spry: pintucking the “designer” way

Adding pintucks seemed like a cute way to make a slightly large shirt smaller around, compared to augmenting the tucks in the back or just sewing up the sides, so I challenged myself to sew straight lines.

Luckily the shirt in question is striped.

I few weeks ago I shortened a skirt with polkadots and thought I wouldn’t need to actually mark the line I wanted to cut along, because I could connect the dots. It didn’t work that way… so, yay straight lines!

I’d read a how-to pintuck a year or so ago somewhere and didn’t bother to brush up before I started the project. It’s pretty straight forward. Just decide where you want the tuck, fold the shirt along that line, pin it (even with straight lines, one gets cross-eyed), and then sew. (I bet you’re really supposed to iron the crease straight, except I would be liable to iron a giant wrinkle, so I did not bother.) I placed the needle as close to the edge as possible. It took a few lines to internalize how slowly I had to sew to actually sew a straight line. But that’s just me.

Also, it’s much easier to sew on along the edge of a colored stripe than a white one [with white thread] because I kept losing track of where I was sewing, until I waved into a colored stripe, of course.

I placed the tucks starting at where the chest-tuck ends to the bottom of the shirt. I put the shirt on after every line to see how the shirt was shrinking. It is not a drastic change.

I had a system of counting lines after the tuck to place the next line. I did three lines on the right-side of the shirt, then decided that I should see how narrow the shirt would be with three lines on the left before adding more.

So I sewed three lines down the left, with my trusty line-counting system.

Of course I did something wrong. The lines on the left came out much closer together than the ones on the right. OF COURSE.

(I think I hadn’t accounted that, for the right side [as in the photo] I was sewing new tucks with the old ones visible. To start at the top of the line on the left side, I was sewing with the old tucks on the underside, and should have counted more lines between tucks, the way I was folding them down. If that makes sense.)

Faced with the dilemma of “equal number of tucks but unequal width of pintucked shirt space” v “unequal number of tucks but equal width of pintucked shirt space,” after brief deliberation I chose the latter. The shirt looked really lopsided with the well-spaced tucks on one side and the bunched-together tucks on the other. And there was no way I was going to rip out all of those lines to redo them.

The size, at least, is now just right.

Since the shirt is so stripy, the tucks actually are more subtle than they would be on a non-striped shirt. Soooo can’t really tell that there are 5 lines down one side and just 3 down the other.

Right?

Well, if you can tell, I’ll just say it’s “designer.”

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