Gathering may or may not seem like a pretty simple technique to you - if you're new to sewing, if your style is a little more 'make it up as you go along' or if you simply haven't spent much time following patterns, it may not be something you are completely familiar with.
AND if you're an experienced sewer and you've spent a lot of time reading patterns, you might still learn a tip or trick in this short video I have made. I have included both the traditional/proper way to gather fabric and what I refer to as 'The Cheat's Method'.
Here you go! Just click play to watch.
Ultimately, gathering is a way to make a piece of fabric more ruffly and full, shortening it to fit another piece of fabric with a shorter length.
And where are we going to use all these gathered pieces of fabric? To make ruffles of course. Or to gather a skirt to sew it to a waistband or bodice, the top of a sleeve, at a hem to add a cuff. The options are endless!
Benefits of " the Proper Way"-
- gathers form more evenly
- looks neater once sewn into a garment
- the gathers wont fall out or shift while being handles before sewing
- allows you to gather two or more layers of fabric together
- better for heavier fabrics or two layers of fabric
Benefits of "the Cheat's Method" -
- fabric gathers as you sew
- no snapping of threads
- its the QUICKEST way
- best for lightweight fabrics and single layers
- did I mention, it's pretty quick!
Watch the video and then you can decide which is best for your project! I use both methods, depending on the final look I am wanting. For skirts and dresses with more fabric to gather, I tend to use "the Proper Way". I save "the Cheat's Method" for dolls clothes, like this barbie skirt I made here, ruffles and to fit cuffs.
If you have an overlocker or serger, I'd highly recommend learning how to gather on that for super long ruffles like on the bottom of this dress.