Tips & Techniques > How not to fudge with your gathering
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||6/26/10 8:16 AM
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|I have found it important to ensure that you are not fudging with the gathering. What I mean by this is that the length of the gathering must match the length of the fabric that will be attached to it when both pieces lie flat. Really flat. And even distribution of gathers is really key.
1) You get scrunched up gathers, really poofy areas and only some of the nice tiny gathers that you wanted. - Here you have uneven distribution.
2) You get a lot of flat spots. - Here you might have uneven gathers or too little gathers.
3) You get a really poofy gathered area - You have too much scrunched up. Here you might have too short a piece of fabric to attach the gathers to or you might be gathering too long a length of fabric.
The prettiest gathers are of course the tiny, delicate little ones like the ones we see in little girl's dresses.
ETA: 6/30/10: Updated to include more detail.
Well, I think in my enthusiasm about reminding myself with the where one could go wrongs, I left out the main idea of what I do in my gathering. Here's what I do:
1) I have the seam line marked first.
2) Then I use the longest stitch on my machine and stitch one row of stitches above and one row of stitches below the seamline. I do not backstitch at start or ends and leave a fair length of thread hanging at either end.
3) I pin the gathering piece (as yet ungathered) to the piece it is supposed to be attached to, at the two ends. Although there would be a difference in length, the start and end points would be the same.
Segmenting off the fabric pieces here (gathering piece and piece to attach to) in quarters, or eighths if necessary, and pinning the respective positions in place is very useful. This would mean each section I gather will have to look about the same for even gathers.
3) Next, I tie up the start end of threads on both rows of the gathering piece together into a knot (for the bobbin as well the spool thread sides). This would prevent gathers from slipping off the end as I begin gathering from the other end.
4) I twist bobbin threads on the other end on my index finger, and start gathering.
I look out for the problem areas mentioned earlier as I gather.
5) Once I settle on the right amount of gathers, I knot up the loose bobbin thread ends as well. This helps hold the right amount of gathers in place more permanently.
6) I stitch the pieces in place using a regular stitch with the gathered piece facing up as I do not want the gathers caught up in the machine. As I feed the fabric into the machine, I place my fingers on either side of the stitching line to ensure that the gathers falling straight without any bunching up of fabric.
7) After attaching the gathered piece, I remove the basting stitches as far as it is visible and is easily removable.
My experience with the above technique has mainly been on wovens which is of course a lot easier to handle than knits.
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