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Tips & Techniques > Gathering Method by Simplicity

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Posted by: renren

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Member since: 7/20/05
Reviews: 235 (tips: 7)
Skill level:Intermediate
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Posted on: 4/7/11 6:22 PM
Review Rating: Helpful by 3 people   Very Helpful by 20 people   
I have read of a few gathering techniques used to gather long rows of basting stitches but the one I turn to again and again is one I found in a Simplicity pattern.

The pattern is Simplicity 4140 and the technique is found on page 2 of the guide sheet and entitled "SIMPLY THE BEST GATHERING TECHNIQUE." I'll let you be the judge of that, but this technique has never failed me. Verbatim, the tip reads as follows:

"Loosen the needle thread tension slightly. Use heavy-duty polyester thread in the bobbin. Set the stitch length for a long stitch.

Working on the RIGHT side of the fabric, stitch 5/8" (1.5cm) from the raw edge and stitch again 1/4" (6mm) away, within the seam allowance OR stitch as indicated in the Sewing Directions. Leave long thread tails.

Once the gathered section is pinned to the shorter section, gently pull on the bobbin thread, sliding the fabric along until it fits the shorter section.

Stitch along the seam line."

That's all there is to it. On my most recent projects I have used J&P Coats Dual Duty Plus Extra Strong Thread but I have used other threads. The main thing is that the bobbin thread be extra strong and polyester. I think the polyester helps it slide and also makes it strong.

Half the time I forget to adjust the tension and the method still delivers a flawless line of gathering stitches.

I hope if you haven't settled on a favorite method for gathering you will give this one a try and that you are as pleased with it as I am.

(I will use gathering on my next project at which time I will post a photograph.)

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jennygolightly1 said... (6/13/13 5:25 PM) Reply
OMG. this cleared up some of the trouble I had when I tried the first time. Thanks!
Princess Aurora said... (6/13/11 11:16 PM) Reply
I use Jean topstitching thread or Upholstery thread - have yet to encounter a broken thread when gathering (one of the reasons I used to HATE gathering!).
Margaret said... (5/15/11 3:51 AM) Reply
Great tip, will try it when I next do gathering!
HRS0401ECU said... (4/29/11 2:23 AM) Reply
I can not wait to show this tip to my sister!!! Yesterday she was telling me about how her thread kept breaking every time she did a gathering stitch on her burlap pillows tryping to ruffle the muslin border!
jannw said... (4/22/11 8:31 PM) Reply
Interesting..I've never tried loosening the tension...
mssewcrazy said... (4/10/11 7:29 AM) Reply
I've done this but not loosening the tension or using stronger bobbin thread. Thanks for the nice tip.
VivianZ said... (4/8/11 7:58 AM) Reply
This sounds like a great tip. Thanks. Vivian
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