Ever wondered how in the world people who do hand smocking on children's clothes make those perfect little pleats without wanting to blow their brains out? It's very simple, they use a pleater machine. Also called a smocking machine (because you use it to make the pleats for smocking). I have the pleasure right now of borrowing one of these fantastically simple but effective machines. it kind of looks like a pasta press of death. I spent all day Sunday learning it and some sample stitching while "slaying" to approx 8 hours of Buffy the Vampire Slayer with the hubby and kitties.
This is the set up.
Fabric rolled evenly on a dowl rod inserted into the back holder of the Pleater machine
Pleater Rollers filled with fabric
Special Curved Pleater Needles
Thread for each needle
Fabric already worked
Bin of threads
This was about one yard of fabric densely condensed into about a foot of yardage after the pleats.