Sunday, April 1, 2012

Tuxedo Detail Tutorial

I love a good tuxedo detail.  It's easy to add to any pattern and it adds so much sophistication to a dress.
I've been a bit obsessed with this look for some time, as you can see from a few lovelies I've sewen through the years...

Ready to add a tuxedo detail to your latest sewing project?
Let's go.


Note that I will call the Main Fabric the black pleated fabric on the pink and black dress above.
Contrasting Fabric is the pink fabric running down the black pleated main fabric.

  • Two rectangles that are 13x 4 inches cut from your Main Fabric: (Remeber this is the black pleated fabric on pink and black dress above)  Feel free to lengthen, shorten, widen, or narrow your tuxedo detail to your liking.  To change the length decide how long you want the detail to be and double it then add two inches. 
  • One rectangle that is 8 inches by 3 inches cut from your Contrasting Fabric: (This is the pink line down the center of the black pleats)  While you can change the length of this, you don't want this to be any narrower, you will be turning this inside out, and you want to make sure it is wide enough to do this.
  • Ruler
  • Fabric Marking Pen
  • Sewing Machine and thread
  • Iron
This should be made before you have sewed the neckline! Here's my dress waiting for a fabulous tuxedo detail. : )

Take the two rectangles you cut from your main fabric and with right sides together, sew almost around all four sides of the rectangle, leaving an opening so you can turn it right side out.

When you are done sewing, clip the corners, turn the fabric right side out, and press.
Stitch the opening closed.

Next, use your fabric marker to mark every inch down the length of your main fabric.  

Now you are going to make the pleats.  Simply fold your second inch mark up to your first inch mark press and pin in place.

Keep doing this until it looks like this.  You may have to make some pleats deeper then others to keep a consistent one inch at the bottom. 

Now it's time to work on the contrasting detail.  Sew a line down the length of your contrasting fabric.  Position the seam down the middle and press the seam open.
On one end of the tube you just made, use your fabric marker to draw a point like the one pictured below.   To make turning this right side out easier, you can sandwich a long piece (longer then the tube itself) of embroidery floss or yarn inside the tube. Make sure some of the floss will be sewn when you sew the point.  Sew on the lines that you just drew. 

Next, let's turn this baby right side out! This is the hardest part of the whole project.. so hang in there! : )If you sewed a piece of yarn or embroidery floss into the point, then just pull the string gently until the fabric is right side out.  If you didn't sew the yarn or floss into the point (or if your yarn or floss breaks while trying to turn your fabric), you can also just roll the fabric until it is right side out (this is what I do) or you can use the eraser end of a pencil to help push it right side out.  This is how it will look when your done... Make sure your point is nice and pointy (pointier then mine!) and press.

Center your contrasting piece onto your pleated main fabric and pin in place.

Baste the contrasting detail onto your main fabric sewing as close to the edge of your contrasting fabric as possible.
This is what it should look like:

Next, place your tuxedo detail so that the main fabric is just under your neckline seam allowance (check your pattern's instructions to find out your neckline seam allowance).  Make sure the tuxedo detail is center and straight.  Pin in place and sew around the entire contrasting fabric again sewing as close to the edge of your contrasting fabric as possible.

Now, sew on some adorable buttons and finish the dress according to your patterns instructions. 
Don't you just love it?

Yeah, me too!



  1. I love these dresses and would love to see you in one too. You have done a wonderful job!!

  2. Hello Dear Amber,
    Thanks for useful sewing tutorial.
    It's my feedback links 1. + 2.about your Tutorial Entry ...
    Greetings from istanbul...

    God Bless you and your family

    Sui ...


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