The most important thing I want you to learn from this lesson: the ONLY purpose of the dowel is to keep the unpleated fabric out of the rollers as you pleat!
The dowel does not control your fabric or guide it. It just keeps it neat and tidy and safe from rollers that will grab anything they can.
When you are pleating anything with seams you need to pleat with the seams facing UP. This way you can see the seam and manipulate it while pleating.
I know there are those of you who are thinking to yourselves that YOU can not do this because of YOUR pleater and the 'long is wrong' theory.
Some pleaters put the gathering thread close to the bottom of the pleat and others put the thread in the center of the pleat. The PLEAT is the same size regardless of the position of the gathering thread. No matter where the gathering thread is located in your pleat, you still want to avoid it. So relax and pleat with the wrong side of your bishop facing up.
When I use a dowel, I pleat with a brass rod. It is 24" long and 1/2" in diameter. (You will see it pictured with the fabric further down, not here.)
However, wooden dowels are the most common tool used for pleating.
There are some who like to have their dowels wrapped in velvet so the fabric clings to the dowel. I prefer to be able to slide my rolled fabric back and forth on the length of the dowel. Therefore I don't use wooden dowels either.
I know, I am a little strange about my tools, aren't I?
Begin by placing the entire bishop in front of you, neckline to the right, skirt to the left. Have the majority of the fabric hanging down in front of you. Right side is down.
HINT: I prefer to roll and pleat at the ironing board. The height of the board is adjustable. And as many of you know, I am fairly short. I can lower the board to a good height so I can actually see what I am doing.
NOTE: see how neatly the sleeve is folded? This helps to keep you rolling relatively smoothly. Do this turn under at each sleeve edge.
Listen to me! The neckline will NEVER roll perfectly even! There are bumps along the way causing it to move the edge around.
Remember the purpose of the dowel!
Keep rolling! until you reach the last straight edge.
WHEW! Looks nice, doesn't it?