This section is from the book "Clothing For Women: Selection, Design, Construction", by Laura I. Baldt. Also available from Amazon: Clothing For Women: Selection, Design, Construction.
Tucks give variety to design; they may be wide or narrow and turned to or from the center; interesting effects may be secured by varying the widths of the tucks, by grouping them, or placing them in masses. They may be used as decoration in shirtwaists, blouses, corset covers, chemises, night-dresses, petticoat and drawers ruffles, and lingerie dresses. The width and arrangement of tucks will depend upon the type of garment upon which they are to be applied. Fine, or thread tucks, are suitable for corset covers, chemises, night-dresses and lingerie blouses. Broad tucks suggest more tailored effects, therefore are excellent for shirtwaists. In considering the figure for which tucks are being designed, it is to be remembered that tucks turning from the front have a broadening effect, while those that turn toward the center seem to contract the figure. If tucks are placed only in the front of a waist, do not let them extend beyond the lower curve of the neck, and if only in center back, keep them within the neck curve. Tucks that carry to the shoulder seam should repeat on the same lines in the back, the folds matching on the seam. To measure tucks, follow the directions given on p. 400.
Using the strips of paper upon which box plaits have been designed, measure and crease tucks of such widths and variations as seem appropriate to the kind of waist for which the front openings have been planned.
Using striped paper or striped cotton material, design tucks that will make a pleasing arrangement of the stripes.
The rule for measuring tucks will also apply to measuring side plaits, but the process of basting is different. Tucks are basted through two thicknesses of cloth, holding the cloth between the fingers. Plaits are laid flat and basted through three thicknesses of cloth (Fig. 64A).
To lay box plaits, mark a line for the center of the first plait. On both sides of this line, measure from the line one-half the width of the box plait, for the fold; crease; from this fold, measure once the width of the plait for the line to which the fold of the plait is to be laid; from the line just marked, measure once the width of the plait, crease and lay the fold to the line just marked. Measure from this fold once the width of the plait; crease for the fold of the plait. This completes the plait; repeat until the required number is laid (Fig. 645).
Very full effects are secured by laying a narrow box plait and then a wider one directly under the first. The effect of both single and double box plaits (simulated box plaits) is secured by folding plaits of less widths (Fig. 64(7).