Sunday, May 10, 2020

Weekend Review: Tucks Textures & Pleats

Tucks Textures & Pleats / Jennie Rayment
Haslemere, Surrey: JR Publications, c1994.
104 p.

Today's book of embellishment ideas comes from Jennie Rayment, a quilter known for her fabric manipulation techniques. This is one of her very first books, and I first became acquainted with it through my local quilt club. 

Although it is aimed mainly at quilting and/or decor objects, there are also project ideas for adding fancy panels to bags, belts or even jackets and vests. The book is arranged both by technique and project -- since it was self-published, the instructional illustrations are all just hand drawn black and white, but they are very clear, and the techniques are clearly explained. There are a couple of colour photo pages inserted as well, showing some of the finished pieces in greater detail. 

There is also a section on what to do with your textured pieces - create cushions, bags and so forth, and how to finish them neatly. Lots of ideas and examples to spark the imagination and get you going on a new fabric manipulation kick! 

Of course, since I'm looking at this book from the perspective of garment sewing, I could see many ways to adapt these techniques to a piece of clothing. Creating special panels for a quilted style jacket, perhaps. Or maybe a yoke or insert in a plain linen dress that has some fancy pintucks beforehand (I like the look of crossed tucks a lot). There are ideas for creating texture through quilting, or through origami style folded fabric that is stitched into place. She even has new ways of using bias tucks or bands as accents. And there is a chapter on fabric weaving. There is a lot here that a garment sewist can be inspired by! 

It's funny that this book is quite old but the techniques feel fresh and intriguing. The author's website has a bit more information as well as a follow-up book to this one available, so if the idea of changing your fabric through texture appeals to you, I'd recommend you check it out. For an older coil bound quilting focused book, I was surprised by how much use I could get out of it for clothing and accessory projects. I like her approach to teaching and writing, and think that she has a gift for inspiring even newer sewists and needleworkers to give some of these ideas a try. Recommended!


  1. The book sounds intriguing. Very 70's and yet very now. It would be lovely to make a garment and apply some of these techniques. It has got me thinking ....

    1. Yes, I really like the look of pintucks and would like to give them a go myself. I hope you'll try something fancy and show it off!


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