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Gathering Help...
What technique for this application???
Canadian Jane
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Canadian Jane
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Alberta CANADA
Member since 10/30/10
Posts: 2063
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Date: 8/14/12 10:50 AM

I am making this empire top. (Butterick Pattern 5644). I have to gather the skirting below the bustline to the bodice top.

In olden days I would sew my two lines of basting, pull the bobbin thread and adjust the gathers until I got the bottom peice the right size and I liked the look of the gathers.

I have a two Pfaffs, a QE4, and a Classic Style Quilt 2027 - about 10 years old. I also have a BL Enlighten Serger on which you can gather and it has also a gathering foot. I have the ruffler attachment (the huge contraption) that I have used on my 2027. I wasn't pleased with the results with the ruffler for what I wanted so I haven't used the ruffler much since. I have never used my serger for gathering but I am game to try.

Question: With the serger, the ruffler, or even the snap on gathering foot that I am considering buying can you adjust the ruffles once made? That would be a godsend! How do you adjust??

Another Question: I like the Nancy Zieman zigzag over the bobbin thread method of gathering but I think the bottom skirting ungathered is about 60 inches or so. According to this method, (as I understand it) you need to pull out at least the length of the peice you are gathering of bobbin thread (60 inches in this case) and zigzag over that. That seams like a lot of extra thread to have out (and control) using this method for this application of mine. Any tips??

Or... is there a better/alternative way to gather this much fabric?? What is your TNT method??

For reference the bottom of the empire bodice is about 45 inches. Also, after I get the gathering done and attached, I am to make a casing and put in some elastic. I am assuming this is to gather it in even more. The material I am using is a nice tee-shirt material - not really light but not too thick either.

Any tips/advice/info would be greatly appreciated.

PattiAnnJ
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PattiAnnJ
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Date: 8/14/12 11:51 AM

This calls for testing on scraps of the fabric being used for the project.

Zig-zaging over crochet thread works well, but I don't think you need it to the as long and the piece to be gathered. Maybe 3/4 the length as long as you can gather and have enough left over to tie off without cramping your hands in the process.

------
"Improvise, adapt and overcome." - Clint Eastwood/Heartbreak Ridge

simplystitches
simplystitches
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Date: 8/14/12 12:03 PM

I like to zig zag over dental floss. Much stronger and less likely to break when you're pulling the gathers, unlike regular thread.

Debbie

Canadian Jane
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Canadian Jane
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Alberta CANADA
Member since 10/30/10
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Date: 8/14/12 1:49 PM

Good ideas.

I was playing around with the gathering settings on my serger and I noticed that the gathers were very nice while serging but at the end when I took out my scrap sample, all the gathers seemed to fall out. Perhaps the material stretched while gathering?? I wasn't using the gathering foot, just the gathering settings.

I tried doing the thread between the needles and serging over - similiar to the Nancy Zieman metod- or the zig zag methods you are suggesting. I just used normal thread. It seemed like it wasn't stable enough. I know in the past when I have used the two or three thread basting method my gathers were much more stable in that they stayed in place and it was much easier to sew the gathered peice to the flat peice. What a pain to gather though!!

Does using dental floss or a heavier thread (or crochet thread) give it more stability? I don't have either in the house at the moment so I can't play...

On the bright side - I really just learned a whole lot more about how a serger works!! That is a great thing!!

stirwatersblue
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stirwatersblue
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Kansas USA
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Date: 8/14/12 5:29 PM

If I'm gathering by machine, I like to zig-zag over crochet thread (it's actually perle coton, but very similar).

By hand, I use a big needle and running stitches of upholstery thread. I actually don't cut the thread, just let it run off the spool. I cartridge pleat full skirts (~4 yards of fabric all at once) all the time with this method, and it's sturdy and reliable.

------
~Gem in the prairie

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