I’ve been churning out mug covers for teacher and family Christmas gifts this month trying to get ahead of the holiday curve. Check it out, it’s Simplicity pattern 2450.
As I made them, I was completely baffled by the pleats on the bottom of the mug. I wasn’t sure I was doing them right because how could that smushiness be the end product. Doesn’t it look wonky? See:
But now I think that’s what the pattern intended. So I came up with a pattern hack to make better pleats. I’ll take you through my process to make nice, puffy, useful pleats like so:
Doesn’t that look 100 times better?
Here’s what you do. Follow the pattern directions through step 6 and stop. Here’s my new step 7:
7. On outside, pin pocket (the blue part) to base front (the cream part) at sides having raw edges even. (Never mind my messy basement – I have three kids after all.)
Now, this next part is tricky to explain but let’s soldier on. You will line up the solid lines of the pocket with the solid lines of the base front. Pin.
Next, stitch along solid stitching lines through all thicknesses.
Notice that the sides and bottom have not been basted onto the base front piece yet.
Still with me? Great. Now you will form your pleats by pressing down with your finger. You’ll have to futz with it a little to get the right shape but it’s not bad. Pin down your pleat.
8. Look, you’ve made it through step 7! Step 8 is easy by comparison. Baste 1/4″ from raw edges. Easy peasey.
Whew! Now you can go back to the original pattern instructions and start at step 9 – attaching the hook and loop tape.
Here’s what you get in the end:
Here’s a side by side comparison. The green is the pattern instruction and the blue is my instruction. I like it so much better and I hope you do, too!