Feet for Pintucks: An Experiment

I was talking (well, typing) with Lavender of Thread Square about pintucks the other day and she mentioned wanting to try them but not having the appropriate foot. It got me thinking about whether a pintucking foot was really needed to get the desired affects so I did a little experiment. I made pintucks with a 3,0/75 twin needle using three different feet on a piece of scrap fabric from my latest Sorbetto. Here are my results:

1. Using a standard foot ([A] on my Janome) and tension set to 8
2. Using a shallow groove foot and tension set to 8
3. Using a deep groove foot and tension set to 8
4. Using a standard foot and tension set to 3

Conclusion

As you can see, it’s possible to make a pintuck using a standard foot! In fact, pintuck (1) was wider than the two that were made using the “proper” feet. I found that by changing the thread tension it was possible to change the width of the pintuck when using a standard foot. Bare in mind that it wasn’t until the tension was set to 3 that the fabric laid flat. I believe this is due to the cotton voile’s weight and with heavier weights you’ll find that the fabric will be more resistant to “tucking”.

I was surprised to find that there wasn’t much of a difference between the shallow groove and the deep groove’s pintuck widths. It would seem that when it comes to pintucks, the only reason to have a variety of feet would be for corded pintucks (to accommodate various cord sizes). Can anyone tell me if this assumption is correct?

It’s worth noting that it’s completely possible to make pintucks without a twin needle, I just find them easier (and frankly funner) with one. If you are using a single needle then a grooved foot isn’t necessary unless you’re using cording. If this is the case then you could also substitute with an invisible zipper foot.

*Edited to Add* I’ve been calling the one of the feet that I used in this experiment a “standard foot (A)” but just to be completely clear it is actually called a “zig-zag foot A” or an “all purpose foot” in the Janome catalog.

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7 Comments to “Feet for Pintucks: An Experiment”

  1. Ah ha! The cording foot is most likely for, well, cording. But before I give this a go, what do you mean by deep, shallow and standard groove feet? Do you have feet similar to numbers 7 & 8 on this list: http://tinyurl.com/657pnjk ? I’ll have to try this with the twin needle/standard foot combo until I can get one of those little guys.

    • Sorry for any confusion. Here is a picture of the three feet I used:
      Feet
      From left to right: A shallow groove pintucking foot, a deep groove pintucking foot, and a standard foot (A) which is, so to speak, grooveless. So no “standard groove foot”. The two groove feet were sold as “pintucking feet” and are listed above the cording foot in the picture that you linked to. It describes them as having 7 (shallow groove foot) and 5 (deep groove foot) grooves. My experiment seems to suggest, though, that they aren’t exactly necessary unless you are pintucking with a cord.
      Does this clarify things?

      • Yup, thanks! That’s what I thought, but didn’t want to assume anything. And oops on my part, putting “groove” in the wrong part of my sentence 🙂

  2. I just found your blog through the Flickr link you left on your white Sorbetto top (which, by the way, is stunning). I think it’s great that you are documenting your adventures in sewing your own wardrobe and pattern drafting. I’ve been sewing for a couple of years but I’m super new at sewing clothes. While I looked for a pattern drafting course in this city I came up empty hand so I’ll be glad to follow your adventures. Thanks for sharing with us!

    • Thanks for your comment, Andrea! I visited your blog through flickr last week and I was so impressed with your “skirt of many stitches”. It’s absolutely stunning! I’m definitely going to get my hands on one of the Alabama stitch books because of your project.

  3. I’m very new to sewing and I’m self-taught, but I always do a lot of research before a sewing project and never knew the pintucks were sewn with a double needle…. Can’t wait to try the double-needle version! THANK YOU for great information!

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