Heading into the clash, North End were the only side yet to concede in the Championship, a run that came to an end with Pitman’s strike after 24 minutes.
Daniel Johnson levelled things up before the break but the Tractor Boys sealed their third victory in four league games when Ryan Fraser hit the winner 25 minutes from time.
Preston created the first opening of the game in the eighth minute as Joe Garner flicked on for Chris Humphrey, whose shot from 15 yards was deflected behind.
The home side threatened again two minutes later, when Paul Gallagher’s whipped corner from the right was header over by Paul Huntington from six yards.
Garner also spurned a golden opportunity in the 12th minute, somehow nodding Gallagher’s free-kick wide when unmarked six yards out.
Preston continued to push forward and Gallagher had an effort from 18 yards beaten away by Dean Gerken, before Humphrey was found unmarked by a Neil Kilkenny cross but miskicked from eight yards.
Entirely against the run of play, Preston conceded their first goal of the season. Freddie Sears’ left-wing cross was nodded in at the near post by former Bournemouth man Pitman after 24 minutes – his first Ipswich goal on his first start.
Preston regrouped and hit back after 37 minutes when they caught Ipswich on the break following a well-played advantage and Johnson was slipped through by Humphrey before slotting past Gerken to level things up.
Garner started the second half brightly for Preston and whistled an effort just wide from 20 yards in the 48th minute.
After a scrappy period, Ipswich almost burst to life after 61 minutes when Sears’ back-heel found David McGoldrick, who fired a shot just over the bar from 18 yards on the turn.
The league leaders turned on the style in the 65th minute when a slow, deliberate build-up resulted in space for Fraser 20 yards out. He curled a right-footed effort over Jordan Pickford and into the far corner.
Simon Grayson’s home side looked to respond, but Paul Huntington’s header after 70 minutes was well saved by Gerken before Jonas Knudsen blocked Garner’s close-range strike.
Preston went close again after 74 minutes, when Garner claimed his header from Humphrey’s cross had gone over the line. However referee Mark Brown gave a free-kick to Ipswich and booked Garner – with the suspicion being he may have handled the ball in.
They pushed forward in search of an equaliser and managed to push Ipswich back, but the solid central defensive pairing of Christophe Berra and Tommy Smith dealt with the long balls lumped into the penalty area.