Tutorial: How to add pin tucks to any pattern.

Pin tucks are a great way to personalize a pattern.  I have a simple tutorial to help you add them to any pattern you have in your stash.  From bodices to skirts to pockets, pin tucks are one of my favorite way to add interest to garment.

To begin with, you’ll want to figure out how many tucks you want to include.  Then you you’ll have to measure your pattern piece and run some simple math before you can cut out your rectangle.

Number of pin tucks times width of pin tucks + Bodice Width + 2= width of rectangle
Bodice Height + 2 = Height of rectangle

This tutorial is for 1/2″  tucks so I’ll use the math for that.  So, my bodice is 12″  wide and I’ve decided that I want 4 pin tucks on my bodice.  That’s 4×1/2 + 12 +2 = 16.  My bodice was 11″  high so, my final rectangle will be 16″ x 11″.  I like to add a couple of extra inches in to help make up for any measuring errors later.


1.   Fold the fabric down the center, wrong sides together to find the center and mark it with a pin or dotted line. Measure 1/2” from the center and place a mark. Measure 1/2” the other direction from the center. Each line marked will be a pleat. For each additional pleat measure 3/4” from the previous line. My tutorial has 4 pleats. If you have 6 pleats, there will be 3 lines on each side of the 1″ center part.


2.  Carefully fold your fabric along the first line and iron. Sew 1/4” from the edge of the fold. Sew with the middle of the bodice showing on the top (opposite what’s shown here). Using lots of steam, iron the pleat away from the center.


3.   Fold along the next line and stitch it the same way. You may need to fold the previous pleat out of the way to keep from stitching it. Repeat these steps for all remaining pleats. If desired, add lace now.



4.   Trace the bodice front pattern onto this pleated piece of fabric using the original dashed/pinned center to make sure that the pattern piece is centered. Cut out the front bodice piece.


Now you have a beautifully pleated bodice/skirt/pocket/whatever it is you’ve embellished!  Continue constructing your garment according to your pattern and go show it off to world!

3 Replies to “Tutorial: How to add pin tucks to any pattern.”

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