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Tips & Techniques > easy gathering technique

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Posted by: anetJay
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About anetJay star
IL United States
Member since: 3/13/08
Reviews: 83 (tips: 10)
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Skill level:Intermediate
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Posted on: 3/15/08 7:48 AM
Review Rating: Helpful by 2 people   Very Helpful by 9 people   
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i have used this for custom bridal work and dressing antique dolls. it is perfect for making miles and miles of ruffles. instead of running 2 or 3 rows of basting stitches to gather, set your machine for the widest zig zag stitch and the longest length. place pearl cotton, knit cro sheen or even string works, on top of the fabric so that the zig zag stitch forms a "casing" . be very careful not to catch the cord with the needle as you are sewing. when you are finished, pull up the cord to create the can place a pin at each end and wrap the cord to hold it in place. i try to use one of my presser feet that has an opening in the front, this helps keep the cord in place as i sew. the cord can be left in the seam after completion or removed. happy sewing !! janet

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Gendun said... (3/28/13 4:34 PM) Reply
I use Colette's 3 line method, which gives you much finer and finished looking gathers than the 2 line method. This one is different again, which will be fun to try. Different techniques are nice to have for different applications. Thanks!
mis_priss said... (3/28/08 6:24 PM) Reply
I learned this technique from a doll pattern several years back, and it is how I gather 90% of the time now. Caldelaria and HeyJane are correct, sometimes on projects where the gathering will be obvious, I use the two stitching lines method. but if the work is not going to show, I use the zz method. It does tend to bunch up and cause a few minor problems of its own.
ryansmumAria said... (3/21/08 1:37 AM) Reply
Calendria, I teach a sewing class and when we were learning gathering techniques, I made up several samples. I love the zig zag method as it is far quicker. However, you get a rather bunched looked. If you are after gentle smoother gathers, sewing a couple of rows and pulling the bobbin thread will give you that look. You have to see them side by side to really understand the difference. I use a gathering foot on a commercial/industrial machine which is even easier than the zig zag. However, the gathering foot doesn't work on all fabrics. I have students who don't like the look they get when they zig zag though, so they do it the laborious way and are happier with the results. I use both.
HeyJane said... (3/18/08 12:31 PM) Reply
I have found that the 'gathering look' is more flat and manageable when using a double row of gathering stitches. It prevents me from getting ruffles caught in the needle when sewing the seam together, which creates puckers on the outside of the garment. However the single cord with ZZ is so much faster! I'm glad to know of this method. Will definitely use it on the thinner-fabric projects.
anetJay said... (3/18/08 5:08 AM) Reply
honestly, i have never paid much attention to any differences. i always use my widest zigzag and my longest stitch and just think about how much time and aggravation i am saving by doing it this way...
Calendria said... (3/17/08 6:22 PM) Reply
what exactly is the difference in the "gathering" look is there?
2vintageneedle said... (3/16/08 10:47 PM) Reply
Thank you, this great tip I will try tomorrow on a project, I knew someone on patternreview would have the answer.
vasallese said... (3/16/08 12:02 PM) Reply
I haven't tried it, since i guess i decided to simply not do large amounts of gathers. I wil have to try this method. Thanks
HeyJane said... (3/16/08 0:34 AM) Reply
Wow I have GOT to try this....I have two nieces for which there is no end to gathered skirt projects! thanks
ryansmumAria said... (3/15/08 10:53 PM) Reply
I agree this a FABULOUS tip that is one of my favorites. This will produce a different looking gather than you will get if you did it the traditional way .so you have to decide what look you're after. It also gathers up different according to what stitch width you use so it is wise to experiment and make samples until you find what suits your needs best. That being said, this technique is the quickest and easiest and I try to use it whenever possible.Thanks for the tip
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