There is one more panel shape you need to understand regarding the pleating of fabric. This shape is sort of an amalgamation between the square panel and the half circle panel I discussed in last week’s post. It is a curved straight panel. (See picture below.)
I know what you’re thinking…WHAT????
Allow me to explain. If you take a square or rectangular panel and fold it slightly deeper(or more) along one side of the panel, the opposite side will begin to curve up.
The curvature (C) of the pleated panel will increase the deeper the fold is on the top (A).
Now looking at this picture you might think, what’s the big deal? This looks just like sunburst. Yes, it sorta does but sunburst is pleated along all 3 grainlines whereas this panel is only pleated along one grain line.
There are several variables you need to consider when deciding when to use this panel shape for your pleating project. I’ll start with the technical reasons, because ultimately they dictate procedure.
1. You want to pleat along one grain line so you can have a folded hem on your garment before you pleat.
2. You don’t want the fabric to stretch along the bias as it would if it is sunburst pleating (half circle panel).
3. You like the way it looks because you can create an Aline effect. The amount of Aline can be controlled by amount of depth (or curvature) you give to the pleating panel.
4. You have a striped or checkered fabric that you do not want to distort as you would in sunburst pleating. For example, below is a photo of a wool plaid fabric on our cutting table.
Below is a photo of the wool plaid fabric pleated in our curved pattern. Notice how the checks all line up.
Below is a photo of the same fabric pleated in a sunburst half circle panel. Again, notice the checks in the fabric. Since you are pleating along all three grain lines the pattern of the fabric will be distorted. For more info on this read my post The Anatomy of Bias Circle Skirts.