Sunday, February 21, 2010

Itsy-bitsy-teeny-tiny tucks

I started a new project of re-creating a sweet baby dress, last week and I am "sew" excited about it!  There's just something about Vintage baby garments that inspire me to re-create them! I have an absolutely adorable little dress that was mine when I was a baby. I hate to age myself, but I guess my little dress would qualify for "vintage" since it's from the 1950's. The interesting story behind my little dress is that my mother got it when she was pregnant for her 1st baby, who turned out to be a boy, so the dress was stashed away for a future baby girl. It took three boys before my mom had me, so that little dress ended up being stashed away for 9 years!! It's the only baby dress of mine that I still have. I am sorry to say that I don't have any pictures of me wearing the little white dress, but I sure enjoy having it displayed in my sewing room.  
I am going to keep you a little in suspense of what the dress looks like right now, but I will share bits and pieces of how I am re-creating it. I little clue to the style is in the pattern I am using to re-create it.
I am using this pattern from The Old Fashioned Baby 
What I love about my baby dress is the tucks on the front and back of the dress. What amazes me about the tucks is that they all were done by hand! These tucks are so tiny, I just love them! 
My re-created dress will not have handmade tucks, but are made by machine and are ohhh soooo tiny!
You maybe wondering just how do you make such itsy-bitsy-teeny-tiny tucks....keep reading because I am going to give you a short tutorial on how to make them!
In my attempt to re-create this dress as close as possible to the original, I marked where my lines of tucks will be on the front of the dress with a water-soluble pen.
On my Bernina Artista 200, I set my stitch to the straight stitch and moved my needle to the 1st position to the right of center. 
I folded and pressed my fabric on the line that I had drawn for my first tuck. Using my #10 foot, which has a blade down the center, I butted the fold snug to the blade.
Here is the first tuck stitched - my first itsy-bitsy-teeny-tiny tuck - isn't it cute?!
The next step is to flatten out the fabric, and press the tuck.
For the 2nd tuck, you will fold the fabric back. I am not sure what the measurement is because I was eye-balling all my tucks. I folded the fabric back and pressed it.
Once again, butt that fold right up snug to the blade and follow the blade the whole length of the tuck you are sewing.
Bring fabric back to front and press tuck.
Continue making as many tucks as you want by folding fabric back desired distance from previous tuck, press, then butt the fold up to the blade of your foot and straight stitch the length of the tuck. Bring the fabric back to the front and press. 
The depth of your tuck is determined by where you set your needle. I want itsy-bitsy-teeny-tiny tucks on my dress, so I have the needle position set to the 1st dot - to make wider tucks just move the needle to another position! That's really all there is to it. I hope I have inspired you to try making some tucks! 
Stay tuned - more revealing of the re-creation of my baby dress follows in future blog entries!


Lois said...

Laurie..."How Beautiful!" I know that you are having fun making a reproduction of your baby dress! I have one my mother made for me hanging in my sewing room too. Mine is a little more vintage than yours...dates to the late 40's! Oh, my...anyway, it also has teeny tiny tucks on it and it was made totally by hand. Mother gave it to me a couple of years ago...when she gave it to me, she said looking at it now (she is now 97), she couldn't believe that she had made it! It is beautiful...the hand of the fabric is just so soft.

Have fun recreating! I can't wait to see your finished dress!

Sara said...

What a gret tutorial on tiny tucks!!!! I always "labor" over these things and I know this will help me!!!
I can't wait to see your recreaction of your dress!!! that has given me an idea. I don't have any of my dressess but I do have one of my dad's and I think I will try to recreate it!!! Can't wait to see yours!!!

April said...

Pintucks are my absolute FAVORITE!!!! It was always the vintage little batiste gowns that made me such an adorer of them.

Setting your stitch length to about 20 stitches per inch will also bring more accent to your lovely little tucks. It virtually hides your stitches in the fabric weave.

Great tutorial - I love it!

julia said...

I, too, love tucks. Lovely!

Karen Valentine said...

Hi Laurie,
Thanks so much for coming over and entering my giveaway. I am just blown away by everyone's heartfelt responses! Its a wonderful thing to be able to share our passions and our sorrows with so many like minded women. I feel like I
have friends all over the world and I am happy to count you among them. Have a wonderful week!!

My Desert Cottage

RebeccaMozo said...

i am a new grandmother to be and i am so excited to do some heirloom sewing. Where can i find the rest of this blog/


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