Sunday, August 7, 2016

New York City, Part 3: International Pleating and Blogger Meet Ups

Today's post on NYC talks about my visit to International Pleating and other bloggers that I met up with in NYC. My last, and final, post on NYC will cover the fabric and trim stores.

International Pleating

When the folks at International Pleating heard I was coming to New York, they suggested that I stop by for a visit wearing my new pleated skirt. When I asked if I could see pleating in action I was told that, no, that process is a closely guarded secret, but there's still plenty to see in their factory. I told Lisa that I needed a better reason to visit than to show off a skirt that THEY pleated and she replied, "Come to show us your skirt, stay for the company."

How could I resist a quip like that?! Besides, I wanted to ask for clarification about some of their pleating services such as mushroom and Fortuny pleating.

I actually stopped by their factory twice. The first time to meet them and chat about pleating. The second time, two days later, I dropped off a piece of fabric I bought in the garment district to have it pleated.

It was a very informative visit! I met with Lisa, who handles most of their online correspondence, and George, who runs the company. George's father, Leon, was also on deck.

With Lisa in front of one of their pleating machines
Photo credit: George at International Pleating

With George
Photo credit: Lisa at International Pleating

I very much enjoyed talking with Lisa and George! George is very passionate about pleating, so there was much to discuss, and we also had a lot in common, family-history-wise.

George and Leon

Lisa examined the hem on my skirt and pronounced it good. I told her that I had tried very hard to avoid a flared hem and yet it still flared slightly. She said that even hems on the purl merrow machine flare very slightly and she pulled one to show me.

Sunburst pleated skirt finished with a purl merrow hem

I purchased their pleating sample kit

After returning from NY, I wore my chiffon skirt to work where the hem had several unfortunate encounters with the wheels on my desk chair. Parts of the hem are rather torn up and I am now considering sending it back to International Pleating for a purl merrow hem (cost: $15). Lesson learned: don't wear a long chiffon circle skirt to work!

Mushroom and Fortuny Pleating

I have always thought that mushroom pleating and Fortuny pleating were, essentially, the same thing. In fact, neither of these terms have been defined officially and, in many minds, they are equivalent. But, as George put it, it's like having two recipes for Banana Bread—each recipe is different but both result in a similar treat. (I'm paraphrasing here.)

When George talks about mushroom pleating, he's talking about pleats created on a pleating machine. Fortuny pleating is done, at least at his factory, on a table using a proprietary technique. The result of both processes has a similar look and sometimes he combines both techniques. The fabric, the budget, and the desired effect, determine which techniques he uses. You can learn more in George's article, What is the difference between Fortuny pleating and mushroom pleating?

I'm eventually planning to have some mushroom pleating done, but I haven't yet identified the project. They now sell pleated fabrics on their website. You might also check out International Pleating's Etsy shop which offers some pre-pleated fabrics as well as other goodies.

P.S. Mushroom and Fortuny pleating are similar, but not the same, as Broomstick pleating, a popular craft from the 80s. If you aren't familiar with Broomstick pleating, which you can do at home, either google it, or read this excerpt from The Art of Manipulating Fabric.

Meeting Bloggers

A big part of my trip to NYC was meeting up with other bloggers. I've already mentioned meeting up with Carolyn, Robin, and Mary Glenn, but that was the tip of the iceberg! New York City is full of sewing bloggers!

One of my local sewing peeps, Wendy B (who is active on Pattern Review), was visiting New York at the same time. We met up for a quick round of fabric shopping.

Robin joined us for lunch at Indian Project in the garment district

The food at Indian Project was very good but, what they consider "medium" spicy I consider very spicy!
Photo credit: Wendy B

Robin and I playing on her last morning, at B&J Fabrics

Carolyn and I taking a break from shopping in the garment district
Photo credit: Carol of makeitanywear

While Carolyn and I were enjoying cold drinks at Pret a Manger, Carol of makeitanywear saw us in the window. It was nice to meet her!

Carolyn very graciously organized a blogger dinner at a Mexican restaurant in Hells Kitchen. In one fell swoop I caught up with old friends and met some wonderful new people.
top row: Oonaballoona, Aspen, Grace, Claudine
bottom row: Carolyn, Robin, me, and O! Jolly
THANKS so much, Carolyn, for a wonderful evening!
Photo credit: our waiter

It was a hoot watching Aspen and Oonaballoona play with the filters on Snapchat

After our day of museums, Mary Glenn and I stopped into Mood Fabrics where we ran into Peter of Male Pattern Boldness. He was choosing fabric for his next Mood blogger project.
Photo credit: Peter Lappin

Mary Glenn and I at Mood
Photo credit: Peter Lappin

A few more photos from the garment district:

I couldn't resist a pic with the Garment Worker statue—I approve of his technique!
Photo credit: Carolyn

Robin is giving him a hand!

The iconic Button statue

The Fashion Walk of Fame runs along 7th Avenue

Three posts down and one to go. My last post on NYC will cover fabric and trim shopping.

Have a great week!