Thank you so much for voting for my look this week! This week was so tough I thought that there was no way I was going to win, so I don't have a lot by way of a tutorial. I however did snap a few pictures of my pin tuck pleating process, some with my dSLR and some with my camera phone.
It's a really simple technique that creates a dramatic effect. It creates structure where there wasn't any before and even a little bit of stretch as well. I used this technique to create the waistband of an apron, see my Pin-Tucked Mother's Day Apron here.
Now onto sewing pin tucks.
Mark lines on your fabric with a fabric marker or pencil (that washes out or fades over time). I chose to mark my lines 1 inch apart.
At this point you can fold the fabric on the lines and press it with an iron.
There were so many lines that I opted not to do that.
I simply folded it and sewed with a straight stitch close to the folded edge. You can make the pleat as wide or as thin as you like.
It doesn't look too impressive until you get a few lines in there, and then it looks like this.
Pretty neat, right?
Once I was done with my pin tuck pleats, I then pressed the whole piece of fabric with an iron to get all the folds to lay flat the same direction.
Then I played around with smaller pleats..
It looked cool but was too much structure and texture for my dress. That many pleats makes the fabric quite substantial and thick.
I also played around with a plaid or cross hatch design.
I thought these shorts turned out cute but when I tried them on Natalie they looked way too boy-ish.
In the end, I used the 1 inch lined pleats for the back of the bodice of my dress/top, and a star burst pattern for the front of the bodice. I was inspired by some pillows that Anna from Noodlehead made last Spring. See her tutorial here. She uses a special sewing machine foot that helps you keep your pin tucks nice and straight, and her tutorials are always very helpful and thorough.
You can see that I originally wanted the dress to be a full dress with two tiers of circle skirts. Every step of my look this week was an evolution. I often have an idea of what I want to do before I begin, but this time I literally made it up as I went, incorporating the few preconceived disjointed ideas I had along the way.
And...that's how you sew a pin tuck pleat!