Tuesday, August 31, 2010

How to create pin tucks: Tutorial

I am very excited! This is my first tutorial. Yayyyyy!

OK – Let me tell you how I got the idea to do this and why am I doing a tutorial for this. If you read my rest of the posts you’ll see that I like jumper dresses a lot! They are so versatile yet easy to sew for a beginner. I got some wonderful fabric the other day and I was thinking of ways to make the most out of the money I spent on them. I definitely didn’t want to go too crazy with patterns and tutorials out of the internet since I have no time to make muslins and wanted to work on making wearable’s right away.

I decided to make jumpers out of them with my own way of tweaking and adding details (is that called “designing” clothes? Who knows?). I have a beautiful Talbots polka dot pin tuck top that I love (Pin tucks on Polka dots, doesn’t that scream, Giiiiiiiiiiiirrrrrrrlyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy?). I love it so much that I decided to reverse engineer that top to see how they've done the pin tucks. See.....My technical profession is putting all that tech jargon into my mouth. Frankly I really don’t know the plain words you could use in lieu of the word “reverse engineering”.  It simply means you take something, and try to understand the ingredients and method used to create that – like when you think about how you could cook that delicious entrée’ you had at a friend’s wedding.

Enough already, right? Here is a picture of a pin tuck bodice.

And here goes the tutorial.

Pin tuck by definition is:
pin tuck
a narrow ornamental fold used especially on shirt fronts and dress bodices

And that’s all it is.

Steps to make Pin tucks on a jumper dress

Step 1: Gear up!
Gather fabric, lining, ruler, scissors and/or rotary cutter, cutting mat and any other fancy tools that you use. I don’t spend a fortune on all the gear and tools because I don’t do it for a living. Spending too much on hobbies/ simple pleasures? – NOT a good thing (according to me, spend it on food :-) ).

Step2:  Cut fabric
Line up your pattern piece or a pattern you cut out 1 inch away from the fold and cut your fabric. If you use lining, it does not need the extra 1 inch at the fold, so you can place it right under the pattern piece.

If you zoom in the above picture, you can see that I have a lining piece with no 1inch spacing at the fold right under the pattern piece.

Step 3: Making 1 inch marks on cut bodice
Now, we need to mark 1 inch spacing on either side of the fold. To do this keep the cut bodice piece folded. Now use your ruler to mark a line at 1 inch distance from the fold on both sides. (You can do this even before cutting the fabric in Step2, but I will need to turn the fabric and all, and I like to do it this way). 

Step 4: Create and Pin “Pin tucks”
Next step is to create the actual Pin Tucks. Take your time and create 3 narrow folds between the 2 marks on the fabric. Start with the left side.
Fold at the left mark so that the left mark is inside. The folds are 1/6 inch each. Make equal width narrow folds and Pin.
*You can make as many pin tucks as you want. Add more width to the fold when you cut to accommodate the pin tucks.

Step 5: Sew
Sew through each fold, taking holding pins out of your way as you sew. I chose right in the middle of the fold.
And that’s all! 
You are done!
Now work on your fabric as you’d otherwise. Narrow hem, add facing or lining to your bodice as you’d like. I like to add buttons in the pin tucks. 

Let me know what you think. I would love to see how my readers receive my first tutorial. Thanks everybody. 


  1. WOW! Thanks. You make it seem so simple that I can't wait to try it on the next jumper I make! Thanks again.

  2. another way, which I find easier, is to fold the fabric where the tucks are to be. Then sew near the folds.

  3. Just found your site - always loved pin tucking but seemed too hard. This is so simple - expecting a grandbaby in april so I am so glad to have learned this. Thank you for taking the time to help others - If I had not read this, I would still be avoiding pintucks, missing out on beautiful pieces.