Hi Everyone! I'm Shari Fuller, the designer behind Thimbles and Acorns! Welcome to Part 2 of this month's topic, Sewing Perfect Gathers. I am so happy to be here with you to talk about one of my favorite subjects – sewing. Last week, Cinnamon and I went over the basic gathering method which, for most of us, is the only gathering method we have ever known.
Like many of you, I love the look of ruffles, whether it is a single ruffled edge as in my Prairie Rose dress or tiers of them as in Liberty Jane's Faraway Downs Skirt. That being said, I shudder at the thought of gathering all that fabric and fussing over arranging the fullness neatly and evenly. No matter how careful I am, the odd pucker or raw edge always seems to find its way into the seamline (can you hear my heavy sigh?). The method I am going to show you this week just may take the shudder out of your ruffling experience. How you may ask? Elastic! Yep, 1/8-inch wide flat elastic used with a zigzag stitch will make gathering fabric on a straight edge a breeze!
We'll be demonstrating these methods as basic tutorial exercises on small scraps of fabric to help illustrate how the basic techniques and methods are used at a smaller scale. Follow along to understand the process, hopefully watching us in action will clarify any concerns or issues you may have with these types of techniques.
I encourage you to watch the video for a full in-depth look at the technique! Here are a few of the steps for quick reference:
Supplies Needed: 1/8" flat elastic, seam ripper, marking pen, fabric for the project.
1. Use the elastic to set the measurement by making two marks that are equal to the width of the shorter piece. Leave a few inches on the starting point for easy handling.
2. Lay the elastic on the top edge of the fabric to be gathered. Set the starting point at the edge of the fabric. Secure with a few stitches to tack in place (these will be removed later).
3. Set the stitching at a 5.0mm zigzag width and a 1.4mm stitch length.
4. Sew the zigzag over the elastic, do not stretch the elastic, do not catch the elastic with the stitching.
5. Pull the elastic to draw up the gathers, watch for your marked point to be visible as you slide back the fabric.
6. Once you have the two marked points exposed at both edges, place the gathered portion on the other pattern piece. Pin and straight stitch the gathered portion to the flat piece, just below the zigzag stitching.
7. Remove the elastic. Take out the tack stitches from the starting point and the elastic will slide out. The remove the zigzag stitches by pulling the bobbin and top threads separately.
You've just gathered using the zigzag over elastic technique! Awesome job!
Suggested Patterns For this Topic:
Week One task: