knife pleat pillow

There’s something about desaturated colour and the textures of fabric that I’m so drawn to. The intricacies of textured fabrics are fascinating, heart-quickeningly so, and I’m able to rest in the quieter shades, like a happy Taoist in the open spaces of a drawing. Therefore when I began to sew things for our home to make it softer, warmer, comfortable, I began to work with un-dyed natural fibres, wool, linen, cottons, to draw out their textural capacities. I long to do the same in clay. Soon.

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Like the kissing pleat pillow, simple pleats were ideal for creating a sculptural effect with some stiff, heavy linen. I’m experimenting now, learning to sew as I try different techniques. A very basic one, then, the knife pleat. I began by marking out my linen with tailors chalk and a quilting ruler.

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I followed some clear directions to press and sew and press and sew pleat after pleat. Best to use a very hot, steaming iron, and to first set the seam closed as it was sewn, then flip the fabric, so that the pleat lies in the direction you’d like it to face, and press the seam open from underneath.

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I cleaned up the edges, the rotary cutter is my best tool for this. Then I turned it wrong side out, hemmed the edges, and sewed the pillow form in. I will likely regret this, an envelope pillow case is my next study.

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Quite content with a knife pleat pillow. Well, I am dying to learn how to reupholster the sofa, but otherwise content. I’ve begun the next cushion experiment today, using shirring elastic. A sort of training for frocks. What happened to skirts and frocks and quilts? Soon – soon!

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