Happy July 4th!

I spent my Wednesday off catching up on sewing projects. Like the red pants I skinnified a few months ago, I hacked a black pair of trousers thinner today (hoping to get the “Audrey pant” look, but…. was not quite that successful). I finally got around to fixing a few minor things, like trimming tanktop sleeves or narrowing the arm-holes of some similarly sleeve-less things.

The major hack of the day however was pintucking a shirt that’s gotten slightly big on me. Maybe it was always big and didn’t bother me as much as it does now.

Adding pintucks seemed like a cute way to make it smaller around, compared to augmenting the tucks in the back or just sewing up the sides.

Luckily said shirt is striped.

I few weeks ago I shortened a skirt with polkadots and thought I wouldn’t need to actually mark the line I wanted to cut along, because I could connect the dots. It didn’t work that way… so, yay straight lines!

I’d read a how-to pintuck a year or so ago somewhere and didn’t bother to brush up before I started the project. It’s pretty straight forward. Just decide where you want the tuck, fold the shirt along that line, pin it (even with straight lines, one gets cross-eyed), and then sew.  (I bet you’re really supposed to iron the crease straight, except I would be liable to iron a giant wrinkle, so I did not bother) I placed the needle as close to the edge as possible. It took a few lines to internalize how slowly I had to sew to actually sew a straight line.

Also, it’s much easier to sew on along the edge of a colored stripe than a white one [with white thread] because I kept losing track of where I was sewing, until I waved into a colored stripe, of course.

I placed the tucks starting at where the chest-tuck ends to the bottom of the shirt. I put the shirt on after every line to see how the shirt was shrinking. It is not a drastic change.

I had a system of counting lines after the tuck to place the next line. I did three lines on the right-side of the shirt, then decided that I should see how narrow the shirt would be with three lines on the left before adding more.

So I sewed three lines down the left, with my trusty line-counting system.

Of course I did something wrong. The lines on the left came out much closer together than the ones on the right. OF COURSE.

(I think I hadn’t accounted that, for the right side [as in the photo] I was sewing new tucks with the old ones visible. To start at the top of the line on the left side, I was sewing with the old tucks on the underside, and should have counted more lines between tucks, the way I was folding them down. If that makes sense.)

Faced with the dilemma of “equal number of tucks but unequal width of pintucked shirt space” v “unequal number of tucks but equal width of pintucked shirt space,” after brief deliberation I chose the latter. The shirt looked really lopsided with the well-spaced tucks on one side and the bunched-together tucks on the other. And there was no way I was going to rip out all of those lines to redo them.

Since the shirt is so stripy, the tucks actually are more subtle than they would be on a non-striped shirt. Soooo can’t really tell that there are 5 lines down one side and just 3 down the other.


Well, if you can tell, I’ll just say it’s “designer.”