Yes, using the Cover Stitch machine for pin tucks.   I used pin tucks extensively at my Bernina 1630. They were always a problem.  The threads would insist upon twisting, despite my careful threading and using both sides of the take up lever (the recommended solution). I used them anyway, because I simply love the effect.  I primarily used the 2 and  4mm pin tucks.  I have the entire range of twin needles but rarely use other than the 2.0 or 4.0. I either want something with a little texture or a lot. The 1mm didn’t seem worth the effort; 2.5 or 3 didn’t seem to be much different. So I used the 2mm and if i wanted a lot of texture, I pulled out my 4mm twin needle.  Why is this important?  Well I wanted to try pintucks with the cover stitch.  It seemed like a perfect setup.  The CS provides 2 completely separate thread paths which should eliminate the thread crossing issue I always struggled with. But I wasn’t sure that the 5mm pin tuck, the only width available on my 900CPX would be satisfactory. It’s definitely more texture than any of the twin needles I’ve previously used.

I chose to use the  Otto’s Basic Tank pattern. I’m still tweaking the fit and it seems like a no-brainer to me that adding a little embellishment would make the project more interesting.

For fabric I chose to use a cotton jersey with 50% stretch.  This is a light weight jersey which made it into my stash by virtue of it’s beautiful rich blue color. Seriously, this fabric was a pain. The combination of light weight and single knit, produces a fabric which curls madly or should that be madenly. It was enough to pull hair.

I wanted pin tucks, but didn’t want a single row or even straight rows of pin tucks.   I decided upon a curved design I’d first seen (long long ago) in the “Sewing Update” Newletter dated Nov/Dec 1996. The Newletter is defunct but the ideas presented and this design in particular are timeless.


The original design was formed using serger spaghetti –long runs of 4-thread serger stitching made off the fabric.  I did not copy this design exactly. But rather allowed myself to be inspired by it.

I was limited on fabric and chose to test on a weight of jersey similar to my chosen fabric.  I cut a rectangle 10×12″ and sat down at the CS to experiment. In the needles, I’m decided upon using Polyester Embroidery Thread (Marathon color 2045) because I wanted a rich, shiny color that color matched some glass bead in my stash.  I tested with single strands or thread but wanted more impact.  I loaded 2 bobbins and put them in the BobNSerge. I threaded 2 threads through each needle to get the desired look.  I changed the looper thread to a  wooly nylon.  It stretches while stitching and then draws together when the stitch is complete. This makes a  tight pin tuck which stands up nicely.

During my samples I was mostly anxious about how the CS would handle the curves and how much the pin tucking would affect the size of fabric.  I started all stitching on the upper right hand side. This caused that edge to pull downward. Otherwise, the sample’s shape wasn’t greatly affected.  I was still concerned, though. I chose to chalk the outline of the front pattern piece upon a largish rectangle of fabric and then add 1 inch to the height of the right shoulder.

I chalked curved lines within the tank top’s chalked outline until I was satisfied with the design.

At the CS, I stitched following the chalked design lines starting not at what would be the garments shoulder but at the mark  1″ higher. I do mean I followed the lines.  I put the center guide onto the clear foot and steered it right down the chalked line.

Repeat until all done, spray starch and lightly press from the wrong side.

Still concerned about the pin tucks affecting shape, I placed my pattern tissue back on top of the fabric and outlined the full tank top again before trimming with my rotary cutter.

After that it was mostly standard construction.  I did use my 1-1/4″ binder to finish the neckline and armscyes. This jersey was a pain, twisting and curling despite it’s 3 coats of spray starch. I also hemmed  using the CS.Since this jersey wanted to curl badly, I pre-pressed the hem and used Steam A Seam to secure the hem in place. I used the JHG,  putting the folded hem edge underneath the front guide and just up against the same.

When I started, I envisioned hand sewing little beads onto the design and left the beading until the last. At which point I asked, “Who am I kidding?”.  Truth is when I secure beads and stuff to fabric which my hand stitching, they all come loose.  These are glass beads which I truly wished not to lose.  So when I was all done, instead of some hand stitching, I put sheets of paper between front and back and used E6000 to glue the little suckers into place.   I have pictures on me, this tank is fitting me really good, but I wanted to show off those beads and the pin tucking, so I’m sharing pictures on Mimie.

I think it is gorgeouuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuus.

My Thoughts:  I wish I had purchased the 1000CPX just for  pin tucking. Pin tucks on the CS are wonderfully easy. No problems with twisting threads or anything.   Having a 2.5 and a 5mm wide pin tuck would have been good enough for me 99% of the time.  I did not test tightly curled/curved pin tucks (I have future post about making right angle turns with the CS). I rarely use a tightly curled design element.  I do love how easy it is to choose either a wide flat ending or form a point by pull the threads to the back side and knotting  all tightly together.


Whats In the CookBook

The Sample plus pics and setting of finished project.

This entry was posted in Embellishments, Project. Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to PinTucks

  1. Wow Bev – that truly is gorgeouuuus! I hadn’t consider the CS for pin tucking. I really need some play time. Well done. You truly are an inspiration.

  2. ejvc says:

    Very pretty, Bev. I am really enjoying this blog!

  3. Becky says:

    Beautiful! What a brilliant idea!

  4. Sharon says:

    Bev you are amazing me with what we can do with the CS machines, thank you so much and love your tank!

  5. lyn says:

    Thank you so much for all the wonderful information

  6. Kathryn says:

    Wow what a kewl idea and a great use for the coverhem machine. Great job!

  7. Karen says:

    Wow, I love this! I only got my 1000CP a little while ago, and haven’t done a lot of playing with it. I had no idea you could do this with a coverstitch machine, great instructions. Thanks! K


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