Sewing - Fullness | 11th Textiles and Dress Designing : Chapter 12 : Basic Sewing

Chapter: 11th Textiles and Dress Designing : Chapter 12 : Basic Sewing


Fullness is done to shape a garment. It also aids in garment fitting.




Fullness is done to shape a garment. It also aids in garment fitting. It adds inter-esting design details in a garment. For ease of movement and comfort fullness is introduced in garments. There are various types of fullness. Some of most common types of fullness are darts, tucks, pleats and gathers.



Dart is a triangular fold which acts as an essential part in dress making. It shapes a flat piece of fabric to fit into natural curves of the body in bust area, armhole, neckline and waist.

They are mostly used in women’s garment. They play a major role while designing dress and cannot be ignored. While preparing darts, stitching should start from the broad edge of the dart and move towards of the tip of the dart. Darts are normally done before a garment is stitched. It helps in making the garment more fitted.

There are two types of darts namely,

·           Single pointed dart

·           Double pointed dart


Single Pointed Dart

Single pointed dart is also called as stan-dard dart (or) half dart. These darts are in triangular shape, wider at one end, and narrower on the other end (Figure 12.7).

Method of Sewing Single Pointed Dart

·           Transfer points where darts are to be sewn

·           Fold the fabric right side facing

·           Start machining from the wide end and taper till the tip

·           Pivot the end

·           Fastened the threads at the tapering end

Uses :

Single point dart is used in blouse, skirts, pants, frocks and kameez.


Double Pointed Dart

Double pointed dart is also called as full dart. These darts are pointed at both the ends and are wider at the middle. While stitching / using double pointed dart on thick fabric trim the edges.

Method of Sewing Double Pointed Dart

·           Transfer points where darts are to be sewn.

·           Fold the fabric right sides facing.

·           Start machining from the wider end to the narrow end of one tip.

·           Repeat for the other end by overlap-ping a few stitches at centre.

·           Slash at its midpoints to give a smooth fit over the curve of the body.

·           Pivot the end.

·           Press the dart neatly.


Double pointed dart is used in bodice of plain blouse and kameez.



Tuck is a fold in a fabric which is stitched down to add fullness to the garment. They help in shaping a garment and they should be in even width. Tucks can be done on the right side or wrong side of the gar-ment depending whether it is used for decorative (or) functional purpose. They create a decorative element which can also add fullness to a garment. In fine and deli-cate fabric they look more attractive. They should be evenly spaced.

The different types of tucks are namely,

·           Pin tuck.

·           Cross tuck.

·           Piped tuck.

·           Shell tuck.


Pin Tuck

Pin tucks are fine narrow fold of about 0.25 cm sewn from top to bottom. They can be stitched in single (or) in group. It is mostly used for decorative purpose hence done on specific area of the garment like the yoke of a frock (Figure 12.8).

Method of Sewing Pin Tucks

·           Mark the places where pin tucks have to be sewn.

·           Fold the first line and stitch near the fold leaving less than 0.25 cm.

·           Repeat the same procedure for sub-sequent line.

·           Cut / trim the extra threads.

·           Care should be taken to mark the pin tucks with even spacing.


Pin tucks are usually worked on kids gar-ments, ladies dresses, yokes and shirt for decorative purpose.


Cross Tuck

Cross tucks are similar to pin tucks which are sewed both on crosswise direction and in lengthwise direction forming a checked effect (Figure 12.9).

Method of Sewing Cross Tucks

·           Mark the points where cross tucks are to sewed.

·           Stitch the pin tuck in vertical direc-tion by folding the fabric for about 0.25 cm.

·           Then draw lines in horizontal direction

·           Sew pin tucks in crosswise direction also

·           Trim the loose threads


Cross tucks are used to decorate ladies and kids wear and household linens(curtain, table cloth). They create pleasing effect on yokes, pockets and larger areas.


Piped (or) Cord Tuck

Piped or cord tucks are tucks made by plac-ing a cord at the edge of the fold (on the wrong side). A row of stitches are made close to the cord. The stiffness of the tucks will depend on the type of cord used. The cords used can be of any thickness (Figure 12.10).

Method of Sewing Piped or Cord Tuck

·           Mark the places where piped tuck is necessary. They can be stitched in equal distance or can be grouped.

·           Place a cord on the wrong side and stitch near the cord, overlapping the cord such that the cord is inside a tube like structure.

·           Repeat the process wherever necessary

·           Cut the excess thread


Cross tucks are used in children’s gar-ments to produce stiffness.


Shell or Scalloped Tuck

Shell or scalloped tucks resemble blanket stitch and produce a scalloped effect on the garment (Figure 12.11).

Method of Sewing Shell Tucks

·           Fold the edge to 0.25 cm.

·           Mark and pin 0.5 cm apart to make sure that scallops are of equal width.

·           Start with 2 or 3 running stitch till the pin.

·           Do overcastting stitch by pulling the thread to create a scallop effect.

·           Repeat the process till the end.

·           Cut the excess thread.


Shell or scalloped tucks are used on deli-cate fabric, lingerie, in children garment and in night wear, around armhole and necklines.



Pleats are folds in a garment done on the waistline of skirts, yokes and sleeves at equal distance to release fullness. Pleats are done on top and fall neatly to the bot-tom of fabric. The material required to make a pleat is three times the size of a finished pleat. They are normally about 2.5 to 5 cm. They create eye movement and can be used as style detail. The effect of pleat varies depending on the fabric used. The depth of pleat depends on the weight of fabric and the effect required.

The different types of pleats are :

·           Knife pleat.

·           Box pleat.

·           Inverted pleat.

·           Accordion pleat.

·           Sun ray pleat.

·           Pinch pleat.

·           Kick pleat.

The most commonly used pleats are ex-plained below :


Knife Pleat

Knife pleat are usually about 2.5 to 3 cm width. Knife pleats are folds made by a row of stitch in same direction, generally at the top where the pleats start. They can be used continuously, grouped (5 or 6) or can be used as a single pleat. They form a sharp edge at the top and then flare out (Figure 12.12).

Method of Sewing a Knife Pleat

·           Mark lines where fold has to be made.

·           Fold along the marked line.

·           Pin and sew along the marked line.

·           Remove pin and cut the excess threads.

Uses :

Knife pleat is used in ordinary skirt, pants and frock.


Box Pleat :

Two knife pleats facing in opposite direc-tion is termed as box pleat. The edges of the box pleat touch each other. If two set of box pleats made at the same point it is called as double box pleat (Figure 12.13).

Method of Sewing a Box Pleat

·           Mark lines where box pleats has to be made.

·           First make fold in right side and make the other pleat on left hand side, repeat.

·           Pin and press.

·           Remove pins and machine.

·           Cut the excess threads.


Box pleat is used in children garment, school uniforms, skirts, center back of gent’s shirt. It can be used as a design detail on pockets.


Kick Pleat

A plain pleat, knife pleat or box pleat is stitched along the fold till the desired length for freedom of movement is termed as kick pleat. It releases fullness at base (Figure 12.14).

Method of Sewing a Kick Pleat

·           First mark a plain knife or box pleat as per requirement.

·           Stitch near the fold of pleat till the required length.


Kick pleat is used in sportswear, frocks and skirts.



Gathers are used for distributing full-ness evenly in a given area. The material required will be twice the width or it can be varied based upon the effect required. Stiff cotton produces crisp effect, but other man-made fibre or silk gives a graceful effect.

Gathers can be done by hand, machine or by elastic.

Method of Making Gathers

·           Stitch two rows of loose machine stitches.

·           Gather the section by pulling the thread.

·           Pin only the edges on the flat surface.

·           Evenly spread gather over the fabric.

·           Pin the gathers to the fabric.

·           Machine horizontally, remove the pins.

·           Pivot the edges.

Points to remember while sewing gathers

·           Always the gathered edges should be on top (facing you).

·           If length to be gathered is long then divide the length and stitch loose machine stitches.


Gather is used in neckline, sleeves, waist-line and yoke.


Fullness helps a fabric to fit in natural curves of body, and make a garment look attractive. Darts gives shape to contour. Pleat, gather and tuck releases fullness in any part of garment. Selection of the type of fullness depends on the type of material.


·           Fullness is done to create variety.

·           Fullness helps in getting proper fit and comfort.

·           Pleats, tucks and gathers releases fullness.

·           Darts shapes flat pattern.

·           Fullness adds decoration to a garment.


·           Demonstrate darts, tucks, pleats and gathers.

·           Show PowerPoint presentation of fullness used in garment.


·           Draw different types of fullness.

·           Collect picture for various types of fullness.

·           Stitch samples for different fullness.


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