Knowing how to create gathers is one of those helpful techniques that every sewist should have. Here are 5 easy steps and a few tips for creating beautiful, evenly distributed gathers every time! Free download below!
- Set your machine to sew a straight stitch at the most extended length possible. Generally, at least 4.0, depending on your machine. A basting stitch is a temporary stitch that you will remove later.
- To create the gathers, you must sew two parallel stitch lines. The first stitch line should be approximately 1/8″ away from the edge, followed by another 1/8″ – 1/4″ away from the first. Do not backstitch. Threads should remain loose. Tip: Make sure these stitches never cross each other. This will make it impossible to pull and gather.
- When creating gathers, you ultimately are trying to fit a larger piece of fabric onto a much smaller part. Align the edges of the larger and smaller pieces and pin them in place. This will help determine how much gathering is needed.
- Pull along the bobbin threads. These threads are loose and will make pulling and gathering easier. Once you have evenly distributed the amount of gathering, wrap the loose threads around the pins at each end. Tip: Try using a different color thread for the bobbin. This will help you easily identify the threads to pull.
- After evenly distributing your gathering, finish by sewing your final stitch. Remember to change your machine settings back to a standard straight stitch. Next, sew along the seam allowance and remove the basting stitches.