How to sew Pintucks

Watch the video from the Helena Course to show you how to sew Pintucks.

Pintucks are a delicate way of adding detail and interest.

They are narrow stitched down pleats of fabric usually sewn in parallel lines. They can sewn in a uniform group or spaced out slightly in smaller groups as we have done for the Lavinia Dress.

Pintucks should really be small and narrow as they are supposed to look neat and delicate. There are a couple of methods of sewing them accurately.

Method 1

Mark the lines of the pintuck. They will either be marked with dots, as we have done in the Helena and Lavinia Patterns, so the dots pair up to create the pleat.

Or more traditionally the centre fold line of the pintuck is marked and a 1/4″ seam sewn along the fold. Using a quilter’s quarter inch foot can be very helpful as the fold of the pintuck runs along the blade of the foot making it very easy to sew accurately. 


Method 2

Alternatively pintucks can also be sewn with a twin needle. The tension is tightened slightly to cause a ridge in the fabric between the two rows of sewing. This type of tuck looks very pretty on a lightweight fabric such as a cotton lawn.

With this technique it can be much easier to sew the pin tucks in place before cutting out the pattern piece. This is because it can be difficult to mark out the amount of fabric used in each pintuck. So it is much easier to sew the pintucks first then place the pattern on top of the pin-tucked fabric before cutting out the pattern piece.