100 Pleats, 100 Days

A 100 Day Challenge, 1 French Pleat at a time…


October 2015

A little pick-me-up…

Has your mojo vanished? Are you lacking in inspiration? Don’t worry, it’s not just you!

I know from my own creative challenges, that the path of learning doesn’t always run smooth. It’s quite normal for you to feel dips in your inspiration over the 100 days, and I wanted to talk to you today about how to overcome that.

Having spoken to my lovely fellow 100-day-challengers, the first speed bump normally happens between days 30 and 40, and it can be easy to fall off the wagon. What’s really important here is not to lose your momentum; keep trying, keep posting, keep going.

Often you can lose your oomph because you’ve begun to criticise your own efforts; which isn’t good, as we are all our own worst critics. I guarantee that the style you’re feeling grumpy about is being admired by other people! If you’re feeling uninspired then you don’t have to experiment wildly, you can fall back on old favourites, and just keep doing it. If you keep showing up, giving it a go, after a while the mojo shows up too…13 - S Morgan - 30

My friend Amy has a great tip to help push yourself when you’re feeling uninspired. She says, set up a reward or treat for yourself, but arrange it for a day just beyond your reach. So if you think you could manage 10 more days on your ’empty tank’ of oomph, then set your treat at day 12. You’ll find that the thought of getting a reward by pushing that little bit longer can really motivate you.

This absolutely worked for me in my challenge; I had a dip at day 60, and arranged for a taster morning at my local art centre with some of my challenge-comrades. Not only was it great fun, but it took the pressure away, making my challenge seem less like hard work, and I felt much more enthusiastic about what I was doing afterwards. 09 - A McKie - 30

Now, I’m going to make this easy for you.

For EVERYONE who makes it to Day 50, I will send you a little pick-me-up treat in the post.

Yep, you heard me. All you have to do is have sent me 50 pictures in total by 5pm on Wednesday 11th November, and I’ll be packing up a surprise gift for you…

How could you possibly give up now? 😉

Seriously, all you have to do is keep trying, and I know how great you’ll feel when you do.

Melissa and I are here to help you succeed, so if you need help, just ring the Hair Clip Alarm. Send me an email at, or give me a call on 01732 883820, and I’ll be there with pom-poms to cheer you on…


Day 25 – One Quarter done…

There’s nothing like a little experience to give you some confidence, and this week I’ve seen a lot of you tackling styles that you’d never tried before – which is brilliant! There have been some excellent technique-swapping conversations going on on Twitter and Instagram, and some, er, eccentric? french pleats popping up like these…

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Yep, that’s a pair of scissors! It really shows that with a little bit of practice (and some imagination…) you can do a french pleat with just about anything.

I know that not all of our entrants are at this stage yet, and I have had some emails positively green with envy, asking how to do french pleats like these, so today I wanted to talk some more about the technique that makes it possible.

Ready to get nerdy? Here goes…

We call it the “back-scoop” method, which uses a tiny bit of hair from your french pleat roll to ‘anchor’ the style into place with your chosen hair fork/stick/letter opener. Just describing it, or writing it out like that is pretty confusing though, and so I’m going to show you what I mean instead.

Sue, one of our lovely Twitter friends, had never used a hair stick before and couldn’t work out where she was going wrong. We had a chat, and from what she described, I couldn’t understand why it wasn’t working – it sounded like she was doing the exact right things. But, it was still falling out, so she decided to send me a short video…


She’d got it all right, except for the direction. No matter what style of accessory that you use, to make it secure, your final push into the hair needs to go over the edge of your roll.

Now it’s my turn, here is what it should look like…

(That’s a Crochet Hook, not a hair stick!)

Can you see the difference? Practice is all it takes, and once I’d shown Sue this little video, she’s managed to achieve a pretty good pleat…


I hope that’s given you a little more inspiration – if you’ve not done one yet, I challenge you to grab a hair stick, fork, or even just a pen, and give it a go. I can’t wait to see your pictures…

Remember, if you need some tips, or if you’ve got any questions at all, just let me know. I’m here to help. 🙂

Have a great weekend!

Tips and Tricks #1 – French Pleats with very long hair

Hello again!

I wanted to share with you some French Pleat tips and tricks that a few of our entrants have discovered this week. This challenge is ALL about experimenting, and finding out what works for your hair, and we’re all along for the ride together.

The good part about this is that we can pool our French Pleat wisdom – who knows, maybe that twist that doesn’t work for you, will inspire someone else!?

Experimenting with your technique can give some interesting results, and so this week I wanted to talk about hair length. Some of our entrants have long hair… I mean *really* long hair.

When your hair gets to about waist-length, this can be a hurdle when making a traditional French Pleat. Either your ends hang out too far, or you end up winding and winding (…and winding…) which makes the shape of the pleat very bulky.

Tip #1 – Try adding a braid to your pleat.

Braids are a really good way to use up sections of your hair. The turning of sections around each other uses up the extra length, making your full pleat easier to form. Try sectioning off one side and using a flat french braid like this one:

16 - S Locke - 13

Alternatively, try this tip from our friend Rosie over at RosieWrites2. Rosie has waist-length and fairly thick hair. She made her pleat the traditional way; once she was happy with the shape, she secured it in place, leaving her long ends out. She then plaited or braided the ends, wrapping them around the ‘seam’ edge of her pleat, securing with a bobby pin for a neat finish.

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Here’s my little attempt…

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Not bad for a first try… My hair isn’t quite as long as as Rosie’s as it’s just below my shoulder-blades, so my braid is shorter than hers. Next time I’ll use an ‘invisible’ bobby pin, not a slide, for the ends, but I’m pretty happy with it for a quick experiment. Definitely one for me to revisit over the 100 days.

If you’ve got really long hair, give this a go. Let me know how you get on!

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