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Tips & Techniques > Gathers with clear elastic

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Posted by: Debbie Lancaster
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About Debbie Lancaster star
CA United States
Member since: 9/18/02
Reviews: 74 (tips: 28)
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Posted on: 2/15/04 9:09 AM
Review Rating: Helpful by 1 people   Very Helpful by 11 people   
IIRC, I read this in a Nancy Zieman book. This produces perfectly even gathers. Cut a piece of clear elastic exactly the length you desire for the gathers (for example, the exact width of a bodice, front and back) plus two inches. Mark the one inch point on each end with indelible ink (the tails will be your holding points when you start to sew). Then, using the one-inch marks on the ends as the starting points, mark fourths, eights, or sixteenths (or even thirty-seconds) with indelible ink. Pin mark the skirt in the same increments. Pin the elastic to the skirt using the marks, with the one-inch marks as the starting and ending points. Secure them by sewing them down at the marks. Stretch the elastic from point to point and sew down around the skirt using a short zigzag stitch. The elastic will shrink to its original length. Then pin the skirt to the bodice and stitch together.

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PureJoy said... (1/11/14 12:18 PM) Reply
Thank you this will be helpful for many of my projects
Debbie Lancaster said... (5/30/09 11:35 AM) Reply
RubyRose, regular elastic won't return to its original length, while clear elastic does pretty much. Sew-through woven or knitted elastic stretches out and doesn't return to its original length, so you'd have to experiment.
RubyRose said... (5/29/09 12:00 PM) Reply
thankyou so much! this is indeed helpful! would it still work with normal elastic? i am using a heavy-ish fabric do may need to use a slightly more heavy duty elastic
SewVeryTall said... (3/2/04 12:02 PM) Reply
Great tip, I use it too. The clear elastic is handy for so many things, and adds no bulk to projects.
alyssa said... (2/25/04 8:39 PM) Reply
Before sewing the clear elastic on, make sure to stretch it on your hands a few times. It will become somewhat longer then it's original length, but after that it will not "grow" anymore.this tip also comes from Nancy.
J_J said... (2/25/04 11:51 AM) Reply
This tip sounds too easy to be true. I'll have to try it with my next project that needs gathers.
Lisa Laree said... (2/17/04 5:59 PM) Reply
Debbie, this is one of my favorite techniques for little girls knit dresses -- the waistline seams never pop! Thanks for posting it!
Debbie Lancaster said... (2/17/04 1:46 PM) Reply
I've used both 1/4" and 3/8", depending on what's available. They work about equally well.
SewingSusan said... (2/17/04 8:47 AM) Reply
great tip!, what kind of clear elastic? what width?
Hilary said... (2/16/04 4:22 PM) Reply
hmm I may have to try this. I always have a time getting even gathers~ this sounds fast and easy. Thanks for the tip!
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