Well hello! I'm writing this post on sewing tucks in relation to my latest sewing pattern, the Page Dress, but this technique can be used to jazz up any other sewing project.
The Page Dress is a versatile sewing pattern with plenty of options to customize the look. It has subtle cutaway armholes and a high neckline.
The following two views are just some of the style options, but it’s super easy to mix and match the design features. There are in-seam pockets, button stands, tucks, splits or can be left as a classic shift dress. The pattern is available in multiple cup sizes: B cup, or a combined C/D cup.
View A: Ballet length button-up dress featuring multiple tucks running down the front and back bodice that open out into a pleated skirt. The waist can be cinched in with the internal drawstring, or left loose for an architectural silhouette. There are in-seam pockets and side splits.
View B: Shift dress with a drawstring, in seam pockets and side splits in the skirt.
The main pattern pieces for this pattern are actually the same for both views. The difference for view A, is that tucks are sewn into fabric panels and the front and back pattern pieces are then placed over over the tucked fabric to trace out the pattern shape.
This tutorial relates to step 2 of the pattern instructions. If you haven't already got your copy, you can buy the pattern here.
What you will need:
Page Dress sewing pattern
Fabric panels cut to the dimensions listed in the instructions
Fabric pen or chalk
The 'Tuck Guide' pattern piece.
Please note, I'm using a small sample of fabric for these photos, so mine will look far less impressive than your full size version.
1. Line up the Tuck Guide along the top edge of the fabric panel, making sure the centre back or centre front of the fabric is aligned with the marking on the pattern piece. The Front Tuck Guide has been used for this sample.
2. Use a fabric pen or chalk to mark the notches. These notches indicate where the fabric will be folded.
3. Move the guide down along the length of your fabric and mark the notches again. If you have a long ruler, you can skip this step. My ruler is 30cm long but my length of fabric is longer than that, so I need this extra marking for when I'm ruling a line between the notches.
4. Move the guide down again to the horizontal line you've drawn in at the waist (as set out in the pattern instructions) and mark the notches in again.
In this example for my small sample, I'm sewing the tucks all the way to the bottom of the fabric.
5. Rule vertical lines to connect the notches.
6. Fold the fabric along the drawn line.
7. These tucks will be 1cm wide. Use the markings on the plate of your sewing machine to line the folded edge of the fabric against the 1cm mark. If your sewing machine doesn't have a ruler guide on the plate, you can create your own temporary guide by laying tape down 1cm from the needle position.
8. Sew the tucks in one by one. Back tack at the beginning and end of each stitching line. I usually sew them all in before washing the chalk off, then pressing - as the chalk I use can leave a stain if it's set by an iron. But if you have some fancy, fandangled marker that erases by air or by heat, then by all means, press each tuck after sewing!
9. My un-ironed and unwashed sample.
10. Now that I've gotten rid of my chalk marks by giving the fabric a quick wash, I'm going to steam press the tucks, away from the centre.
11. There you go! Tucks galore. Don't worry if they're not perfectly straight or even. The sheer volume of tucking and pleating will hide a multitude of sins.
Follow the instructions that come with the pattern to complete your Page Dress.
Modelled by the lovely Liz of Woven Stories, who also happens to own a fabric store full of delicious natural fibres (like this black, printed cotton shown above).
Shop fabrics here.
Photos by Daniel Njegich (the good studio photos, that is... not my povo instructional photos. That was a phone job.)