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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Pintuck Top Tutorial

 Sometimes when I'm working on a project I'll jot down notes on a paper, you know, just in case I decide to write up a tutorial. When I started this maternity dress in the summer I thought that I'd share a full tutorial with you.  Well, half way through the project I realized there wasn't time, and I rushed to get the dress finished in time for a wedding.

I did however, have some photos and notes from the making of the bodice.  So seven months later, I'm sharing a few tips on creating the pintucks on the top, and finishing off the arms and neckline with elastic trim.

The bodice of the dress is basically a cropped cap sleeve top. You can find my notes and instructions on creating a cap sleeve t-shirt here.  I pulled out my go to cap sleeve pattern, and cropped it below the bust, resulting in an empire waisted dress.

I then pulled out my ol' taylor's chalk, and began marking where I wanted my pintucks to sit on my front pattern piece.  Basically,  at the neckline, the pintucks sit 3/4" apart, at the bottom they flare out to be 1 1/2" apart.  The center pintuck is 4 1/2" long, the two to the side are 4", the two further out are 3 1/2" long, and the outermost pintucks are 3 " long.

Now I don't have any decent photos of the actual sewing of the pintucks, but I'll do my best to explain the process.

You will pick up your fabric, and fold the fabric along once of your pintuck marking lines.  Make sure that the wrong sides of your fabric are facing each other when the fabric is folded.  At this point it would be helpful to put a pin at the bottom of your pintuck  to indicate where your stopping point is.

Begin stitching at the top (neckline) of your tuck.  Stitch very close to the fold of the fabric, no more than 1/8" away from the edge.  When you get to the bottom of your pintuck you will then slightly alter the direction of your stitching line, so that you stitch off of the folded edge.  Backstitch to secure stitching, and clip the threads very close to the fabric.  You will repeat this step for each of your pintucks. When the fabric is unfolded a teeny tiny tuck is left.

 I used this same technique for the pintuck sunburst top, with an additional two pintucks on each side.  It is a really subtle embellishment that dresses up a plain top.

After finishing the pintucks, I sewed the front and back bodice pieces together at the shoulder seams.  I then serged the raw edges of the neckline and the arm holes.  I then measured the circumference of the neck opening, and the length of the sleeves.  

I then cut my elastic trim so that it was 3/4 the length of the sleeves and the circumference of the neck.
To attach the elastic trim to the sleeves, you will first want to find the center point of your elastic trim. Pin the right side of the elastic trim to the right side of your bodice pieces at the shoulder seams. Now stretch your elastic trim and pin the trim ends to the ends of your sleeves.  Stretch your elastic trim, and pin in along the length of the sleeve, taking care that the fabric and elastic are evenly distributed.

 Stitch down your elastic trim close the edge of the elastic (closest to the decorative edge. Once your trim is stitched in place, turn the trim toward the wrong side of the material and press.  Topstitch along the length of the sleeve, 1/8" away from the edge.

You will use this same basic technique to add the elastic trim to the neckline, the main difference being, that you will need to stitch the trim into a round prior to attachment.

*I guess if you really wanted to, you could attach the trim to the neckline prior to stitching both shoulder seams.  You could sew one shoulder seam, measure the length of the neckline, find the center point on the neckline, and then distribute the elastic trim.  

Once your trim is attached, you can then stitch the side seams of your top, and add a skirt to the base if you wish.


Lynette @ My Craft Discovery said...

That turned out really cute. I forget sometimes that I can finish things up with trims. Thanks for the reminder!

Delirious said...

I love the trim! The pintucks are really nice too!

Jessica at Me Sew Crazy said...

this is lovely, really well done - you look fantastic!

Unknown said...

So cute. Pintucks really are a great way to add a little oomph to a simple neckline (or elsewhere).

Cara at Handful of Treasures said...

I stumbled across this post when I googled "pintuck tutorial" and just wanted to say this is soo cute! And obviously you're so talented! I'm new to sewing but hope to get here one day :D!

Unknown said...

Hi wondering how you made the bottom skirt and attached it to the bodice? What type of material did you use? Thanks