Male Pattern Boldness is proud to be the world's most popular men's sewing blog!



Feb 11, 2014

Are They Pleats or Are They Tucks?



Readers, I've been pleating my shirt all day.

Or have I been tucking?

According to Wikipedia, in sewing, a tuck is a fold or pleat in fabric that is sewn in place.  So I guess I've been tucking.  Anyway, whatever you call it, it's taken a long time and a fair amount of eyestrain.  In a way, sewing tucks on a plaid is easier than on a solid, since you can follow the lines.  Problem is, there are so many lines that it's easy to start losing one's mind.

I started this project on my Kenmore 141.158 but after my first tuck/pleat/whatever, I realized I really needed to be on a true straight stitcher, since even though my Kenmore has a straight-stitch plate and can accomodate my Singer straight-stitch foot, you can't narrow the feed dogs.  As I was sewing the narrow tucks, the fabric was feeding on only one side, and there was a tendency for it to slip a bit.  So I pulled out my Featherweight instead -- I haven't sewn on it in eons -- and it was the perfect solution.  I'd forgotten how well this machine sews and what a beautiful stitch it has.  Really a pleasure.

Since each tuck is 1/4" wide (i.e, 1/8" on each of its two sides), I added an inch of width to my shirt fronts for every four tucks.  (Wait -- is that right?)



First, I finished my left and right front plackets, where the buttonholes and buttons will go, respectively, and then started stitching my narrow tucks.  I think I stitched about twenty-four in all.

Here's a peek:





From the underside, they look like this:



My inspiration for this shirt is project #14 from my Japanese men's shirt pattern book, but I ended up adapting Butterick 4575, which I've used for my last two shirts, rather than tracing a brand new pattern.



When I looked at the patterns in the book, they looked like they'd need a lot of tweaking -- they seemed very long and very narrow, and I'm neither.  The Butterick pattern fits right out of the envelope (though I shorten the length an inch).  Why make life difficult?

I cut my back yoke and sleeve plackets on the bias.  Everything else is cut parallel to the selvage.



To interface the front plackets, I finally tried Pam Erny's interfacing and it is marvelous to work with.  I used the Pro-Sheer Elegance Medium.







Would you believe this is the first time I have ever used interfacing that came with actual instructions?  Pam's are very clear and very specific.  Love it!



And that's it.  I have a few chores to do before class tonight, so off I go.

In closing, would you call what I made pleats, tucks, or something else entirely?

Have a great day, everybody!

30 comments:

  1. pin tucks. pleats to me may be sewn at the top, but usually open further down. beautiful work - as always. Oh, and I'm glad you decided to do them all the way down instead of yoke style. Just my personal preference.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I LOVE Fashion Sewing Supply's interfacing! My coat is full of it...

    ReplyDelete
  3. Aren't they pleats until you stitch them down, then they are official pintucks. I love how adventurous your menswear is.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I think the fabric choice keeps it just butch enough. Also I have a fabric manipulation text that has a honeycomb pattern made by putting one little catch stitch in a checkerboard pattern. ..don't know if that make sense. And you could do a wave pattern by sitching back and forth which I think you've already shown.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Wouldn't it be 1" for every two tucks? Since there are three layers of fabric at every tuck (i.e. the fabric passes back and forth underneath the 1/4" tuck, using an additional 1/2" of width). This is the sort of thing that always trips me up.

    -girdtmom

    ReplyDelete
  6. I did those on a dress for my friend's birthday. They are called pintucks if I'm correct and this was the stuff of nightmares to sew on silk fabric. I eventually got there by lowering the thread tension and using really good quality thread otherwise it wouldn't work on my Bernina. You've done a great job with them.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I have never tried it but I think we have tucker attachment and also pin tuck foot for the Bernina

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UsSKIutqLs8
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hl7Ct5p2DuM

    ReplyDelete
  8. I have always heard them called pintucks. If they were just tucks, they would be quite a bit bigger.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hi Peter, I have been reading your blog from afar (Australia) for a long time and admired both your sewing and your editorial. My first comment though! :)
    Pleats/tucks it is all a bit confusing. I guess in my mind a tuck is a little pinch of fabric that is stitched at the top and not pressed, sort of like you might see in place of a dart maybe. Then a pleat is also stitched just some of the way but to me is always pressed to form the neat edge. Then of course just to confuse we have pintucks which is a whole new category of its own, stitched all the way and pressed and usually narrow.
    God knows what you would call them if they were fat, stitched all the way and pressed though :)
    Lorraine

    ReplyDelete
  10. Pam's interfacing is my favourite; unfortunately the shipping to New Zealand is a killer, so I keep mine for special projects. Loving the shirt so far!

    ReplyDelete
  11. I can totally see how that stripey tucking could give you a bad headache. But super impressive!

    ReplyDelete
  12. looks lovely. I would call then pin tucks, pleats could be partly stitched and partly open.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Wait till you try Pam's shirt crisp fusible interfacing. It's amazing! So smart of you to just add the pleat element to an existing pattern that already works for you.

    ReplyDelete
  14. here's what Ms. Fasanella at Fashion Incubator has to say -
    http://www.fashion-incubator.com/archive/pop-quiz-tucks-vs-pleats-pt-2/

    What I call partially stitched pleats/tucks varies on size, location, and if the fold is inside or outside. And sometimes I use both terms for the same thing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I read that, and now I'm more confused than ever.

      Delete
  15. I think I'd call them pin tucks. In my head (nothing scientific or factual, just my thoughts) pleats are wider and fewer. But it probably doesn't matter either way! :)

    ReplyDelete
  16. Yes I agree pin tucks is the right term. Can't wait to see the finished shirt!

    ReplyDelete
  17. The amazing beauty of Pam's interfacing isn't just in the instructions and ease of use - it is in the daily wear. It never buckles, separates, or gets all crinkly. I never use anything else in my garments any more.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Great job. You might think about having the cuff and the front placket on the bias as well as the back yoke. Although it looks like the front placket is part of the front. Might want to think about that if you try it again.

    ReplyDelete
  19. You have inspired me to make a plaid blouse with potluck/tuck/pleats for summer. I think I have enough of the plaid in my stash and I know I have the pattern. Fun.
    I am looking forward to seeing you finished shirt.

    ReplyDelete
  20. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Tucks definitely, but not Pintucks which are a pin's width, or very fine tucks, pleats can fan out so are only stitched at one end to keep them in place. I think you done a sterling job on these tucks, I admire your dedication.

    ReplyDelete
  22. I would call them pin tucks. I do make them quite often.
    Whatever the correct term they are tucks. They are common on vintage cotton clothing, shirts, blouses and little girl's dresses. Pleats as I understand them are what the above poster says.

    ReplyDelete
  23. fine tucks, but not fine enough to be pintucks (they're stitched a pin's width from the edge. Even more brain-frying in a plaid

    ReplyDelete
  24. If they were narrower, they'd be pin tucks, so I guess your pleats are tucks…
    The challenge with those is always to stitch them at the exact width you calculated, or all will go wrong with the garment.
    For that reason, a lot of vintage patterns which include tucked sections have you sew the tucks first and only then cut out the pattern piece

    ReplyDelete
  25. Very neat job- especially in a stripe! I am lazy and use my tucking or pintucking foot and then cut out the garment piece. Even really old machines, like my 1909 treadle, have feet to do this.

    ReplyDelete
  26. I absolutely love tucks! and your shirt pattern is one I'd love to make and wear! reminds me of the tucks I put into an "Edwardian Underthings" outfit (Folkwear) I did quite a while ago. Lost it in a house fire but the process and thrill of making it are still in my mind. so happy to see what you are creating!! Cheers,

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts with Thumbnails