Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Pin Tuck Pleat Baby Dress Tutorial

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.
The above picture has a grid of criss crossed pin tucked pleats, and the shorts below have straight sewn lines sewn across rows of pin tucks.

I thought these shorts turned out cute but when I tried them on Natalie they looked way too boy-ish.
 I also made another dress that was a huge over pleated fail. My biggest challenge this last week was to edit my ideas and try not to do too much, or use every inch of the white sheet just because it was there...which was not easy!

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.

I didn't snap a picture before I cut out the bodice, but I sewed the star burst pattern on a larger piece of white sheet. I chose a spot on the star burst pattern that I liked, and then using my own dress pattern, I traced the front of the bodice on the pin tucked fabric, with a fabric marker. I did this because the pleats can pull, stretch, and shorten the fabric with each line sewn. To make sure your bodice is cut properly, it's best to pleat first and cut second.

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.

I really like how the pleats shone through better once I dyed it.

And...that's how you sew a pin tuck pleat!

Thanks for having me over today liZ and Elizabeth! I'll see you again on the runway!

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  1. Yay Delia! I love some good pintucking!

    Congrats on your win last week… you know how much I love your stuff :)

  2. pintucks are also a great thing to make using double needles...

  3. I love that you're posting the stuff that didn't work out. I also LOVED the simplicity of the final look, so great job with editing.

  4. omg .... this cannot be more adorable! SQUEEEEEEEAL~


  5. Congratulations on your win! I really loved that dress too. the pintucks made the outfit-- and now I can make one too!

  6. Congrats!! Beautiful done. I need to learn how to do this. I have to admit I'm a bit confessed. Thanks for posting. Now I'm on a new mission to learn this new technique.

  7. Congrats!! Beautiful done. I need to learn how to do this. I have to admit I'm a bit confessed. Thanks for posting. Now I'm on a new mission to learn this new technique.

  8. I love the creativity you used here...after watching the Project Runway baby challenge episode, I think you put them to shame!


  9. I've never tried pin tucking before, but I think I might give it a go after seeing your beautiful dress! I'm always looking for new ways to expand my sewing skills!

  10. BEAUTIFUL!! I left with no words.


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