Pinking Service  


After many inquiries, I am almost ready to offer a pinking service with my antique pinking machines.

Meet the Pinking Machines:

VanDyke: My VanDyke machine is a Columbus Machine. This machine creates VanDyke V cuts with a waved edge along the V.



Greenie: My Greenie, so named for her distinctive green color, offers a traditional VVV pinked edge. This edge tends to be slightly bigger than modern pinking scissors.IMG_20171110_140422

Wavey Gem: These Gem machines offer a waved pinking. Depending on the fabric, this edge can look like a loose wave or tight wave.

The Process:

  1. I will take a limited number of requests each week/month.
  2. Please contact me by commenting below, emailing me, or through Etsy. (If you comment below, I will pull your email address and email you.)
  3. We will talk about your needs and fabric. I may need you to send me a small piece of your fabric to test on the machine.
  4. If we agree on the project, you will send me your fabric and I will set up a custom pinking listing for you on Etsy.
  5. When the pinking is complete and payment made through Etsy, I will package and send you your pinking.

Important Things to Know:

Please keep in mind these are antique machines. Therefore, they can be a bit temperamental. The cut may not be perfect. Some threads will skip. Some threads will catch. I will do my best to minimalize this and trim threads as needed.

Bias? Stripes? I have found with each machine some fabrics do well, while others do not. Certain machines are happy to cut on the grain in both directions as well as on the bias, while others will not. A Note on Bias – Additional calculations will be necessary for figuring the amount of bias needing to be cut. I do Not sew bias lengths together.

Cost? I am working on figuring out the cost. I will charge by the yard with a base fee. Needle-book pages will be a set fee. Postage will be based on current Priority Mail shipping rates with insurance for anything larger than needle-book pages.

Dies? Yes, I have have several dies. 14 of them actually. We have a “Love <> Hate” relationship. I love them when they sit there and behave themselves. I hate them when they refuse to work for me. Therefore – At this point, I will not be offing a service with the dies.

Strips? I do not sew the strips together. You will receive strips as they are cut, not in one continuous length.

Pieces/Scraps? If you want pieces or scraps pinked, please precut the strips you need.

Fabric Requirements:

  • Silk Must be a crisp taffeta.
    • Silk can Not:
      • have slubs
      • be soft
      • be a loose weave
      • be jacquard
      • have varied threads
      • be embroidered
  • Wools must be a tight weave tropical to medium dress weight – Preferably a plain weave, twill or flannel.
    • Wools can Not:
      • have fulled thickly
      • be coat weight, blanket weight, heavy weight
      • be soft
      • be a loose weave
      • be jacquard
      • have varied threads
      • be embroidered
      • have synthetic stretch
  • I will not cut: Anything with metallic threads, leathers, furs, sheers other than stiff organza, pleathers, any stretch fabrics,
  • Please iron the fabric before sending it.


I really want to write out a simple equation or combination of two equations for determining the amount of fabric needed for each project. One small problem: Too many words beginning with F. ie: Finished length, fullness ratio, flat cut length.

Step 1 – Figure out how much flat length you need. To do this, measure how much finished length you need. Meaning the pleated, ruched or gathered trim you need. Measure the areas of the bodice and the skirt and the sleeves. Add this up. Please, give yourself some extra. Next, multiply this number by the fullness ration needed for the type of trim you are doing:

  • Single directional or box pleats – Multiply by 3
  • Double box pleats – Multiply by 5
  • Light gathers – Multiply by 2
  • Light ruching – Multiply by 2
  • Fuller gathers – Multiply by 3
  • Fuller ruching – Multiply by 3

Example: A single 2″ wide on the grain row of VanDyke trim in single box pleating around the front and back of the bodice, around the open sleeves and around the skirt.

Bodice 52″ + Sleeves 48″ + Skirt 180″ = 280″ of finished trim

Add an additional 20″ for adjustments = 300″ of finished trim

300″ Finished trim x 3 for box pleats = 900″ of flat cut length

Step 2 – Figure out how much yardage is needed. Basically, we are figuring out how many strips it will take take to make the length and how wide those strips need to be. To do this, take your flat cut length and divide by the width of your fabric in the direction you want me to cut (across or with the warp.) This will give the number of strips needed. To calculate the width of the strips, take your desired finished width and add 1/2″ for the VV or wave edge, 1″ for the VanDyke edge. This is for the amount cut off. **Please keep in mind the width I cut will not be exact exact as these are antique machines. A variance of 1-2mm on each side will happen.*** Multiply this number by the number of strips needed. This is the length of fabric needed.

Example continued: A single 2″ wide on the grain row of Single box pleating around the front and back of the bodice, around the open sleeves and around the skirt. 

900″ of flat cut length  divided by a fabric width of 60″ = 15 strips

2″ + 1″ for VanDyke trim = 3″ wide strips

3″ wide strips x 15 strips = 45″ of fabric

A 60″ by 45″  piece of silk will make 900″ of 2″ wide VanDyke strips to pleat into 300″ of trim.

btw – This is 25 yards.

I will work on easy directions for calculating how much bias you will need. In theory, the same number of square inches are required to make bias as it does to make on the grain strips. But, sometime a little is lost on either corner of the fabric. So, I would just round up. In the example given, I would use a 60″x 51″ or even a 60″x60″ piece of fabric for bias strips.

Pinking Gallery (coming as pinking progresses)





Machines I am looking for:






Published in: on March 27, 2018 at 6:17 pm  Comments (4)  

4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. This is wonderful, Anna! I love Mr Van Dyke! What is the size of the cuts on that one? It is hard to judge scale…

  2. I need to measure each of them. I don’t know if people will prefer the cut width in millimeters or the number of cuts per inch or number of inches.
    I also need to make a chart of yardage approximations.
    Oh, and figure out the pricing.

  3. Perhaps you could lay them on a grid or graph paper and photograph? In the case of Mr. Van Dyke, the measurement from the bottom to top of the “v” and how wide it is from point to point would help me. I would have to make a mock up to design how I planned to use it.

  4. I was thinking about that last night. I have a couple different options between the cutting mat and quilt rules.

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