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Message Board > Patterns and Notions > Shirring/gathering foot ( Moderated by Sharon1952)

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Shirring/gathering foot
How does it work? is it worth getting?
bonny
bonny  Friend of PR
Advanced Beginner
NS CANADA
Member since 10/30/03
Posts: 126
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Date: 10/11/04 8:18 PM

I'm considering purchasing a shirring foot for my sewing machine.  It seems to be a lot cheaper than a ruffler, but I'm not sure if it will be as effective. I've looked at pictures of the shirring foot in online notion stores, but I can't figure out exactly how it does the gathering. Does anyone have one of these? and how well does it do gathering/shirring?

Bonny

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Bonny in Halifax

Leslie in Austin
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Leslie in Austin  Friend of PR
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Date: 10/11/04 8:49 PM

When I first started sewing I debated the gathering foot vs. the ruffling foot.  Like you're thinking, I went with the gathering foot because it was cheaper.  I haven't used mine often, Bonny, but when I have, it's proven to be a magical, marvelous tool (mostly because I abhor hand gathering).

See the sweet little ruffles on these baby sundresses.  

Oh, I just love those little dresses!

------
Leslie

Neefer
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Neefer
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Date: 10/12/04 11:11 AM

I coughed up the big bucks and bought the ruffler.  I haven't been sorry, either.  I've never used the gathering foot, so I can't compare.  Instead of a gather, the ruffler makes a kinda pleated look.  





However, if you set it to "ruffle" every stitch, you will get a very tight gathered look, very poufy.  

I like the ruffler because when I gather w/o the foot, I have a terrible time getting it even.  The ruffler results are very even.

------
Neefer aka AgitProp and Village Churl Sewing Blog: http://www.oaktrees.org/blog/

Bonny lass, bonny lass, will you be mine?
You shall neither wash dishes nor serve the wine;
But sit on a cushion and sew a fine seam,
And feast upon strawberries, sugar, and cream.

Gigi Louis
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Gigi Louis
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Date: 10/12/04 11:29 AM

The gathering foot is fine for ruffles and puffing in lighter weight fabrics.  For heavier fabrics or more fullness you'll want the ruffler.   If you do any Home Dec sewing you'll probably want the ruffler since it works great on decorator fabrics and multiple layers.

Fern R

Fern R
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CA USA
Member since 8/24/04
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Date: 10/19/04 11:57 PM

How do either of these feet work?

Karin Mantefors
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Karin Mantefors
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Date: 10/20/04 1:12 AM

I have bouth and use neigher, but had great plans when I bought them and I have used them for ruffles on pillows and aprons.
The ruffler is a little mechanical machine there a little thing pushes the fabric in creases as you sew. Itīs amazing to see this little piece of metal work. You decide how often you want the creases.
The gatherfoot I really dont understand how it works, but itīs a very small and ordinarylocking foot and the longer stitch you chose the more wrinkels.
I prefer gathering the oldfashioned way,but I think the ruffler does the job in a way that I canīt do by hand.

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www.karinskammare.blogspot.com

MaryLynn in Long Beach
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MaryLynn in Long Beach
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Date: 10/20/04 10:21 PM

I had a gathering foot for my old Bernina and used it on home dec projects where i had loooooooooong swaths of fabric to gather. I did not have a ruffler.

The gathering foot uses stitch length, tension and the feed dogs to produce the gathers. It's kind of a mechancal version of putting your finger behind the presser foot to create ease in a sleeve.

It won't fit my new Bernina, so I sold it along with the old machine. I plan to buy a ruffler for the new one. I found the biggest drawback to the gathering foot was the difficulty controling the ungathered to gathered ratio. That should be easier with the ruffler.

Mary Lynn

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Mary Lynn (Who's finally sitting up and taking nourishment)

Design Degree??? I prefer my artistic license

"A woman who works with her hands is a laborer; a woman who works with her hands and her mind is a craftsman; but a woman who works with her hands and her brain and her heart is an artist." (St. Thomas Aquinas, modified)

PVA
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PVA
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OR USA
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Date: 10/20/04 11:16 PM

Well, I've had my my Viking #1 about 12 yrs & before that the Viking 1100 about 3 yrs.  That's long enough to have been able to talk myself into both feet!    :winkgrin:   They do have different functions, & it really depends on the effect you want.  If it is the effect of shirring you want, then the gathering foot will probably be very satisfactory.  But, as the others have said, the ruffler defintely uses very precisely-sized pleats, depending on how you set it up.  The ruffler is very expensive & takes a little more time to set-up.  Whichever you use, it will be necessary to sew samples with scraps to determine how you want to set stitch length, tension, & etc.  If you have a dealer in reasonable distance, perhaps they will be willing to demo the two feet & let you try it.  I live in a very small town environment & there aren't many choices, but sometimes you can catch one who isn't busy & will be willing to spend a little time with you.

Just get out there, if you can, & let them show you -- even if it means sitting thru a demo of a machine you don't really intend to buy.  Bottom line, all the gathering feet work basically the same way, & so do all the rufflers!  I'll never forget what I thought of the first one I ever saw!  It looked to me like a real Rube Goldberg invention!   :eek:   And, that was for the then TOL Viking #1!  And, the price was absolutely thru the ceiling!   :eek:    :eek:    :eek:   However, by the time they let me try it on their demo machine, it was *Mine*!   :cool:    :tounge:    :cool:   (I already had the gathering foot!   :D   )

Good luck, keep us posted!

------
PVA (Pat)  "A girl can't have too many scissors!"
If I don't have time to do it right, when will I have time to do it over?

Londa Rohlfing
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Londa Rohlfing
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Member since 11/30/03
Posts: 118
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Date: 11/1/04 10:54 PM

I sold machines for years, and the gathering foot only worked in general on very lightweight fabrics.  Tension and stitch length could also affect the amount of gathers.  We used it most often to create texture for wearable art. Even tho there is a slot, you put the fabric to be ruffled completely under the foot.  I never thought gathering and attaching at the same time was worth it - kinda like patting your head and rubbing your tummy at the same time.  IMHO
The ruffler is worth every penney.  Get one and experiment.  If you do home dec sewing, it is definitely worth it.
Londa

bonny
bonny  Friend of PR
Advanced Beginner
NS CANADA
Member since 10/30/03
Posts: 126
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Date: 11/19/04 12:00 PM

Just posting an update on this thread... I ended up deciding to buy the ruffler. I had done a little experimenting with the differential feed on my serger to do gathering. Worked okay with lightweight fabrics, but didn't get as much pouf as I would like. I had a feeling that I would have similar results with a shirring foot. So I decided to spend the money and get a ruffler. It arrived a couple of days ago and I've been playing with it just a little. So far I'm very pleased.  It should save me a lot of time when I make my tiered gypsy skirt!

Bonny

------
Bonny in Halifax

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