How to use the Pintuck Foot

The Pintuck Foot is a special foot which is used to create raised ‘tucks’ in the fabric. Traditionally, this technique is used to embellish heirloom garments but today you can often see pintucks on table or bed linens and fashion items. The Pintuck Foot works in conjunction with a narrow twin needle. The best results come from lightweight fabrics such as batiste, voile, silk, and organdy.
This foot has a series of evenly spaced grooves on the underside, which not only keep the tucks from being flattened as each row is sewn, but they ensure that each row sews perfectly parallel to the last. After the first tuck is sewn, the grooves are used as guides for the subsequent rows of stitching.

  1. Attach a Pintuck Foot. Remove the standard needle and insert a twin needle.
  2. A Singer Twin Needle, NG2025-80, in a narrow width (3mm.) is recommended. 
  3.  Thread the machine with 2 spools of thread – one spool on the standard spool pin and the other on the auxiliary spool pin or thread stand. 
Singer Pintuck Foot 2
  1. Thread both threads together though the machine’s thread path, until reaching the needle. 
  2. Place one thread into the eye of the right needle and the other thread into the eye of the left needle. Set the machine for a straight stitch with a medium stitch length.

Tip: Before sewing on the project itself, it’s always a good idea to experiment by sewing on a piece of scrap fabric first. Try using spray starch for a better result. Slight adjustments may need to be made to the upper thread tension and length setting of the stitch. Increasing the upper thread tension will create a more pronounced tuck in the fabric.

  • Prepare your fabric by marking the stitching line using a fabric marking tool and a ruler or stencil. Pintucks can be made in a straight line or slightly wavy lines depending on the look you are wanting to achieve.
Singer Pintuck Foot 3
  1. Once the fabric is marked, place the fabric under the foot, aligning the line on the fabric under the center groove of the foot. 
  2. Begin sewing, holding the fabric slightly taut. When you are finished sewing the first row, move the fabric over and place the first tucked row in the desired groove foot. The first sewn pintuck served as a guide for the next pintuck to be sewn. Sew the second row, keeping the first tuck under the groove of the foot. This ensures perfect parallel rows of pintucks.
  3. There are several grooves in the pintuck foot which allows you to space the rows in different widths. Try making pintucks really close together by aligning the first groove next to the center of the foot on the first pintuck you’ve sewn. Or for a variation, use one of the other grooves. Also experiment with contrasting thread colours for a more pronounced effect.

Sewing Inspiration
Adding Texture with a Pintuck Foot

Create Interesting Fabric Texture
– Embellish fabrics with interesting combinations of Pintucks. Experiment with intersecting lines and other configurations to create one of a kind looks for table linens, quilts, pillows and garments… the possibilities are really endless! Try some of these ideas for your projects or come up with your own, let your creativity flow!

Texture Printed Fabric with a Pintuck FootTexture Printed Fabric Too – Add a three dimensional texture to printed fabrics. Choose fabrics that have a lot of blank space to the background to ensure that the pintucks will be seen the best.

Adding texture to Knit Fabrics with a Pintuck Foot
Texture on Knit Fabric – You wouldn’t typically think of adding pintucks to knit fabrics, but pintucks can add a fabulous detail to a knit dress, shirt or cuff of a sleeve. Use these tucks to create a drawn in or tapered effect in these areas. Choose a thinner, better quality of knit fabric for best results. You may need to experiment with the stitch length and the upper thread tension to create the look you are after. 

Combining Pintucks with Decorative Stitching
Combine Pintucks with Decorative Stitching – Today’s machines come equipped with beautiful decorative stitch patterns. Accentuate them by adding a three dimensional border on either side of the stitch patterns. Combine rows of stitching and pintucks to create texture for many types of projects.

Corded Pintucks
Corded Pintucks – Adding a thin cord under the fabric when creating pintucks will give a solid structure or base to the tuck which makes it sturdier. Try using a fabric that is sheer with a contrasting cord colour, to create a “shadow” effect to the pintuck.
To sew over the cord, place the fabric under the foot. Place the cord under the middle groove Pull the cord so that it extends out of the back of the foot, keeping a little tension on the cord in the front of the foot. This can be a little tricky getting this started, but once you have the cord positioned correctly, the cord should follow under the groove quite nicely.

Button Covers with a Pintuck Foot
Button Covers – Make fun buttons for your projects! Self-covered button kits are available in a variety of sizes and shapes. Embellish fabric scraps with pintucks before applying to the button cover. Try different combinations of pintucks for unique effects.