View Full Version : How to Gather Fabric.

13-08-2008, 01:51 PM
Gathering a large piece of fabric can be very frustrating if not done correctly. The first time that I did this, I was making 4 bridesmaid dresses with waterfall frills at the back, so as you can imagine, the lengths of the fabric that I had to gather were very long, and everytime that I started to pull my cotton in order to make the fabric gather, I got so far along the length of fabric and the cotton snapped.
I tried for quite a length of time but it just kept happening, I was very frustrated. I was at night school for dressmaking at this point so I phoned my tutor, what she told me was so simple and it worked a treat, I have used this method ever since.
Set your sewing machine to the largest zig zag stitch, take some CROCHET COTTON and tie a loop in one end, place the loop at the starting point of your fabric, allowing the crochet cotton to sit between the opening in your sewing machine foot, and zig zag over the crochet cotton right along to the end of your fabric. Hold the loop firmly in place with a pin, and gently pull the other end of the crochet cotton through the zig zag stitches.
Hey Presto!! quick and easy gathering with no breaking cotton.

Hope this comes in useful.

13-08-2008, 01:55 PM
An excellent tip - thank you very much.

13-08-2008, 02:27 PM
Dental floss works pretty well too!

13-08-2008, 07:41 PM
Thanks Clare, that's an idea I never thought of.

13-08-2008, 08:15 PM
Great tip, I always hate it whenever the thread breaks as you are gathering the fabric.

Roseberry Crafts
13-08-2008, 09:21 PM
Excellent tip but I do wish I'd known a few months back when I was doing my daughter's tiered skirt (recently finished and blogged)! It drove me so demented that I almost ripped it up in temper! I told her there was no way I was doing her the dress she'd asked for but I might have a go now I've read your tip!:D

13-08-2008, 10:58 PM
Hi Nat,
The bridesmaid dresses that I made did the same to me, I was ready for telling my bride that I could'nt do them, because every time I got so far along the tier the cotton snapped, I was taking a dressmaking course at the time and tearfully phoned my tutor who gave me the fabulous tip, I've used it ever since, it's also great when putting frills on duvet covers or kitchen curtains and valances.


13-08-2008, 11:22 PM
Brilliant Garters and in the nick of time - SIL wants a tiered skirt for her birthday middle of september - thank you.:)

22-09-2008, 03:49 PM
Brilliant Garters and in the nick of time - SIL wants a tiered skirt for her birthday middle of september - thank you.:)

Great tips everyone. I myself will be gathering a lot of ruffles on a bridal train soon. I have everthing cut out but I know it is going to take some time and patience. Know I know that dental floss and/or crochet yarn using zig zag stitch can help. THANKS

16-06-2009, 06:11 PM
Fab tip! i have had my fair share of broken threads when gathering while doing my daughters carnival dresses.

Chubby Mummy
30-09-2009, 09:31 AM
I'm having a smooch around the archives - this is a great tip!

09-05-2011, 10:41 AM
so simple, yet so clever! this is an idea i'm going to remember.
I use a gathering foot, but on certain fabrics it won't work well.
thanks! :)

10-05-2011, 09:26 AM
fabby tip!!! Thank you for that. I;ve been using my gatheringfoot, which does make life easier, but it can still snap.

The other way I know how to do this, is to use the gather foot, loose tension and large stitch. But sew two lines within the seam allowance.

But your idea is fabulous!

01-06-2011, 05:02 AM
ok,i kown more about this now !