Let’s Play with Pin Tuck Feet – The 10 Minute Tissue Case Revisited

Pin Tuck Feet can take your sewing to a whole new level. Looking for ways to get the most out of your sewing machine? Let’s play with pin tucks …!

If you read my last post – The 10 Minute Tissue Case you will know just how easy it is to turn a few fabric remnants into something pretty – and useful.

Pin Tuck Feet give you the opportunity to turn your tissue case into something really special.  They can be used for all sorts of other sewing projects too – subscribe for future posts and you will find lots more inspiration in the coming months.

For now though, let’s start with the basics.

Bernina Pin Tuck Feet

My sewing machine is a Bernina 590, so the feet I am playing with today are made especially for that.  If you use a different machine, there will undoubtedly be equivalent feet available though, so I hope the examples below inspire you to explore what you can make your sewing machine do and to have fun playing with pin tucks.

There are a wide variety of textured effects you can create to make your sewing projects really stand out from the crowd.  It all depends what sort of effect you want to create.  Different feet each create different effects.

Did you know, for example,  that you can use pin tuck feet to make neat piping cord?

Pin Tuck Feet - Some Basics

Before we launch into detail, it is important to understand that pin tuck feet are used with a double needle.  The feet allow you to make pin tucks in a variety of widths and so you will need the right double needle to pair with each one.

Let’s explore some of the options available:

Pin Tuck Foot 33 - with a 1.6mm Double Needle

Using Foot 33 with a 1.6mm double needle creates the finest of pin tucks – great for very detailed work such as baby clothes/miniatures.

Pin Tuck Feet Bernina Foot 33
Pin Tuck Feet Bernina Foot 33 with 1.6mm double needle

Pin Tuck Foot 32 - with a 2.5mm Double Needle

Pin Tuck Feet Bernina Foot 32
Pin Tuck Feet Bernina Foot 32 - with a 2.5 mm double needle

For a slightly wider pin tuck you can use Pin Tuck Foot 32, which pairs with a 2.5 mm double needle.  This is superb for creating detail and texture on small projects – like a needle case.

Pin Tuck Foot 30 - with a 4mm Double Needle

Pin Tuck Foot 30 which pairs with a 4mm double needle creates a slightly wider pintuck which you can also insert a piping thread into the groove (see below) to give great texture.

Pin Tuck Feet Bernina Foot 30
Pin Tuck Feet Bernina Foot 30 - with a 4mm Double Needle

Pin Tuck Foot 46C - with a 2mm Double Needle

Pin Tuck Feet Bernina Foot 46C

Also available is a clear plastic Pin Tuck Foot 46C, which pairs with a 2 mm double needle.

This foot is lovely to work with because you can see through the foot as you sew.

The foot gives you a nice wide spacing for your pin tucks too which you can decorate with embroidery etc. if you choose to.

Pin Tuck Feet - Inserting Piping Thread

You can thread a strong, heavy weight thread through your machine to make you pin tuck stand out well.  Remove the needle plate and poke the thread up through the hole in the centre and clip the needle plate back into position.  The thread will feed through your pin tuck groove easily – but it helps to pull it from behind as you work to make sure it is encased by the stitching.

If your machine has a bobbin case open alert set, you need to toggle it off as you will want to leave the case open as you sew.

Pin Tuck Feet - Inserting Cording Thread
Pin Tuck Feet - Inserting Cording Thread

Pin Tuck Feet - Step by Step Instructions

  1. Thread a bobbin with the thread you want to use and place it on your second spool thread holder.
  2. Thread the machine with both threads together.
  3. You can’t use the automatic needle function with a double needle, so have your magnifying glass and needle threader to hand.  It’s a bit like parking a car without power assisted steering – somehow – we used to do it like this all the time?!
  4. Attach your Pin tuck foot.
  5. Remember to set your machine to recognise the new foot and the double needle.
  6. Hold all 4 threads as you start to sew to prevent any tangles.
  7. Complete the Pin tucks by moving the foot along your work, lining up each of the previous pin tucks in the grooves as you build them up.

Pin Tuck Feet - Tips and Tricks

Custom Order Duck Needle Threader
Hemline Duck Needle Threader

If you are using a double needle, then your automatic needle threader will obviously not work.  I find this little duck needle threader from Hemline really helpful for threading the double needle quickly.

A pair of tweezers is useful to keep handy by your machine too, so you can pull the thread through once it has gone through the eye of the needle.

Pin Tuck Feet - Right /Left Seam Guide
Pin Tuck Feet - Right /Left Seam Guide

You might also find a left and/or right seam guide handy.  You can attach it through the hole in the back of the foot and use it to align your pin tucks accurately – especially if you want to space them more widely than the grooves on the pin tuck foot you are using are set.

Pin Tuck Feet - Let's Get Really Creative!

Get creative.  If you feel like it, you can make curves rather than straight lines.

Or make some piping by simply feeding a narrow cord up through the bobbin door and through the hole in the needle plate (as shown for inserting a piping cord above)

Or why not have a go at creating the base for some hand smocking?

The Bernina video below is a great summary of what can be created with Pin Tuck Feet.

If you are looking for a good place to buy pin tuck feet, I can highly recommend Quilt Direct.

Not only do they have. wide selection of feet to choose from, they also have very knowledgeable sales assistants who helped me get my head around the complexities of pin tuck feet and pairing them with the right needles.

Join a Workshop

If you are local to Birmingham and interested in joining a workshop to make a tissue case, I am planning to run some “learn to sew” workshops soon as a fundraising initiative supporting Birmingham Hospice (the new name for St. Mary’s/John Taylor Hospices).  Contact me for further details.

Birmingham Hospice Logo

Creative Sewing - Other Posts You Might Like

If you enjoy creative sewing, you might also like these posts:

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