Monday, 5 May 2014

How To: Sew Pin Tucks For Madeline

Sewing pin-tucks by hand is time consuming, and Boring!
But I just love how they look when their done.
My technique can be used either with hand sewing or machine. And I hope someone out there will find it helpful.

As I'm still waiting on my fabric for Gwyneth (5 days to go until I can complain :S) I started in on the next lady that has been waiting in my imagination. While working on Gwyn I thought how nice it would be to make the same sort of costume, with an underskirt and Betgwn style gown, all in the Spring colours that surround me here in Wales right now. This William Morris print fabric is something I've had tucked away for a while waiting until I decided what to do with it. And with it's fresh greens, blues and golden yellow shades looking so much like the Lily of The Valley I have in my garden it was just perfect for my Madeline.

I've had to really ramp up the light and contrast of these photos so that you can see everything as clearly as possible, so please excuse the quality of them. For Madeline's underskirt I decided to use this lovely fresh light green which will show through the front split of her Betgwn, which I'm planning to line in white. I wanted to add some interest and texture without the fussiness of embroidery or lace, so Pin-tucks it is :)

Step 1 - Measure out and draw lines on the wrong side of your fabric (shown on left of this photo, the front is on the right). You want to draw a line for the bottom of the tuck and another for the top so that when the lines are joined the measurement is halved. A measurement of 1cm will give you a 5mm tuck. The next line should then be no more that 5mm away so that the tucks with stack up properly and not lay with all of your sewing lines showing.
My measurements here are 6mm tuck lines which will give me 3mm tucks with a 3mm gap between. I always sew just below my line fractionally so my tucks are always a little wider and the overlay hides my stitches.

Step 2 - The larger gaps between lines you can see will be gaps between groups of tucks to make a decreasing pattern as they go up the skirt. Once all your lines are drawn on the back carefully transfer the bottom tuck line to the front of the fabric so that you have a line to sew along once your tuck is folded. You can do this by holding your fabric up on a window, by measurement, or with pins as I do. Pushing them through the fabric on the line and then turning over the fabric and using a ruler to join the pins in a line.

Step 3 - With the wrong side of the fabric towards you push a pin in from the back on the bottom line of your tuck and then back in at the top line, trying to keep the pins at 90degrees to the line so the fold will crease neatly.

Step 4 - When you turn your fabric over the pin head will be on or very close to your line drawn on the right side of the fabric. It doesn't have to be exact so long as you have something you can follow to sew along. So it can be a little away from your pin so long as you keep all your stitches that distance away from your line. All the lines will be hidden between the tucks if your not using a fabric that you can easily wash. I recommend using silk, silk cotton, cotton lawn, or similar lighter fabric for pin-tucks as it'll crease much neater once you press everything later.

Step 5 - Fold your tuck by pinching the fabric so that the pin holes line up with each other and the pin is straight through the fabric. You can turn the pin to secure the fabric more securely without taking it out.

Step 6 - Sew along your line drawn on the right side of the fabric with the already worked fabric nearest to you and that left to be sewn away from you. When all the tucks are sewn lay the fabric face down on an ironing board and with the iron set to the right temperature for the fabric gently hold the fabric slightly taught so that all your sewing lines lay evenly and press. Then turn and press from the right side of the fabric too.

You can back the pin-tucks to give them more stability or to give a neater finish to something like an apron where you will see both sides. Keep your stitches as small as possible and as straight as you can as any wobbles with make the tuck uneven.

Madeline's petticoats

No comments:

Post a Comment