Fun and Easy Pintucking with a Serger

Master sewist and queen of the serger, Angela Wolf, is here to show you a very fun and very creative use for your serger: pintucking! Pintucking is an excellent way to add decoration and embellishments to a range of different shirts. Angela Wolf has a new online sewing class here at Bluprint called Creative Serging: Beyond the Basics. But many of our sewing Bluprint members are already familiar with Angela from her other online sewing class Tailoring Ready to Wear.

Hi I’m Angela Wolf and I’m a sewing instructor on Today I’m going to show you how easy it is to do pintucking with a serger. Pintucking is similar to this, like what you see on little girls’ shirts but you can do more than that. You can decorate pockets, you can manipulate fabric before you cut out a jacket. It’s just really fun and when you see how easy this is you’re going to love it.

It’s with a serger so the first thing you need to do is grab your manual. And every serger is different so I’ll show you how I set mine up but yours might be a little bit different- you have to set it up for a rolled hem. OK, in order to set up my machine I’m using the far right needle in the serger. So I’ve taken out the left needle which is very easy to do. I’m dis-engaging my cutter, which is very easy to do. Every machine is different, so just use your manual if you don’t know how to do that. I’ve set my stitch width to five or “R” which is rolled hem. And then my tension dials, the far left needle I don’t need. This is the right needle, which is set at four, which is my standard setting. And the upper looper and the lower looper are both set at four which is my standard setting for my machine. So just your standard setting. This is a great way to start because you’re going to sew a couple test strips first. And then depending upon where this is on your machine, this is my stitch length, which I have set to “R”. And I might adjust it to two or three but for this sample I’m going to set it to “R” which is rolled hem. And my differential feed is set at one, which is standard.

So, in order to do this pintuck you have a few different options. Here’s pintucking real narrow. Now I just ran these through real quickly but I probably would straighten them out a little bit more. This would be for a little girl’s shirt or like I mentioned you could do a little pocket- anything like that. But it’s your choice how wide you want these. Like these are a little but farther. So decide what design you’re going to do and then you take your fabric and you simply just, a quilter’s ruler is the best because you can see right through it, and here I have lines one inch apart. So I just mark a line and then move it over an inch, just to make it easy. Now when you mark your fabric there are different markings- I either use wax chalk or clay chalk depending on your fabric. Now wax, test a little swatch and make sure that when you press it that you don’t leave a mark. Or you can use pens, and there’s air erasable and there’s water erasable. But just remember the air erasable disappears in 24 hours, so if you’re not going to get back to your project soon try the water erasable. So I’ve marked all these and then, the next step is to press them which I’ve already done. And I pressed this with steam. Use a clapper so you end up with a really nice crisp crease and that’s it!

And now we’re going to go to the serger and I’m just going to slide this in. Now there’s a couple things here. You could use what they call a blind hem foot which is an additional attachment. But for here I’m just going to show you an easy way to do it yourself. You don’t have the knife engaged so you don’t have to worry about cutting the fabric. But you do have to be careful of how far over your fabric is. So on each serger, there’s some type of a line, right here, that would line up right where your knife would be. So I’m going to just slide my fabric right along that line. And that’s the guide I’m going to use. And again, you’re going to test a sample before you stitch your entire garment.

And I’m just going to stitch. And I’m not even looking up here, I’m looking back here that my fabric lines up right here with this. This is very easy. I’m using just regular thread here but you could use a rayon thread, a nylon, a decorative thread, anything like that would be really fun. Look at how nice that looks and you can press it to one side and I’ll do this all the way around. This actually looks really good. Now if you wanted to change your stitch you could lengthen it, make a little bit wider- whatever you want. But atleast this will get you started on pintucking.

For more tips on how to use your serger beyond what you normally do, check out my class on And come on back to the Bluprint blog on Thursday for another great serging tip from Angela.

Learn more about Angela here; then tune back in to the Crafsy blog this Thursday for another great tip from her!

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