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How to Sew Tucks


Tucks are stitched folds of fabric used as decorative details or to hold fullness in place. Tucks can be narrow or wide, sewn in groups or as a single tuck. Pintucks are tiny tucks sewn in fabric that create a little ridge on the surface of the fabric. Tucks are more stable when sewn on the lengthwise grain (page link) of the fabric but can also be sewn on the crosswise grain or on the bias (page link).




Tucks are often used as design details. Tucks create lines across the garment, which draw attention to part of the body or create the illusion of length. Add tucks to blouses and dresses, placed either vertically down the bodice or horizontally across the hemline of skirts or sleeves. Tucks work best in lightweight fabrics; in heavier fabrics, they are too stiff. Choose solid fabrics for patterns with tucks and pintucks, as the tuck detail will be lost in printed fabrics and may look strange in plaid or striped fabrics.

Tips + Notes

Remember that all tucks take up fabric, even small ones, so if you make pintucks in a cut piece of fabric, the fabric will get smaller. Make the pintucks in a large piece of fabric first and then cut the garment piece. Or draw a horizontal line across your pattern piece for each tuck, cut along these lines and open up the pattern piece to add width for each tuck.


How to Sew Tucks (1)

Fold the fabric along the fold line for the tuck. Pin or baste (page link) in place. If you choose to baste, sew your basting stitches far enough away from the fold so they won’t be caught in the tuck stitching.

How to Sew Tucks (2)

Sew the tuck in place from the side that will be seen. If the tucks are going to be pressed away from the center, sew on the center side of the tuck. If you are sewing very close to the fold to make pintucks, hold the thread tails tightly as you start to sew so the fabric doesn’t get sucked into the machine.

How to Sew Tucks (3)

Press tucks from the wrong side of the garment to prevent making impressions from the fold on the right side of the garment.

Source : The Sewtionary An A to Z Guide to 101 Sewing Techniques + Definitions
About the Author : Tasia ST. Germaine