Among the many sewing techniques out there that can enhance the aesthetic of a garment, “gathering” is a popular one. Gathering can add functionality and intricate design to a piece of apparel when done properly.
This technique also makes it possible to pair a wide piece of fabric to a narrower piece for a look that’s both full and even. That said, successful gathering requires a stable seam and a keen eye to pull off.
While gathering is a versatile and valuable technique, it does require practice. Your style will depend on the fabric you’re using. Ultimately, many factors go into gathering.
Here, we’ll lay out a few tips on how to sew gathers more efficiently. Practice these tips and perfect your gathering approach.
It’s easy to assume that a good gather sticks to a standard stitch length. This couldn’t be further from the truth!
When it comes to tips on how to sew gathers, being willing to adjust stitch length sits at the top. In general, a shorter basting stitch will give you greater control over how the gathering comes together. Alternatively, using a longer stitch can make the gather easier to adjust.
Do keep in mind that if a stitch is too short, gathering will be more difficult. If you choose to use a longer stitch, it can feel like you have less control over the material. In any case, it’s worth experimenting with stitch length when it comes to gathering done with different types of materials before making a final decision.
Sometimes, the trick to a great gather comes down to the weight of the thread. There’s nothing more frustrating than aligning your gather only to pull and find that the thread has broken.
This tends to happen more frequently when sewers use thin thread to gather larger pieces like skirts. To avoid this scenario, you should choose a high-quality thread when you know a gather is in your project’s future. If you’re working with heavy fabrics, a heavier weighted thread will likely be necessary.
Fraying fabric edges are often a problem when creating gathers. This is because a gather demands more handling than a standard seam.
When it comes to tips on how to sew gathers without causing fraying of this type, the fabric quality matters, make sure the fabric you’re gathering can withstand multiple needle punctures before moving forward.
If the fabric you’re gathering still frays, you may have to add a step or two into the process. Consider finishing the fabric edges before gathering to reinforce weaker areas.
At GoldStar Tool, we’re passionate about creativity and love helping our customers create exciting projects too. When you need the inspiration to get started, be sure to check out our latest projects across our social media pages.
Contact us today to learn more about our craft products and how we can help you get started indulging those creative ideas!