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Monday, April 7, 2008

Pinning It Down.....

Yesterday I started working on the brass bed. Today you get to see the first steps.

I decided that I am not going to wait two days and make it look like you can do a bed in a couple of hours. I won't lie to you. Bed making in miniature, unlike real life, is complicated.


I learned about ceiling tile from Judee Williamson back about 82 or 83. I took a bed making class from her and a wing chair. Between the two, I learned a great deal. I use some of her techniques.....Mostly I have developed my own over the years. My feeling is, use what works best for you.

OK back to the present. If you decide that you want to dress a bed with this technique you will need a piece of ceiling tile or a Pretty Pleater from D Ann Ruff. I use the former. I cover it with a piece of quad rule graph paper and over that a piece of waxed paper.


It is best to use "natural" fabrics. Cotton, silk or linen will work. Most synthetics don't glue well.
I cut pieces of fabric that are at least 2 time as long as the pleated area that I want to cover+ a few inches extra just in case and at least an inch and a half taller. I glue up a 1/4" hem on one long edge. Then I find every available straight pin in the house. It takes a LOT. I recommend that you use either ball headed pins or the flat headed quilter's pins that you see in the photo. If you use regular straight pins you will have holes in your fingertips in nothing flat! I love the yellow quilter's pins that you see here. They are longer than regular pins and work well for holding lots of things in minis.


Starting at one short edge, I turn under a 1/4" hem. I pin the top and the bottom of the short edge to the graph paper starting at the left hand side. The pins should be on one of the vertical lines. The pin heads always slant away from the material.(See photo) You have to remember that each pleat in one inch scale covers one square of the graph paper. Stick the point of the pin just through the top material 2 lines over from the pin on the first line. Then drag the fabric back to the second line. Do the same on the bottom. Continue doing this until the pleats are long enough to cover. Try to keep the bottom, hemmed edge even with one of the lines. Before you put the last pleat in, cut the material along the end with a quarter inch to spare and turn that under for the side hem. Pin the last pleat.
Now spray the whole thing with unscented extra hold hairspray. I used White Rain this time. I try to find the least scented of the "unscented" sprays. Some of them really smell! You will repeat this step two more times each time it dries. If it feels stiff to the touch it is done. I let it dry overnight if possible. That gets some of the unscented smell out.....
Next you cut a strip of bias tape or ribbon to the length of the area that you are going to cover. Unpin the pleats, trying not to stretch. Lay them face down and glue the reinforcing strip to the bottom over the edge of the hem. This will keep the pleats from fanning out.
Sidebar, I do this on draperies too. Real curtains hang more or less straight down. They don't fan....The strip forces them to stay together so that they look more realistic.
On this photo you will see where I have started pinning the pleats to the bed. I have a piece of foam core cut to the size of the bed. I run glue around the edge and put the pleats like I want them to hang. In this case, I glued the end of the pleats to the leg of the bed so that the ends wouldn't flair out. I pin the pleats and let them dry straight up.
I have gone one step further at the foot of the bed. I carefully folded over the top of the pleats and glued them to the foam core. They are pinned in place to dry.
That's as far as I am going to take you today....Stay tuned for more tomorrow. See you then.

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