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Double needle pin tucks

imconnie2's picture

I have tryed double needle pin tucks and they always come out flat.  Is there a trick to getting  them to stand up?

ThreadKoe's picture

pintucks (post #32996, reply #1 of 4)

check that your bobbin thread is not too loose.  You often have to adjust it as you would for the embroidery stitches.  If there is an extra hole on the bobbin casing, like in the finger, you need to thread it through that.  Also make sure that your fabric is not too stiff.  When making these types of pintucks, the bobbin thread ties the two needle threads together to pull them close making the fabric tuck together.  They are lovely when they are done, but do take some time to practice on scraps first.  Have fun, :)  Cathy

Thimblefingers's picture

pintucks (post #32996, reply #2 of 4)

If I want my double-needle pintucks to stand out, after I have finished sewing them, I use a matching embroidery thread - all six strands - and run it through the tucks with a blunt embroidery (cross-stitch) needle.  Don't pull the tread too tight or it will gather up the tucks but it keeps them standing up even through pressing. 

ThreadKoe's picture

Embroidery floss in PinTucks (post #32996, reply #3 of 4)

Neat Idea!  Will tuck this treasure away for future use.  Cathy

Josefly's picture

pin-tucks (post #32996, reply #4 of 4)

 I've found that it's very important to use my satin-stitch foot, which has a little raised area under the foot, to allow the pintuck to remain raised, without being flattened by the presser foot.  There's also a special pintuck presser foot, with grooves along the underside, which allows you to stitch multiple rows of pintucks close together, without flattening the tucks.  I have one of these feet, but haven't used it yet, since so far I've only sewn tucks no closer than 1/4" apart.  

While you're sewing with the double needle, you can also use a thread or fine cord - buttonhole twist is a good thread to use - underneath your fabric.   This really helps to hold the tucks up, especially in heavier fabrics like a light-weight linen.  You don't need a special foot to use the cord.  You place your fabric under the needles, lower the needles into the fabric, raise the presser foot and the fabric, and feed the thread/cord in between the two needles under the fabric.  Pull the thread from behind the needles so it extends a little beyond the presser foot.  Then lower the presser foot, making sure the cord is lined up straight in front.  Stitch and the cord will just follow along as you sew - no problems.  I usually just cut a length of cord as long as the tucks I'm making, plus a little extra to extend at the top and bottom.  Practice this, and you'll see how easy it is.

Threads had an article years ago, explaining this technique.  If you're tucking sheer or semi-sheer fabric, it's interesting to use a cord color different from or darker than the fabric, giving a "shadow" effect to the tuck.  A pale color can be used with white or near-white batiste, giving a little show-thru of the color.  It's very pretty.


 Double-needle pintucks usually work best with light-weight fabrics.  Heavier fabrics may require wider-set needles.  As mentioned earlier (by Threadkoe, I believe), experiment with changing your tension; if you can't change your bobbin tension, then making your upper tension looser will have much the same effect as tightening the lower tension - the bobbin thread will then pull the two lines of stitching together, forcing the fabric to form a ridge for the pintuck effect.


 Hope this helps.  Let us know how you fare with this.