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How to Sew Decorative Tucks

A little bite at the fold becomes sculpture
Threads magazine - 163 - Oct./Nov. 2012
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This 1940s dress is the perfect choice for afternoon teas, bridal showers, or charity events. The deep red rayon crepe frock stands out with a stunning array of carved tucks running down the bodice’s left side and releasing into pleats at the waist. The notched tucks create a diamond shape that frames an intricately embroidered and beaded motif. To see how these tucks were made, read this article from Threads #163 below.

Where to use the decorative tucks

You can use this irresistible tuck treatment on anything you sew. It would look great on a decorative pillow, a lovely blouse, or, as shown, on a sophisticated crepe dress. Plan the tucks before you cut the fabric. Then, add the necessary space to your pattern. Sew the tucks before cutting the pattern so you’ll have some room to adjust, if needed. This amazing effect comes together far more easily than you would guess.

Line up and baste folds into shape

Start by planning a template for the tucks. The tucks shown were drafted on graph paper spaced six squares to the inch. The template is indispensable and will help you get accurate spacing and consistent, well-placed notches. The template shown is for half of the tucked unit. The wide blue lines are the vertical and horizontal centers of the complete tucked motif. For each tuck, you form the notches first, then stitch the tuck.

1. Chart the pattern. Plan the tuck and notch spacing on graph paper, following the diagram at right. Draw a vertical red line every 10 squares for five lines. These are the mountain folds. Draw a blue line four squares to the left of each red line for the valley folds and tuck stitching line. Follow the spacing on the illustration for placing the notches and…

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