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Author Topic: What is a Growth Tuck?  (Read 6801 times)
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John Wickett
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« on: February 19, 2013, 06:44:46 AM »

OK, stupid question from John, No. 119,403:

I can sew grown men's stuff, but am starting an outfit for my li'l gal.  I understand that "tucks" are used on undergarments, petticoats, and skirts to allow garments to be used for a longer period of time, the tuck being let-out for growth.  I got the concept. 

But...
What does on LOOK like?
Any instructions for how to "make" a tuck?

Thanks!

John
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John Wickett
Sarah K.
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« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2013, 07:06:53 AM »

Hi John!

I'm sure an expert will come along shortly with some more detail, but here are some basics!  Grin

You are right, a growth tuck allows the skirt to "grow" with the child, since you can let out the tuck to make the skirt longer when it gets too short. The only problem you may encounter is that the inside/underside of the tuck won't fade at the same rate as the rest of the dress (if this is on an outer layer).

Tucks are also used in petticoat construction for adults, giving the petticoat more "poof" and also making it pretty!  Cheesy

Tucks are basically a horizontal fold of fabric. You keep it folded by sewing it. How much fabric you put into the fold will change the appearance (how "deep" the tuck is). This will also affect how much longer the dress will get when you "let out" the tuck (unpick the seam).
So, for instance, if you fold a horizontal section of fabric that is 3", then the tuck will be 1 1/2" deep. When you let it out again, then that tuck will give you 3" of length added to the dress. I'm not sure how clear that is, but I'm including a picture of my petticoat, which has a 3" hem and three 1 1/2" tucks (so they each contain 3" of fabric, making the skirt 9" shorter overall).

Instructions on how to sew them are in several other threads, such as this one (reply #47, hope I linked directly to it): http://thesewingacademy.org/index.php?topic=4067.msg63308#msg63308.

Here's my very basic tucked petticoat:



Again, many others here have done beautiful tucked petticoats, so searching for "tucked petticoat" or looking in the underwear brag thread should help you find more pictures! They also discuss different tuck depths and groupings (not necessary, but they make it pretty). More narrower tucks means finer control over how much you let out each time; fewer deeper tucks means you get more of a jump in length each time.

-Sarah
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Ms. Jean
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« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2013, 07:08:17 AM »


Disclaimer: I am an Expert Soccer Mom  Cool

However, my tuck directions have been endorse by the real Clothing Experts.

As an adult, I generally tuck petticoats using this method:

Hem the skirt/petticoat

Put masking tape parallel to the presser foot of your sewing machine, marking the width of your tuck away from the needle.  1/2 inch is good for grown-ups, for an itty bitty person 1/4 inch.

Place the skirt/petticoat on the ironing board, wrong side out.

Turn back the right side on the grain line and press your tuck around the skirt.  Use a ruler or make a cardboard guide for spacing.  Match the seams & keep everything straight!

Sew the first tuck, using your masking tape guide to keep the stitching straight.

Return to the ironing board & iron the first tuck flat.

Repeat for an odd number of tucks.

Now you have to do some math before hemming, you'll need an additional 1" of length for each 1/2 inch tuck, additional 1/2" for each 1/4" tuck, etc.  IIRC for girl's skirts, sometimes the tucks are wider & more decorative?  Multiple tucks in a petticoats hold starch & support the skirt.


By all means, wait for more voices to chime in, particularly those with experience sewing for children.
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Ms. Jean
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« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2013, 07:10:08 AM »

Ms. Jean, you are the one I linked to!  Cheesy Your post was so clear that I remembered it. Great instructions!
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John Wickett
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« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2013, 08:00:31 AM »

Brilliant!  Thank you!

I presume the same process is used on the legs of li'l gals' drawers?

Thanks, again!
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John Wickett
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« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2013, 09:31:58 AM »


You may need to sew tucks in drawer legs by hand!

The length addition & pressing works the same way.  Hope you have a sleeve board!

Jean
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Ms. Jean
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« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2013, 01:27:41 PM »

If you are working on the underclothes now, it will be a little while before you get to the dress. But to help you plan ahead a bit, I'll put in my two cents. Smiley

Here is an image of the tucks in a printed cotton, girl's dress. Please disregard the fabric pattern, as I don't think it's correct. Amazingly I don't have an image of my girl's in just their tucked dresses. I always make them wear an apron that covers their skirts.



I'm just showing this image to illustrate how the tucks look on a dress skirt. I generally make the bodice of the dress and then use all the remaining fabric for the skirt. I just keep adding tucks until the skirt comes to the proper length. All of our outgrown dresses go into a lending trunk and you never know how tall and thin the next child will be.

Five 1/2 inch tucks, when let down will give you 5 inches of extra length. Five 1 inch tucks will give 10 extra inches when let down. I generally do the 1 inch tucks on my girl's clothes. (My girls are 8 and 14)
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Elizabeth
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« Reply #7 on: February 22, 2013, 04:39:38 PM »

Yes, same process on drawers hems. Unless they're baby-sized, you'll be able to get the leg onto the sewing machine arm without a problem, so they can be machine stitched.
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Regards,
Elizabeth
John Wickett
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« Reply #8 on: June 19, 2013, 05:53:53 AM »

A follow up on our tuck talk:
I decided to follow Liz's instructions for tucks on the petticoat "as is".  I added 3x 1" tucks and the petticoat falls about mid-calf.  I figured I'd do the tucks in her drawers after the dress is finished so I could get everything "just so".

Thanks for the great information and help!
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John Wickett
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« Reply #9 on: June 20, 2013, 07:54:37 PM »

I cannot wait to see Miss Wickett all splendid and lovely!
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Elizabeth
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« Reply #10 on: June 21, 2013, 06:51:59 AM »

Ditto Mrs. Clark!  Smiley
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