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A Trick for Tuck-Marking

Stabilize and mark lines with fusible paper

Threads #207, Feb./March 2020
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Show off your sewing skills with impressively even, parallel tucks. Pattern: Butterick 6208 Fabric: printed cotton lawn, SawyerBrook.com

Marking tucks calls for extreme accuracy: The foldlines must be parallel, on-grain, and perfectly straight—and, often, close together. Many fabrics that lend themselves to tuck details are delicate, sheer, and may be unstable. Therefore, marking tuck foldlines can be more of a challenge than sewing the tucks.

Traditional marking methods have drawbacks. Chalk and markers may not disappear completely after the tucks are sewn. Tracing wheels and carbon paper can leave marks that are difficult to remove, and the wheels may damage delicate fabrics. Basting is safe and effective on most fabrics, but it can be difficult to hand-sew a perfectly straight line on shifty textiles, and it’s time-consuming to do.

Because I love to sew garments with special details, I have developed a better way to establish tuck foldlines. Fusible paper stabilizes the fabric, and then guides my stitching as I machine-baste along the foldlines. It is…

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