Tiny Pleats – How to Flute Without a Fluter

Tiny Pleats

How to flute without a Fluter


Fluting looks like fabric or lace that is wavy. It is a nice variation from tiny pleats and gathering and gives a different look than either. One advantage of fluting is that your lace will hang properly instead of standing out, and on tiny cuffs it looks completely controlled.

For small dolls you will need about 2 ½ times the length of the area you need to cover and a fine tooth comb that is 4”-6” long.

Using a comb to fluteFlute the lace using a fine toothed comb. Weave the lace in and out of the teeth of the comb, keeping the finished edge of the lace even with the bottom teeth of the comb.

To set the tiny pleats add ¼ cup white vinegar to ¾ cup of water and put in a spray bottle. Spray both sides of the pleated lace, and then dry with a hair dryer. The combination of the vinegar and the heat will give you nearly permanent tiny pleats.

Securing a fluted edgeCarefully remove the lace from the comb by pulling the lower edge free, then sliding the lace off the comb. Run a gathering stitch through each fold close to the edge.

Flutting front of dressIf you are doing fluting down the front of a dress, then hem both ends of the lace, and then pin the lace down the center of the dress.

Use an overcast stitch to catch every other pleat, and be certain to catch the gathering thread in each stitch.

Tug the lace back and forth into gentle folds down the front. Use your fingers Gentle folds in laceto press the lace down. You may also lightly steam the folds. Or barely touch them with the tip of the iron so they don’t stick out.

Make another length of fluted lace for the collar and attach to the neck edge the same way. To keep the collar from sticking up, stitch in the valley of the folds about 1/8” from the neck edge.

Attaching flutting to sleeveMake another length of fluted lace for the cuffs. Cut this length in half, one for each cuff. I found a marker that was just the right size to stick in the sleeve to make the stitching easier. Stitch the fluting to the cuff edge the same way that you did for the collar, then stitch 1/8” from the cuff edge to hold the cuff in place.

Flutted ribbon or lace can also be used as trim along the edges of a jacket or the hem of a skirt. It also makes a nice trim on hats. Tiny pleats really add to small doll clothes.

9 Responses

  1. Sheryl williams
    Great idea thank you for sharing
  2. Now there you go, coming up with more great ideas for how to do things! You have a very good site and I'm going to add you to my tutorials Directory so others can find you too! Keep up the good work!
  3. Susan
    What a wonderful tutorial; thank you very much. I love costuming dolls and I had never seen fluting before.
  4. Really enjoyed finding this info! I will use it! Lovely blog! Thanks!
  5. I just found your blog- and I hope you will continue! It is wonderful. I've got a web site up, The Lovely Doll Company (so far, everything is free) and it always delights me to see someone freely sharing with other doll moms their experience and expertise. I'll be mentioning your blog on my site!
  6. Anne
    Wonderful site and love your blog. Just received my first order of your beautifully crafted doll clothing and am ready to order again. I couldn't be more pleased!
    • Glad you are happy with your order. :) I love sewing and doing doll things.
  7. Loved looking at your doll clothes! Love the fluting instructions. I may try this fluting. Never knew how to do it. I got your website through one of my doll groups on Facebook. I just had to tell you how much I love your blog! I will probably get the blue dress outfit for my Baby Beautiful after the holidays. Thank you!
    • Thank you. :) I am so busy with repairs that rarely find time to add to my blog. Glad you like it.

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