I love adding texture to flat fabric. One of my favorite ways to do this is by stitching double needle pintucks. I’m working on an embellishment project, and I created a diagonal grid with pintucks. Add this technique to quilt blocks, pillow fronts, purses, and to almost any other type of project.
To do this, you’ll need a pintuck presser foot (most machines have this available as an optional accessory). You can recognize a pintuck foot by the grooves on the bottom of the foot. The size of one groove is the size of the finished pintuck. You’ll also need a double needle with two spools of thread.
Double Needle Compatibility
The distance between the two needles should coordinate with the size of the grooves on the sole of the pintuck foot. Place the double needle on the sole of the foot. The needles should fit side by side in adjacent grooves.
Pintucks may be stitched with or without cord. I almost always use cord because it adds structure and body to the tucks. A narrow cord such as crochet cotton or perle cotton works for this. I use the pintuck cording attachment on my BERNINA machine but if you are using another brand, check with your local machine store to see how you can add cord to your pintucks. The BERNINA attachment secures to the bed of the machine and holds the cord in place as you stitch.
Threading with Two Threads
Threading the machine for a double needle is almost the same as for a single needle. The only difference is at the tension disc. Place one thread to the right of the disc and one to the left. After that, hold the two threads in one hand and thread in the usual way. When you get to the needles, place one thread in the eye of each needle. The needle threader on your machine doesn’t work with double needles so you’ll need to thread them manually.
Once the machine is set up for pintucks, you sew in the usual way and the presser foot does all the work. This is one of those techniques that makes you look like a perfect precision stitcher but it’s really knowing which foot to use that makes it easy! I used a guide that attaches to the BERNINA foot to make my spacing consistent. First, using a straight stitch, sew a series of pintucks in one diagonal direction…
and then stitch a second series in the opposite diagonal direction.
Making pintucks is easier than it looks. I encourage you to try it the next time you want to add texture to your fabric!