Saturday, April 14, 2012

Gathering Fabric Tutorial

Want an easy way to gather fabric without using a basting stitch?  I have a simple technique that will create perfect gathers every time, and there is no chance of breaking the threads.

First, decide where you want your gathers.  I wanted to make a gathered sash for a skirt, so I chose to gather both edges.  I started about 1" in from the edge.  You'll need some DMC floss or cording.  For this demonstration, I'm using floss.  The darker color shows up better in pictures.

Place your floss down on the fabric as shown.  Make sure you leave a bit of a tail.  Your floss should line up in the middle of your presser foot.  You'll set your machine to zigzag.  You'll want a wide stitch.  The idea is to stitch over the floss.  DO NOT stitch the floss.  It will not gather if you catch the floss.  Stitch carefully.

Use the hand wheel to for the first couple of stitches just to be sure you do not catch the floss.

Stitch the length of the fabric zigzagging over the floss until you reach the end.  Stop with your needle in the down position.  Raise the presser foot and pivot the fabric as shown.

You will now fold your floss around so it's facing the other direction.  Lower the presser foot again over the floss so it's right in the middle of your foot as shown.

Again, stitch all the way to the end of the fabric leaving a tail at the end.  This picture shows both ends.

Now simply grab the tails and pull to gather the fabric to your required thickness.

I wanted it as tight as possible, so I gathered until I couldn't pull anymore.

Be sure to tie off your floss at the end so it doesn't unravel.

And there you have it.  Easy, easy gathers.  Feel free to ask questions if something is confusing.



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