It’s time for the next installment in our Foot of the Month series, and this month we are going to talk about the Pintuck foot. Have you looked longingly at a beautiful blouse in a shop, or at a bag, thinking ‘I could make that’, and then discovered it had pintucks? I’ve done that, and I’ve usually dropped the thought as fast as it came into my head. Making pintucks in a traditional form are a bit scary. All that pressing, edge stitching, keeping it straight….there must be a better way……… But wait, there is!! The pintuck feet from Janome are amazing! And you can do so many neat things with them.
I started off with wanting to create an accent panel for a little bag that I am making, so I laid out some marking lines just as a reference point. This is important, because if your first line of pin tucking is crooked, all subsequent lines will also be crooked. I also recommend to have the approximate end dimensions of your pattern piece in mind, but do not cut it to the final dimensions until your pin tucking is complete.
So are you ready to try it? Let’s go.
First thing is to attach the foot onto your machine, which is super easy to do with the drop off feet system on most Janome models. Jnaome has TWO pin tuck feet: the N1 or wide 7 groove pin tuck foot and wide N2 foot with 9 grooves. Thse are available for both 7mm and 9mm wide stitch models in our Janome line of machines.
Next, switch out your single needle to the twin needle: You should have one in the needle pack that came with your machine. Don’t worry if you have never used it! After today, you will be reaching for it more often.
After you place your twin needle in securely and all the way up, you’ll need an additional spool of thread (or an extra wound bobbin) and a spool pin. If you don’t have the thread stand that complements your machine, don’t worry. There will be an additional spool pin amongst your standard accessories which came with your machine. Please have a look also at your manual for more instructions on attaching this extra spool pin. Once it’s in place, thread both needles of the twin needle, one at a time so the threads don’t get twisted in the tension discs of the threading process. Do NOT try to use the built-in needle threader for a twin needle. It will not work.
If you have the twin needle safety feature on your model, be sure to seelct this function as it will automatcially decrease the width of some stitches so that you do not break a needle or damage your foot or needle plate. If your machine has a Sewing Applications Menu, pick the “pintuck” option. This makes things even easier for you.
Now we are all set up for sewing. Place your fabric under the presser foot, and pull the thread tails to the back. Begin sewing, slowly at first, maintaining contact with your first marking line to ensure straight stitching. Go all the way to the end of the fabric, and then remove it from the machine. If you flip it over, you will see that the bobbin thread has pulled the two needle threads together, making a narrow fold of fabric between them.
To create multiple rows, there are channels or grooves on the bottom of the foot to guide the next row of pintucking. You can place the previously stitched pintuck right beside the next stitching line, or move it over to the very edge. There are no rules in pintuck placement! Close together or wider apart is your choice. Once you have your next row decided, repeat the sewing steps. After a few rows have been stitched you will see beautiful pintucks, that didn’t require pressing or fussing!
I usually like to include a video with words to describe the technique, but I have a terrible cold. So the video for this post will have no words but some text for you. Enjoy!