How to achieve beautiful machine gathers?

What could be prettier than the movement of a beautiful fluid gathered fabric?!

Would you like to achieve beautiful gathers, here's how! Whatever part of your sewing pattern you want to gather, the method is always the same.

Here, I will show you how to make the gathers on the lower bust of the Sonia long dress.

Step 1 : Setting up the machine

  • Change your machine settings for straight stitch

  • Loosen the thread tension and increase the stitch length

  • Take a sample of fabric and sew about 5 cm

  • Raise the needle without cutting the thread, pull to get a good length of thread, keep the length as it is then cut

Step 2 : Sew the threads on the garment

Sew two parallel rows of gathering stitches on the right side of the garment and inside the seam allowance so to not exceed 1 cm from the edge

  • Start from the 1st notch which marks the start of the gather and sew along the entire length (without reverse stitch at the start and end of the seam)

  • At the end of the seam, raise the needle then pull out a good length of thread by removing the work from under the presser foot

  • Stitch the 2nd row of gather thread

  • Once you have reached the end of the length of your gathered thread, raise the needle then pull a good length of thread by removing the work from under the presser foot

Reset the settings on your machine to resume straight stitch sewing

Step 3 : Pull the gathering threads

Gathering stitches are sewn on the right side of the garment: threads coming from the needle on the top and threads coming from the bobbin on the underside of the garment

  • Start to pull on the bobbin threads (be careful not to pull on the top threadline made by the needle as this will cause a blockage and the gathers will not be made correctly)

Step 4 : Adjust with your hands

  • Manipulate the fabric with your hands to evenly distribute the gathers over the entire length which will then be sewn.

Etape 5 : Sew

On the video, the gathers are made on a lower bust that will be assembled with a skirt

  • Pin according to the marks, here the middle bust and the middle skirt

  • Pin from the reference notches which mark the beginning of the gathered area and which correspond to a reference notch which is on the skirt over the entire length of the garment, ending with the area to be gathered

  • Distribute the gathers to be at the right size with the fabric on which it will be assembled

  • Once the dimension is well established, pin to keep the gathers in place

  • Sew, once in the gathered area, do not hesitate to leave the needles in place to maintain the direction of the gathers. Otherwise, slow down the sewing speed and arrange well with your fingers

Step 6 : Remove the gather stitches 

  • Once the work is assembled, remove the gathering threads using a Stitch Rip (the threads are in the seam allowance)

  • Finish by overcasting the seam

Step 7: The video sewing tutorial


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