A tuck is a plait in a fabric or garment, held in place by stitches; it is frequently one of a series laid parallel.

Nothing more completely spoils the appearance of a garment than crooked tucks; therefore in elementary work a paper measure is advisable in order to make the tucks exact in width and space. This measure is sometimes called a gauge.

Tucks are used either by way of decoration, or in order to dispose of extra material in a garment, with the expectation of letting it out as the wearer grows or the fabric shrinks.

The size varies very much, according to taste, as well as to the special needs of the garment.

In cutting out garments, keep in mind the fact that each tuck requires twice its depth with once that amount to rest on.

The space between the tucks depends largely on the thickness of the fabric. For ordinary muslin, the space is frequently made one-half the width of the tuck.

Make an odd rather than an even number of tucks; for instance, make three, five, or seven; not two, four, or six.

When used in groups with space, use an uneven number of tucks and make the space correspond to the width of the group.

Tucks are sometimes made lengthwise and sometimes across the cloth, and always on the right side of the garment.

Materials. - The materials required are: A practice piece of bleached muslin seven inches wide and eighteen inches long, tucks to be made directly above the hem; needles, "sharps" ; cotton ; scissors; ruler or tape measure; a piece of stiff paper or cardboard.

1.   Make a measure or gauge by folding a piece of paper (so that it will have a stiff edge) three-fourths of an inch wide and five inches long.

2.   From the end of the paper, mark with a dot the width of the tuck.

3.   Make a second dot the width of the tuck plus the space below the first dot.

4.   Make at each dot a straight cut, and from that cut an oblique one. See Illustration No. 77.

5.   Hold the right side of the material towards you.

6.   Place the second straight cut of the measure to the sewing of the hem.

7.   Crease by the top of the measure.

8.   After creasing all the way across, bring the measure back to the right-hand edge and test the correctness of the turn, and at the same time baste under the first straight

ILL. 77. - Gauge or Measure Used in Marking Tucks.


9. Baste with uneven basting. See Illustration No. 78.

10.   Sew, below the basting, with running stitches.

11.   Take out the basting stitches.

12.   In making a second tuck, place the second straight-cut to the sewing of the first tuck and proceed as before.

13.   If an occasional backstitch is used, the tuck should be basted and sewed on the upper side.

Mistakes Likely to Occur in Tucking.

1.   Space between tucks uneven.

2.   Tucks run on upper side.

3.   Width of tuck not suitable for the garment.

4.   Tucks overlapped.


Ill. 78.—Position of the Measure while the Tucks are Basted.