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How to Gather Fabric

Beautiful gathering stitches are used often in sewing for skirts, dresses, and home d├ęcor.  But they can seem a little scary to a novice sewists.

For years I sewed my gathers incorrectly.  I guess incorrect is the wrong term because they fabric was gathered but the gathers were never quite even. 

I’m going to teach you how to make the most perfect and beautiful gathers every time you sew and it isn’t hard to do.

Learn how to gather fabric easily and nearly perfect every time with this technique.

 How to Sew Gathers

To sew the best gathers it is best to use a basting stitch on your machine.  

A basting stitch is a temporary long stitch that is used to keep layers of fabric together until the final stitch is sewn.  

A basting stitch is created by setting the stitch length of your machine to the longest it can go.  On my machine that is a 4.  

When I sew that stitch, you can see that the stitching is much wider than a regular stitch.  This width allows the threads to be pulled thus making a nice gather of the fabric.

 

 

how to gather fabric


Materials Needed

  • 8" x 4" piece of scrap fabric

  • Thread 


 

Step 1

Change stitch length to the highest/widest setting it will go.  Keep it on a straight stitch.

 sewing gathers

Step 2

Start by sewing a row of stitches along the top edge of the skirt at about 1/4".  Stitch a straight stitch across the edge WITHOUT backstitching.  

Make sure to leave your thread tails long at the beginning and at the end.  This will help with gathering later.  

 



 how to make gathers

Step 3

Stitch a second row 1/4" below this line of stitching, stitch another basting stitch.  You should have two rows of stitching.  Again leave the threads long.




gathering sewing
Step 4

Now take the bobbin threads of your thread tails from one of the sections and gently pull.  This is how your fabric will gather.  





gathering fabric

You can see how even those gathers turn out when you have 2 rows.  It really makes for some beautiful gathers.  Really even and beautiful.

Sewing gathers is really very simple once you have the best method.  

Want more help with your sewing stitches?  Check out how to sew a straight line and zig-zag stitch.


Learn how to gather fabric easily and nearly perfect every time with this technique.

Learn how to gather fabric easily and nearly perfect every time with this technique.

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