Pleats are seen on everything from furniture to car seats to skirts. It’s a simple, symmetrical design. All one needs is a sewing machine, foam, white chalk or pencil, measuring tape, (optional) adhesive, and whatever fabric wanted. In this article, we will use vinyl as our test subject.
The thickness of the foam and the fabric are based on what the user chooses for whatever the pleats are being used for. Car seats would seemingly need a wider measurement of foam for tushy comfort. Once that is figured out, it’s time to measure the fabric to the foam.
Before buying the vinyl, look up what kind of elements it has. For example, stretch. Two-way stretch means it only stretches horizontally. Patent vinyl carries less stretch ability and is better used for things such as car seat upholstery. Of course, the exteriors of the vinyl are optional and free willing. Once the vinyl is chosen, the measuring tape can be taken out of the toolbox.
The width of the pleats is also a free-for-all. To figure out what would look best, measure the piece of foam from beginning to end. If it’s a smaller piece of foam, then smaller widths would be ideal. Random patterns can be made, too; maybe one pleat is an inch and the next is 3/5 of an inch. Do not let the fabric fool you, though. When the actual sewing of the fabric to the foam takes place, the thread will ultimately pull little bits of fabric with it, creating those indentations.
An 8 inch piece of fabric will not cover an 8 inch piece of foam. Leave extra room. Or let the foam remain a bigger size because it can also be cut down after sewing everything together. Also, leave space at the edges for “seam allowance.” Sewing the edges up will make the final product look neater, and prevent it from tearing or ripping, later on.
Mark the size of the pleats. Before the actual sewing begins, decide whether or not to stick the fabric to the foam. It will be harder to sew in nice straight lines without the fabric jumping all over the place, if it isn’t somehow attached to the foam. Maybe taping the corners down, somehow temporarily putting the two materials together, would be an alternative.
After all the specs and planning comes the fun part. Take the time to look over everything before committing it to the sewing machine. Is just one side of the foam being covered, or the whole thing? Is there anything that needs to be done to the fabric before it’s finished? Questions like this could help avoid resentment.
Sew, nice and easy, down the marked lines. Foam is flimsy, so using something like a thick ruler near the line being sewn will be very helpful. First and foremost, take your time. After the sewing is done, make sure everything is up to your standard. Cut or sew any extra thread, foam, etc. Hopefully, you get what you wanted.