seam, and maybe a half inch above the waist (or howevermuch your seam allowance is) and square out from there, adding as much fabric as needed to form that pleat (take the whole width you want the pleat to be on the body, and square out exactly that much + center seam allowance from center back ). When you sew the back together, first sew the center back pleat seam together. then sew the center back seam together down to where you want the pleat to start. Fold the pleat, lining up the center back seam with the center back pleat seam. Then, flip the two back pieces to one side and stitch across the top of the pleat up to the center back seam. Repeat with the other side of the pleat.Finish the edges as desired. Since you are using lining, draft the lining pattern so that it DOES have a back waist seam. Then you can sew the top edge of the pleat to the waist seam of the top portion of the back lining. If you are not lining, but you are using underlining, tack the top edge of the pleat to the underlining fabric. Otherwise, tack the top edge of the pleat invisibly in position to the body of the garment (it's too heavy to keep in place on its own. it'll flop around). OR tack the pleat to a waist stay (This is just a grosgrain/petersham/some other type of stable tape or ribbon that is tacked at the waist line on all of the seam allowances. This is essential to strapless dresses/corsets or just to add stability and keep things in place on the body during wear.)
I tried to draw it out, here
[IMG]http://orig04.deviantart.net/2a88/f/2017/192/4/9/box_pleat_by_amoriaenchantem-dbg0dsc.png[/IMG]

Theres also a slightly different way to make this pleat that has less weight and bulk, but I'm afraid of making this post longer.. If you wish to know that method, let me know. However, you can probably figure out how to do it, deriving it from this box pleat method.

#3 Penlowe on 2 years ago

The belt covers what may very well be a horizontal seam at the waist of that robe, giving merit to Lunaflora's recommendations above. That said, if Elrond doesn't wear a belt (I've seen it so many times I should know, but cannot recall right now) you can carry that pleat/ seam all the way up the center back to the collar seam. It can get bulky, if you try this you might actually want to cut away the excess fabric in the upper back area and Hong Kong finish it so it doesn't sag.

I read the rest of the FB post questions. The embroidery is straight up satin stitch. If you can get it programmed into a digital embroidery machine it'll save a lot of time. Not impossible to do on a machine freehand, just a lot slower.

#4 nathancarter on 2 years ago

Thanks, good info. I'll need to re-read it a few times to digest.

I thought about it quite a bit more, and slept on it, and I think I can make it work with a pattern similar to that drawing - but with the center panel being triangular (or like an upside-down ice cream cone), only a few inches wide at the top, since I don't really need much extra ease at the hip. I'll need to test to make sure it hangs properly... maybe the triangular shape won't work, and I have to just make it a rectangle, in which case I can attach the top edge to the lining.

All else fails and I need to do a horizontal stitch at the waist, I can live with it. The version that I'm working on DOES have a sash and front tabard that can conceal it.


Regarding the embroidery:
We have a fancy sewing machine (Husqvarna Topaz 30) that came with huge embroidery hoops, but I don't know how to use it. My wife has successfully used it for patterns that she downloaded and just plugged in. I don't know how to make a pattern and get it onto the sewing machine; I vaguely remember that the software is PC-only and we just have Macs.

I don't mind taking the time to freehand machine-embroider over a line drawn onto the fabric, I just need to figure out how to make the machine do it. (wonder if something like a stitch length of 0.1 and a stitch width of 2.0 would do it?) Some people hand-embroider over a line of puff-paint, to give the embroidered lines some height, but I'm sure I don't have the skill to do that and make it look good and consistent.
[url]https://blog.adafruit.com/2016/01/04/cosplay-embroidery-tip-using-puff-paint/[/url]

Here's a closeup of the real embroidery/cord/whatever. Sticking a cord onto the face of the fabric would probably be way easier than any kind of embroidery.
[url]https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/18/50/22/185022340d69d21b50053d4cffa8af1e--tauriel-costume-elven-costume.jpg[/url]

#5 nathancarter on 2 years ago

[QUOTE=lunaflora;5059527] OR tack the pleat to a waist stay (This is just a grosgrain/petersham/some other type of stable tape or ribbon that is tacked at the waist line on all of the seam allowances. This is essential to strapless dresses/corsets or just to add stability and keep things in place on the body during wear.)
[/QUOTE]

Thanks for the drawing.

I'm skinny enough that I might be able to make the pleat the whole width of my waist, tacking the top corners into the side seams at my waist. Or, a waist stay is quite possible.

#6 lunaflora on 2 years ago

[QUOTE=nathancarter;5059539]

I thought about it quite a bit more, and slept on it, and I think I can make it work with a pattern similar to that drawing - but with the center panel being triangular (or like an upside-down ice cream cone), only a few inches wide at the top, since I don't really need much extra ease at the hip. I'll need to test to make sure it hangs properly... maybe the triangular shape won't work, and I have to just make it a rectangle, in which case I can attach the top edge to the lining.[/QUOTE]

Exactly! Just make sure you walk in it, move around in it, and make sure the triangle is wide enough without restricting your movement, and also reveals enough of the contrast fabric in the pleat as well.

[QUOTE=nathancarter;5059539]
Here's a closeup of the real embroidery/cord/whatever. Sticking a cord onto the face of the fabric would probably be way easier than any kind of embroidery.
[url]https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/18/50/22/185022340d69d21b50053d4cffa8af1e--tauriel-costume-elven-costume.jpg[/url][/QUOTE]

Sticking a cord onto the face of a fabric IS embroidery. It's called couching. But it is really easy to do. I actually recommend doing this after taking a look at the photo. I would do it by hand to make sure the stitched are as subtle as possible.

#7 lunaflora on 2 years ago

Also, looking back on your Facebook comments, I actually now believe that it is two separate garments! A beige or tan robe with sleeves on the inside, and then a sleeveless robe on the outside with a back vent/slit. I don't know what robe in the film looks like though, if its different from this one.

#8 fabrickind on 2 years ago

[QUOTE=lunaflora;5059544]Also, looking back on your Facebook comments, I actually now believe that it is two separate garments! A beige or tan robe with sleeves on the inside, and then a sleeveless robe on the outside with a back vent/slit. I don't know what robe in the film looks like though, if its different from this one.[/QUOTE]

I came in here to say exactly this.

The sleeves and the underside of what you're seeing as a pleat appear to be the same material, and looking at the edge of the opening and how it falls over the rest of the garment, those two pieces don't seem to be attached. I'd make it as an overvest with a back vent/slit, and a sleeved beige robe worn underneath.

I'm not super familiar with LotR, so I could be wrong about how it looks in other references, but I'm clearly seeing a slit rather than a pleat. Doing it this way would also save on bulk in the fabric, since you wouldn't need to worry about the excess pleat allowance going up your waist/back.

#9 nathancarter on 2 years ago

[QUOTE=lunaflora;5059544]Also, looking back on your Facebook comments, I actually now believe that it is two separate garments! A beige or tan robe with sleeves on the inside, and then a sleeveless robe on the outside with a back vent/slit. I don't know what robe in the film looks like though, if its different from this one.[/QUOTE]

That picture isn't the one in the film - I don't think we ever get a good back view of the one I'm trying to make, so I'm having to guess what it might be like. The picture in the first post is a different character and a different garment entirely, I just thought the back pleat (or slit??) might be similar. A slit would absolutely be easier.

I'll re-watch the scenes with this outfit, but I think it's always covered with an outer drape.

I've been using this for a lot of references - but the back isn't shown:
[url]http://www.very-faery.com/costume/elrondsalmon.htm[/url]

This is roughly the build that I've been following, where the creator makes a pleat instead of a slit:
[url]http://www.yvettes.net/ElrondGrayConstruction.html[/url]



....whew, this whole project is way out of my skill set, but I swore I would learn to sew this year :)

#10 StarsOfCassiopeia on 2 years ago

Gonna jump back to the embroidery bit-- if you want to do a custom design, you're going to have to digitize it-- IE, make a digital version that the machine can read. I usually recommend SophieSew to embroidery newbies because it's totally free and there are full tutorials for it on their website (even if it does feel like it's out of the 90's, lol). You basically just import the image, pen tool style make your outline and define the separate sections, then put the pieces in an order & export to your machine.

That said, I think stitching cord down would work just as well (if not better) for this, so that's your call!

#11 Tiffany_Park on 2 years ago

Soutache is specifically referenced in your image. It is a type of flat/woven cord that is sewn on. It used to be very popular in military uniforms and ladies jackets. In most cases, it's not even couched, just plain sewn down with matching colored thread and stitches placed to disguise them as much as possible. You could probably do it with a machine if you were careful and matched the thread colors well. You can look up techniques of sewing on soutache online.

#12 Penlowe on 2 years ago

[QUOTE=Tiffany_Park;5059568]Soutache is specifically referenced in your image. It is a type of flat/woven cord that is sewn on. It used to be very popular in military uniforms and ladies jackets. In most cases, it's not even couched, just plain sewn down with matching colored thread and stitches placed to disguise them as much as possible. You could probably do it with a machine if you were careful and matched the thread colors well. You can look up techniques of sewing on soutache online.[/QUOTE]

Yes you can machine sew soutache braid, but to do it well requires a special foot that feeds it directly under the needle. Not an expensive foot like a ruffler either, just an oddball one.
[url]http://www.sewingmachinesplus.com/pd60-200207108.php?gclid=Cj0KCQjwkZfLBRCzARIsAH3wMKp23UVEHQCaIQQWtV0O2GVpZjHoH-foMjWfn8KWRGaRyH4O-llU3ZcaAq86EALw_wcB[/url]
or this depending on the thickness of your cord
[url]http://www.sewingmachinesplus.com/j-200-345-006.php?gclid=Cj0KCQjwkZfLBRCzARIsAH3wMKrGmS_RlyNNMEMOuKdOYpamKnVyW_oIdd8n2CSJADrr3h7IeB9J9BcaAoe8EALw_wcB[/url]

#13 nathancarter on 2 years ago

Thanks! That's definitely the way I'm gonna go, then. I've been playing with all the different specialty feet that came with our machine and having a fair amount of success. nothing like a good excuse to buy new tools...

#14 CapsuleCorp on 2 years ago

There is a pleat like that, I've seen it - I've done it. It's a sort of inverse pleat and it doesn't require a waist seam. I designed it from scratch back when I was still something of a novice for Quidditch robes (same inverse pleat! In the Quidditch robes from the first two movies, there's a shorter center gore pleated into the garment to make the robes fall over a broomstick nicely) but then I came across a pattern for an Old West duster coat that has that same pleat in it. If the duster pattern is still floating around that might give you an idea of how it's put together, because while I have my notes for the Quidditch robe somewhere in this house, I have no idea where or if they would still make any sense.

BUT if it turns out that there's a different problem to solve, like separate garments, that probably doesn't help. I just wanted to make note of the fact that an inverse pleat in the center back of a coat with no waist seam is totally a thing and can be done.

#15 nathancarter on 2 years ago

[QUOTE=CapsuleCorp;5059672]There is a pleat like that, I've seen it - I've done it. It's a sort of inverse pleat and it doesn't require a waist seam. I designed it from scratch back when I was still something of a novice for Quidditch robes (same inverse pleat! In the Quidditch robes from the first two movies, there's a shorter center gore pleated into the garment to make the robes fall over a broomstick nicely) but then I came across a pattern for an Old West duster coat that has that same pleat in it. If the duster pattern is still floating around that might give you an idea of how it's put together, because while I have my notes for the Quidditch robe somewhere in this house, I have no idea where or if they would still make any sense.

BUT if it turns out that there's a different problem to solve, like separate garments, that probably doesn't help. I just wanted to make note of the fact that an inverse pleat in the center back of a coat with no waist seam is totally a thing and can be done.[/QUOTE]

Interesting. I have a couple of dusters that might have pleats, for draping over a saddle. I'll raid the costume closet and see. At least, they might give me an idea on how to do the lining.

At this point, I'm probably going to just make it a slit. I got enough going on with this garment that I don't need the added complexity of making that pleat/gore work, and play nice with the lining. It means I have to do a better job with the undergarments, though, if my pants legs will be seen from the back... but that's another thread.

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