Gathering material is a skill widely used in sewing. This can create frills and ruffles; and often seen for skirts, dresses, puffed sleeves and many other garments. Sometimes you might prefer to cheat and do it as your sew along but we believe in doing things properly, achieving the best possible results.
Fabric, matching sewing thread
1. For this tutorial we are using two identical panels, depicting possibly a skirt panel. But this skill can be transferred into other projects, when gathering is necessary.
2. Pin the side seams together and stitch along the seam allowance. Press open.
3. Next, you can see where the pins are put in horizontally to show you the seam allowance edge. Between the fabric edge, and the pins, is where we are going to stitch two or more lines of running stitch. If you want to create more lines make sure you have increase the seam allowance.
4. The running stitch can be sewn by hand or by machine. Remember to always leave a long tail of thread at the beginning and the end of your stitching.’ If you are sewing by machine, change your stitching length to the longest possible, and do not sew back and forth at the beginning and the end of your stitching.
5. Once you have stitched these lines, organise the thread so you don’t confuse yourself.
6. You will be working with the bobbin (back) thread if you have sewn with the machine. For the purpose of this tutorial, we have used the machine for these running stitch lines.
7. Pull the bobbin thread carefully and slowly gather the material together. If you have a specific measurement you are working towards, it will be good to constantly measure your gathered material, so you don’t over do it.
8. Pull both the thread, and once you are done, you can tie a knot to secure the gathering, or you can work straight onto the next step of your project, attaching the gathered panels onto other parts of your garment.
Gathering is a basic skill but it can create really dramatic and over the top effect. It is also a basic for smocking. Take a look at our store and choose from the plethora of linen for your next project.