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Tips & Techniques > tying off

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Posted by: SewVeryTall

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Posted on: 6/19/05 6:02 AM
Review Rating: Helpful by 1 people   Very Helpful by 12 people   
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Pintucks are tiny folds sewn into the fabric to add texture and decoration. There are usually several placed together in vertical rows, like on the bodice of a top or dress.

If the pintucks run from one seam to another, there is no need to tie them off. But if the pintucks end in the middle of the fabric, it is necessary [normally] to pull the threads to the wrong side of the fabric, and hand tie them to secure.

This technique is for pintucks that end in the middle of the fabric. You will be sewing along a fold in the fabric, 1/8 inch [or a little more] from the fold, using a regular machine needle.

Get ready to 'think outside the box' when it comes to threading your machine. Each pintuck is sewn with a single thread from your bobbin. Remove the top spool of thread.

With the bobbin in your machine, pull thread from your bobbin. Pull enough out that it is about a foot longer than the length of your pintuck. Put this thread through the needle, threading it the opposite direction [a needle threader really helps do this]. Keeping using this thread to completely thread the machine...the machine will be threaded as usual, you're just starting at the needle and working backwards. Just lay the extra thread on top of your machine. The thread should go directly from the bobbin to your needle, no slack. You're ready to sew the first pintuck.

You start the pintuck where you want the finished end to be [in the middle of your folded bodice, not at the raw edge]. Sew along the edge of the fold, until the pintuck ends at the edge of the fabric. Cut thread and remove bodice from machine. Remove any leftover thread from the top of the machine. Voila, the pintuck is finished, and no thread tails to tie off.

To do the next pintuck, pull thread from bobbin again, and rethread machine as before.

In the link above, you'll see an image of how the pintuck stitching should look when you've completed one. The second image shows an example of how pintucks can begin in the middle of a project.

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Sue Parrott said... (1/14/12 9:21 PM) Reply
That is a fantastic tip! Thanks so much for sharing it and I will be practicing it next time I make tucks!
toile away said... (12/5/11 5:04 AM) Reply
Thank you- this gives a beautiful finish
Everythingearin said... (5/25/08 1:14 PM) Reply
How clever! I can't wait to try this. Trey Cool!
Chanelcat said... (1/31/07 5:32 PM) Reply
I also use this for pintucks and darts on sheer fabrics but I also shorten my stitch lenght at the start and finish. This really works well for children's dresses
tangklr said... (8/12/05 11:06 AM) Reply
This is exactly what I've been looking for. Thank you! My project can now be completed just the way I want it.
Lady Dragonfly said... (6/24/05 1:58 AM) Reply
You jogged my memory to a method I used many years ago! Your well-written method for sewing Pintucks also works wonderfully for sewing Darts in a very lightweight sheer fabric. One thread is less "bulky" than the usual two threads we usually use for sewing darts.
melgosews said... (6/21/05 6:42 AM) Reply
SewVeryTall, I can't wait to try this! I guess I had heard of the dart in sheers, but I tend to stay away from them. I am working on my first pintuck piece but they end in seams. Maybe I'll make some samples of this technique so I know I can do it! Thanks!!!
koo104 said... (6/20/05 12:10 PM) Reply
Re Dart sewing, It is actually much easier to control the dart shape is you start from the point. Since the hard part of sewing the dart are the edges stitches at the point. You can place the needle exactly where you want it. You don't get the dimples at the end of the dart. This was how I was trained in in my dressmaking/ tailoring classes in Design school years ago.
GorgeousFabrics said... (6/19/05 1:36 PM) Reply
Yes, you start at the point and swe back. It takes a little practice, but it gets easy quickly. Sewing with the bobbin thread eliminates the extra stitches or extra thread (if you "sew off" the dart), and keeps it from showing through on the outside of the garment. I first heard about it in a couture techniques seminar that Colleen Jones and Lisa Taranto presented. I think they talk about it in their couture techniques class, if you ever get a chance to take it! -Ann
SewVeryTall said... (6/19/05 9:52 AM) Reply
You're welcome :) you really do this with darts on sheer fabric? You'd have to start sewing at the point of the dart...yikes, that would be so difficult! [I like the last 3 or 4 stitches of my dart points to be right on the edge of the fold].

GorgeousFabrics said... (6/19/05 7:24 AM) Reply
This is also a great way to sew darts in sheer fabric. Great tip, Ardis! -Ann
ColoSew said... (6/19/05 6:40 AM) Reply
What a cool tip ! Thanks.
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