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This archived content is from Mary Wilkins’ sewing and quilting message board “Sew What’s New,” which was retired in August 2007. It is being provided by “Sew What’s Up,” which serves as the new home for many members of “Sew What’s New.”
From: pamlg1223
Date: 07-13-2007, 07:29 PM (1 of 5)
Can someone explain how gathering is done?
User: pamlg1223
Member since: 07-10-2007
Total posts: 10
From: AndreaSews
Date: 07-13-2007, 09:20 PM (2 of 5)
One way: Along the gathering edge of the length of fabric, you sew two parallel lines of long stitches. Leave long thread tails when you cut it from the machine. Hold the back threads from both stitch lines and scrunch the fabric down the stitch line toward where you started. If it's a long length of fabric, then you might need to pluck the back thread and gather it at several spots along the length, since the stress on the thread can cause the thread to break after a while. Anyway, then you smoosh it around with your fingers--That's a technical term ;)-- andfiddle with it until the gathers are evenly distributed. Then you can make a basting stitch over all of that, if you like, to hold it all in place so the gathers don't go and readjust themselves before you get it sewn onto something.

The reason for the 2 parallel lines is to help keep the gathers straight--Sometimes when you sewn them down onto something you get some of them crooked and bunched, and the 2 (some do 3) rows helps to keep them looking straight. Some people have a gathering foot for their machines, which takes out most of these steps. Some people use fishing line instead of thread to prevent thread from snapping when you pull against it. Some people use a hand sewing needle and just do a simple running stitch, in and out, instead of the machine approach.
User: AndreaSews
Member since: 02-18-2005
Total posts: 1007
From: DorothyL
Date: 07-14-2007, 09:04 AM (3 of 5)
With a heavier fabric you can make a row of long even stitches by had and pull that to the tightness you want.
Or you can zig zag over a piece of string or fishing line or something being careful not to catch it with the stitches then just scooch (another technical term) the fabric along the line to the tightness you want.
There also machine feet for gathering I think -- and people use the differential feed on their sergers.
User: DorothyL
Member since: 12-09-2002
Total posts: 3883
From: bridesmom
Date: 07-14-2007, 04:58 PM (4 of 5)
I have a sewing book which suggests ironing the gathers after the gathering and/or basting before doing the final sewing, it makes the gathers lay flat and I find helps make sewing them onto my other piece much easier.
Tickled pink with my Innovis 4000D
User: bridesmom
Member since: 01-21-2004
Total posts: 2026
From: pamlg1223
Date: 07-14-2007, 08:40 PM (5 of 5)
Thanks that helps - I did notice my machine has a gathering foot that I could purchase-
User: pamlg1223
Member since: 07-10-2007
Total posts: 10
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