How To Add Pintucks To Any Pattern

I originally posted this tutorial over at iCandy Handmade back in January as part of their Basic Bodice series, and am bringing it home today in case you missed it!
Want to learn how to take a basic bodice and alter the pattern to add pintucks? I love pintucks because they’re so sweet and simple, but still give the perfect amount of detail to a dress.
Ready to get started?
basic bodice pattern – front, back, and sleeves (if applicable)
ruler, scissors and pen
disappearing ink pen
skirt portion of dress and back closure supplies (zipper/buttons, etc)
Assemble your basic bodice pattern pieces. I used a bodice and sleeve pattern that I drafted for this dress for Lola, my 8 month old (now almost 1 year old – yikes!).
From your fabric, cut out 4 back bodice pieces (2 will be for the lining), one bodice front along the fold (will be for the lining), and 2 sleeves.
Next we’ll alter the bodice front pattern piece to allow room for the pintucks. Use a ruler and draw 2 vertical lines at equal increments (I spaced mine 3/8″ apart) from the center fold line. This will result in 5 pintucks (two on each side of the fold and one along the fold line). You of course can adjust this to make more or less pintucks.
Cut along each vertical line. To make pintucks that are 1/8″ wide, space each strip 1/4″ from the next strip or pattern piece (the spaces should always be twice as wide as you’d like your pintucks to be). At the center, the strip will only need to be 1/8″ away from the fold. If you are making an even number of pintucks, you can align the outermost strip right along the fold and then there won’t be a “middle” pintuck.
Cut out the bodice front piece, following the curve from one strip to the next along the neckline.
To mark where each pintuck will go, use a disappearing ink pen and ruler to mark down the center of each space between strips, and along the center fold (if the fold is pressed you can use that as your mark).
Repeat these marks onto the other side of the bodice front.

Press along one marked line. Stitch 1/8″ from pressed edge.

Press along an adjacent marked line, and stitch 1/8″ from pressed edge.

Repeat pressing and stitching along remaining marked lines. Press all pintucks in desired direction (if you made an even number of pintucks you may want to press each half towards the nearest side seam).

Your bodice front and lining will now be the same size!

You can now stitch the shoulder seams of the front to the back (of the main fabric and lining) and then stitch the main fabric and lining together at the neckline.

Continue to attach the sleeves onto the bodice as directed by the pattern…

And attach the skirt and back closure!

That’s it! Now that you’ve learned this technique, have fun adding pintucks to any pattern you’d like!

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  1. I love your method of making these pintucks…it’s a little more complicated than just putting the pattern piece a couple inches from the fold when cutting, but I love how precise it is, and that you know exactly how many pintucks you’ll end up with. The dress is darling too =)

  2. I just pin tuck the material before cutting out the pattern piece. It works great. I also do inverted pleats that way. This technique looks fairly simple too, I will have to try it.

  3. Pingback: Bees & Doves – fern & thread

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