Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Daily Dress: Pintucked Floral

Tomorrow I will be posting my entry on pintucking methods on the STC Craft Blog! I'll confess it was the method I was most excited to learn when I started the Stitch-Along over there. In honor of the occasion, here's an inspirational dress to whet your pintuck appetite.

I especially like the effect the pintucks make when darted. In this case, the fabric would have been pintucked before being cut.

The neckline is bound with a bias strip and the skirt is pleated.
I love how this dress shows what simple fabric manipulation techniques can do for a basic dress silhouette. I have some amazing silk organza printed with huge pink roses that I would love to do this with!

Will you be joining me for pintucking tomorrow?


  1. I like pintucks because they are so quintessentially retro and sing of the 1950s in every way. I would think Liberty of London fabrics (particularly the cotton lawn) would look fabulously pintucked. And it would have the structure to hold a pintuck.

  2. Will you be using a pintuck foot? I have 3 for my Bernina, and it makes tucking amazingly easy. The trick is to be right on grain. Enjoy!

  3. That is a gorgeous dress! I have yet to try pintucks so this will be a great opportunity to practice a new technique. I would love to try and replicate this dress someday. Brunch on the lake dahling? Yes, I believe I will...

  4. I've done some pintucking samples, by machine without a special foot, and by hand. It turned out my hand stitches weren't small enough. They were supposed to be about 1/16 of an inch.

  5. I am in!
    Btw, I am considering purchasing a new sewing machine. What are you using, Gretchen and readers, and would you recommend your machine? Your input is higly appreciated! Gretchen, this could be an idea for an open thread discussion maybe. Thanks in advance!

  6. Ooh, this is a very lovely dress. I love the print and the fabric--so delicate and perfectly combined. Can't believe that bodice is entirely pintucked--makes the darts almost disappear!

  7. What a pretty dress! I've really got to try those pintucks. Wouldn't it be interesting to pintuck a sheer print and then layer it over a striped or a larger pattern lining? Maybe I'll try that for my sample this week.

    @ Catherina - I love my Viking Lily 555. I don't do machine embroidery, but I wanted good buttonholes. This machine is/was? the top of the 'no-embroidery' line for Viking. It has plenty of decorative stitches for me, no embroidery and like 8 or 10 types of buttonholes. I have even used most of them. It makes a nice even repeatable buttonhole which is exactly what I was looking for. It has been totally reliable. It cost me about $2K (included a bunch of optional feet) about 10 years ago - no idea what it costs now. I freaked at the price then, but it has been a fabulous workhorse of a machine and I have been glad for years that I spent the money.

    Happy sewing.

  8. Catharina,

    I grew up using my mom's Elna SU, one of the best consumer zig-zag machines ever made because almost all the parts were of tempered steel and the stitch quality (the regularity of the tension between top and bobbin thread stitch after stitch) was impeccable. Other family members had Berninas from the same vintage and they were just as fine (but different -- and, as a creature of habit, I tend to resist different).

    This spring, my beloved Elna died after more than a million miles sewed. (Actually, it's not really dead, but finding a repairman who doesn't want to sew me a hunk of junk was cutting into my sewing time) so I bought a refurbished, slightly less loved (read, barely used) machine on e-bay for about $200.00

    If you want to make perfect pintucks, I can't overstate the value of a good machine enough. There are lots of great machines out there everywhere from thrift stores to grandmother's attics to, as in my case, eBay. The true test of a great machine is whether or not it can sew a fine seam (which, by my standards, means it sews at the same tension for several feet no matter how heavy or fine the fabric and no matter how fast or slow you sew).

    Oh, and once you find a machine you love, treat it tenderly. In my case, that means always using the appropriate needle, cleaning the bobbin case with both a brush and a q-tip every time I change the bobbin, and oiling as appropriate. After awhile, you'll start to notice a particular hum that means your machine is happy, and when you find that hum, just keep doing whatever it was that produced that particular sound.

    Happy pintucking to all! I know I'm going to be enjoying this particular sew-along because some of my favorite summer dresses had the built-in ease tucks seem to provide, without ever losing that cool-as-a-cucumber feel. In other words, they're practically perfect -- in every way!

  9. Very pretty. I'll likely check out your method but I do as much of my pintucking as possible with my pintuck foot.

  10. Pintuck foot, check. Double needle, check. See you tomorrow!

  11. I love the dress and I will absolutely be joining you for the pintucking class tomorrow! See you then.

  12. Catherina:

    I have a Pfaff Creative 1471. She's 25 yrs. old and I had to replace the motor this year, but I wouldn't trade her for the world.

    I know this is a very debatable subject, but I wouldn't even consider purchasing a mechanical machine, electronic is so much smoother, especially if you are working with delicate fabrics - just my opinion!

    Sewing machine discussions on my blog, too:

  13. I have a hugh mans shirt just waiting to be made into something more femmine and the idea of pin tucks over the front would be lovely. I'm there.

  14. Catharina,

    My machine is a Pfaff 1475, almost the same machine as Paula's 1471. I heartily recommend these older machines too. I went to buy a new one with IDT, was shown this which had be PX'd and fell in love with it straight away, offers so much more functionality and sturdiness than modern machines (although the modern IDT is that little bit smoother).

    Oddly enough I was listing new feet to buy the other day and the pintuck feet were on the list as I love doing this effect and the feet of my last machine don't fit the Pfaff. I do it on my serger too which is quite easy to do.

    Perhaps there might be a use for linked post about the different feet options, explaining the grove numbers, which size twin-needle to use and the decorative pin-tuck which is one I haven't tried yet so am going to be getting?

  15. Of course I'll be joining you for pintucking! I've already made a zillion projects with the previous stitch along as inspiration (all proudly posted on my blog).

  16. Yeah, pintucks are great, i want to add some on a skirt pattern, so i'm waiting for your article :)
    The picture of the dress you just posted is amazing, and also... very inpiring!!!

  17. Karen I feel your pain! My Bernina 1120 bought in 1990 finally went senile after probably reaching its design life five times over.No way was I buying a 'new' machine, and hunted for ages until I found a Bernina 1230 to replace it. 15-20 years old but the best machine money could buy at the time and I love it! :) I'd buy a second hand, well maintained top-line machine any day over a super expensive new one or a cheap new one, any time.

  18. Thanks so much for all the feedback on my question about sewing machines. I have a quite basic Singer (Singer Concerto 2, bought in the late eighties or early nineties in Germany by my mother who never used it) and, as Karen pointed it, it does not hold up to the standard of making a nice line of stitches. It can be fine and then, suddenly, it skips and you have a mess on the back side of the fabric. Annoying! I know I should love my machine more and take care of it but I feel I am ready to move on to something that loves me back, haha. I don't want to do embroidery but I love if it could make a decent buttonhole once in a while and yes, som pintucking and maybe somet other nice features. I will keep looking and keep asking. Thanks all!


Thanks for your comments; I read each and every one! xo Gertie

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