What is gathering in sewing?
Kevong from Bordon
Gathering is sewing two parallel lines on a garment - using your longest stitch available on your sewing machine; usually a No. 4 stitch length. You then pull the cut threads from one end and this automatically gathers up your material.
This is an idea from an old post:
I use an easy way to gather fabric without the gathering thread breaking. Pull out both the bobbin and the top threads to a length longer than the piece to be gathered, and pull them to the right of the needle. Set the machine to a ziz-zag stitch. Put the fabric under the pressure foot and make 2 or 3 stitches. Pull the two threads to the front of the pressure foot and start sewing. The zig-zag stitch will cover the threads almost automatically. Pull the threads to gather as full as needed. If I have several widths of fabric to gather, I divide it into quarters or half and gather each section separately.
Long ago, before instructions and technical sewing machine attachments, we "gathered" by the same method described but by hand. When sewing machines became available we began to push a little fabric under the presser-foot as evenly as possible, as often as needed. The secret is in using good thread that will not easily break when pulled, if you are using the double row stitching technique on a machine OR by hand, then later pulling it to the desired fullness. Just don't get frustrated or in a hurry, carefully pulling the thread out of the rows after stitching to achieve the gathering you hoped for. : )
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